2020 with Charlie Bethel

Charlie Bethel is the Chief Officer for the UK Men’s Sheds Association

Q: What’s your full name and title?
A: Charlie Bethel, Chief Officer

Q: What part of the world are you based in?
A: Nottingham
Editor: Sorry about your footy team mate…Rumor has it FOREST actually stands for Fear Of Relegation Every Saturday Teatime 🙂

Q: Tea or coffee? 
A: Lapsang Souchong Tea
Editor: My my aren’t we fancy…

Q: Guilty pleasure when it comes to fast food? 
A: Bacon, Black pudding and egg cob from the greasy spoon – everywhere is takeaway now!

Q: What’s your favourite film(s)?
A: Star Wars – Angels and Demons – Amazing Grace 

Q: What is your favourite book?
A: Letters of Note – lovely book of inspirational, amusing, fascinating letters

Q: How good of a Maker/ Shedder are you? choose one option below 
A: I’m like a toddler putting on lipstick… but I did make a lovely Christmas Tree from copper pipes – until the kids decorated it!
Editor: Excuses excuses…

Charlie’s Tree.

Q: Besides Shedding what’s your favourite pastime?
A: My wife and children
Editor: Your wife make you say that?

Q: What one thing we’d all be surprised to know about you?
A: I make awesome poached eggs

Q: What makes you laugh?
A: Political satire.

Q: What makes you sad?
A: Anti-societal behaviour, people have so much potential that is diminished by certain behaviours. 

Q: If you were a tool in a Men’s Shed which would you be and why?
A: A pencil because I love to sketch
Editor: So not just ‘the’ tool in the toolshed then?

Q: What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned this year?
A: To remember to use flux when soldering and to go with the flow – things change!

Q: What surprised you the most this year?
A: So many Shedders on Zoom, and my folks managing to get on Zoom on one occasion with the need of a phone call!

Q: Can you summarise what you believe Sheds have learned this year?
A: There is always a way and how to stay in touch with people who can’t make it to the Shed, even when lockdown is all over.

Q: Thinking forward to next year what can Shedders can be optimistic about?
A: Reopening those doors, staying more connected with those unable to attend 

Q: You’ll probably get more socks, but what do you hope you get for Christmas?
A: A lathe – I have a lot of yew and need for wooden bowls!
Editor: Thanks Charlie thank ‘yew’ for being a sport!


Woodturning Tips from the Blind Woodturner.

This month’s offering comes to you from the tiny village of Turnditch in the Derbyshire countryside. We sold our house and moved out on 23rd October. Our new home won’t be ready until mid-January so we are renting a holiday cottage in the meantime. All of our belongings are in storage and this includes my lathes, bandsaws, and other assorted bits of machinery

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Hart Matters

It’s nearly twelve months since Church Crookham and Fleet Men’s Shed opened the doors to our purpose-built workshop next to the allotments on the Crookham Park Estate. And what a twelve months! If anyone had said that in six months’ time we’d be closing the doors and the country would be in lockdown, we would have thought that they had put something in their tea, but how true they would have been.

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Meet an Ambassador: Charlie Parkes

I retired from Derbyshire Police in 2000 to a part-time role. In December 2016 I was invited to a Christmas fuddle at the home of Dorothy and Peter Whitaker who are Chief Executives of Valleycids, a local charity providing educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people. It is funded by a string of Lighthouse Charity Shops across Derbyshire and owns Charity Farm set up in 1740 to fund a school for the poor children of Swanwick.

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