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The Blind Wood Turner is the patron of UK Men’s Sheds Association

Q: What’s your full name and title?
A: Chris Fisher RPT, also known as the Blind Woodturner.

Q: What part of the world are you based in?
A: We now live in Derbyshire, UK – we moved here from Lancashire at the end of October.

Q: Tea or coffee? 
A: Tea! Always tea and copious amounts of it throughout the day! I am fuelled by tea!!

Q: Guilty pleasure when it comes to fast food? 
A: Pepperoni pizza. Always top of my list.

Q: What’s your favourite film(s)?
A: My favourite film genres are horror and science fiction. My favourites include Horror of Dracula (1958) directed by Terence Fisher and The Exorcist. Plus The Star Wars franchise.

Q: What’s your favourite book?
A: My all-time favourite is Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. Although I can’t read a physical book any more, I listen to a lot of audiobooks and this title is in my collection.

Q: How good a Maker/ Shedder are you? choose one option below 
A: Got to be: ‘I’m a straight-up badass!’ I’m the first-ever blind accredited woodturner. I’m like a Jedi!

Q: Besides Shedding what’s your favourite pastime?
A: Listening to music – I’ve always listened to music every day since I was young. It’s an important part of my life. It’s both relaxing and inspirational. I’m still stuck in the 80s but I’m also a huge fan of heavy metal and hard rock. I love the warrior element of it!

Q: What one thing would we all be surprised to know about you?
A: One of the things I miss most about being blind is not being able to read in peace and quiet when I’m on the toilet!! I’ve tried with audiobooks but it’s not the same!

Q: What makes you laugh?
A: My wife and my son! 

Q: What makes you sad?
A: The thought of parents giving up on their children for any reason and kicking them out of their home.

Q: If you were a tool in a Men’s Shed which would you be and why?
A: I’d be my Tormek T8 sharpening system. It’s such an amazing piece of equipment that can do so many things. The Swiss army knife of tools.

Q: What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned this year?
A: Always expect the unexpected. 

Q: What surprised you the most this year
A: The pandemic. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going with it and it made moving to Derbyshire uncertain at times.

Q: Can you summarize what you believe Sheds have learned this year?
A: That you can’t take anything for granted, and the importance of Sheds to provide a place for people to meet, talk through their problems and be creative. It’s something that people really value in their life. 

That it’s possible to pivot and adapt to changes, offering virtual events like ShedFest, and the importance of social media in keeping everyone connected. Access to the internet makes it easier to know what’s going on and you can keep up with friends.

Q: Thinking forward to next year what can Shedders be optimistic about?
A: Getting back in the Sheds, picking up the pieces of their projects and friendships. After a year that threw us many curved balls, I think everyone will value their Sheds even more next year, and the positive impact of being a member.

Q: You’ll probably get more socks, but what do you hope to get for Christmas?
A: If I’m honest, just a bottle of wine and a nice relaxing time.

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