Men in Sheds West Bletchley

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • Hi John,

    We should have taken this bilaterally as I might have a solution.

    In our Shed, we have taken to using shiplap fencing cut to size as it is already pressure treated and lasts. For our bird tables, we did initially cover the roof with felt but it didn’t look quite right so we have now gone to the shiplap solution which will require planing along the top edge to get the pieces to butt up together nicely to make a water-tight seal. In addition, we have also used this solution on our wishing well planters but also use a water-based preservative to not only offer the product in a range of colours, but it also provides extra durability as it has to sit out in gardens in all weathers. I’ll send you a picture – its not that good a one, but it will illustrate.

    As a Shed, we have taken a decision not to use plastic for anything unless absolutely necessary.


    in reply to: Running courses in your Shed #2477

    Hi Gabby,

    We too welcome all participants be they of whatever gender but as Chippenham Shed have said, its a movement aimed primarily at men. I would draw parallels with the Women’s Institute; men can join, but its primarily aimed at women.


    in reply to: Fund Raising #1947

    Good luck with the market stall. What insurance do you need beyond public liability insurance?

    in reply to: What things is your Shed making? #1667

    Our Shed website is regularly updated with what we have done or things made – visit -

    in reply to: About the Kent Shedder. #1627

    Len, if you send me an email to I will send you back some photographs of stuff that we make for our Parish Council community Christmas Fayre. They include snowmen, reindeer and Bill and Ben Flowerpot men all of which are made or cheaply sourced garden stakes that are turned on the lathe.


    in reply to: insurance #1626

    Around £350 sounds about right but it would depend on what you are insuring, for how much, and what cover you actually need. I would suggest that the minimum cover should have £5 million public liability, fire and theft (possibly at replacement value) and cover for Shed members in case of personal accident whilst in or about Shed premises.

    It was announced at the UKMSA Shed Fest in Worcester that a tender would shortly be issued to find a “preferred” insurance provider to Sheds. This will attract a discount, but Sheds will not be compelled to use that insurer whoever they might be, and it will not be a condition of membership of UKMSA to have to do so. As ever, shop around and if you can obtain similar or better cover elsewhere at a more competitive price, then go for it.

    I would advise that it would be a good idea to provide your insurer with an inventory of your equipment together with its present value and the depreciation factor that is applied (around one-third per year). I created an Excel spreadsheet that allows me to apply the depreciation to come up with a net value of total equipment. It requires you to input the value new, assign an expected life and the depreciation factor to be applied. This calculates the present day value and the date when the equipment should be written off for insurance purposes. I have done the same for donated second hand equipment where it is possible to attribute a value to it by finding similar on the and adding the new and second hand values together to produce a total stock value. This is then provide by email to the insurer.

    in reply to: Making a Shed Website #1624

    If you want something uncomplicated that’s free, consider using I took on our Shed website a few weeks ago, and have quickly built a few pages. Yes, its devoid of whizzy gimmicks, but we don’t need that as we just need something that tells potential funders and supporters who we are and what we do. Through experimentation, I have managed to add a couple of “Widgets” to the front welcome page which links to our Shed Twitter and Facebook pages. If I want to add extra features, I have to purchase it, but so far, the only outlay has been to purchase a domain name which fits out Shed’s name and where we are located.

    We are found at

    in reply to: Use of Facebook and other social media #1564

    Hi NZ, good to hear from the other side of the planet.

    Many Sheds in the UK are lucky if they have in excess of 20 members, but we grow organically and use many mediums to reach our audience. I know that our Facebook feed is read by quite a few who are not members of the Shed but are nonetheless, supporters of what we are doing so I don’t block out friends just hope that they will be encouraged to come along.

    What I have noticed is that Twitter especially is beginning to be an organ for expressing political views which I think is sad and not right as that should be kept personal and out of Sheds. We should be talking about issues about what matter to Sheds not Brexit or stuff like that.

    If you are lucky enough to have someone who can put together a social media presence it is good, but I’m advocating that there should be an “Idiots Guide” for want of some better words, that tells others how to take this forward in the event that the current webmaster is unable to do so as that has been the fall down point of so many Shed attempts at social media.

    in reply to: Gift Aid Recovery #1498

    Its great if all members pay Income Tax, but we have at least four who do not. HMRC guidance is quite clear that in order to be eligible to claim Gift Aid, “For a charity to claim Gift Aid on your donation, you must have paid UK Income or Capital Gains Tax that financial year. The tax you pay must be equivalent to the amount of Gift Aid the charity will reclaim on your donation that tax year (and will be claimed by other charities and CASCs)”.

    As a small Shed the admin effort does not justify the meagre rewards. If you have regularly 20 – 30 members attending each week, then I could see its worth.

    in reply to: Use of Facebook and other social media #1430

    Having recently attended one of Milton Keynes Council’s excellent adult education one-day courses on writing your own (Free) website using WordPress. I’m currently adding material as I have time, but it is fairly flexible and has the ability to grow possibly into a paid website as time goes by.

    in reply to: Managing the Dust Hazard #1421

    But that’s hardly a practical solution. Dust is a serious health issue that Sheds ignore at their peril.

    in reply to: Social Prescribing and Sheds #1253

    Hi Laura, I have perhaps a lead in to my GP Practice as I am a very active member of their Patient Participation Group. As part of our regular six-weekly PPG meetings, we now have a standard agenda item covering Men in Sheds West Bletchley’s activities where I provide an update on what we are doing, and what we plan to do. In addition, I regular contribute articles for the Practice newsletter, and we also now have a strap-line banner advertisement on the waiting room visual display so what we do is well known within the Practice and is supported wholeheartedly by the GPs and Practice Manager.

    In addition and outside of Men in Sheds, I am currently editing a “social prescribing” directory which lists all voluntary bodies in the Westbrook, Shenley Church End and West Bletchley areas of the wider Milton Keynes conurbation. This will be held on the Practice IT system as a fully searchable Excel spreadsheet which the GP can tailor to each patient during the consultation and “socially prescribe”. Men in Sheds is part of that with me as the contact.

    I have also through my PPG work, promoted the benefits of the Shed Movement more widely to the local Clinical Commissioning Group and a direct result of that is that I have a sympathetic ear in my Shed’s search for larger premises so if necessary, I could call upon contacts within the CCG to provide verbal backing to what we seek to achieve.

    It is not an instant ‘hit’ that will produce quick results, but something that requires dedication and patience. You often find yourself starting at first base to explain what Men’s Sheds are, and it is quite helpful to be able to have some sort of locally-based handout which gives a flavour of what we do. A newsletter is ideal for that if you have one, but given that I have a finite amount of time and have other interests, it is sometimes difficult to have something to hand which is up to date and relevant.

    One reservation which I have personally, and I stress it is personal, is we mostly do not have any medical training in how to manage requests to admit those who experience difficulties such as speech loss as a result of stroke or whose disability causes difficulties in adapting the Shed environment to meet those needs. We need to reach out to those people, but lack the experience and/or training to do so.

    Hopefully that is concise enough but happy to take this offline in more detail if necessary.

    With best wishes, Paul

    in reply to: New Shedder #1226

    Hi Chris,

    I’m sure that I speak on behalf of most when I say that we would welcome anybody who felt that they had something to contribute or get out of membership of our Shed. We do not discriminate on grounds of age or abilities.

    Sorry Steve, I have only just seen your response – seems the email alert failed to trigger a message in my mailbox!

    My Shed, Men in Sheds West Bletchley, is hosting the July gathering of the Buckinghamshire Shed Network and I have invited a speaker from UKMSA to come along and talk to those assembled about the work of the UKMSA and what more we can get out of our membership (It will probably be Laura I understand that comes). If free, you are most welcome to come along – it is to take place on Wednesday 11th July from 10.30 am until 2pm at the offices of West Bletchley Council. I will be sending out details to the Buckinghamshire Network nearer the time via our Google Group, but for now, I’m more than happy to add you to the distribution list so that you get an idea of the sort of things that go on so if you could email offline at I’ll be pleased to take that forward.

    It might be a bit ambitious, but might a South East/South of England “Meet the Sheds” Event be worth organising where ideas can be exchanged? It was tried in a small way this way a few years back locally and spawned quite a bit of interest although it was before I got involved with Shedding so my knowledge is hazy at best but I know contacts who would be able to advise. Hiring a conference facility at a hotel or sports venue might be a cheap option if we could interest UKMSA or a sponsor to cover or part-cover the costs.

    With best wishes,


    in reply to: Insurance #1083

    I’d be very interested to hear from other Sheds about their experience of using the ‘approved’ insurer, Ladbrook either good or bad.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)