Aldridge Shed Experiences
Aged nearly 75 I held a very responsible senior position with a large international company. Due to health problems i.e. heart attack, pacemaker, stroke etc I was unable to continue & had to retire. I was also unable to do the maintenance to keep our home to the standard required so we sold up & moved to a very nice apartment one of the main problems with retirement I have been a workaholic & found it very hard.
For several months I was a fish out of water with no purpose in life but to annoy my wife & make a nuisance off myself at home or sit & watch T V. My wife saw a T V program about the Shed organisation. I researched this on the net & found The Aldridge Shed so we went along & met people with similar back grounds & interests.
I have been a member now for 18 months and my wife and family have passed comments on how I have changed for the better in attitude, tolerance & have got back my get up & go which I had lost for several months.
The ability to talk to people swap ideas & implement them or sit & catch the gossip.
The Shed has given me purpose to live making new friend broadening my horizons with a new outlook to life also saved me ear ache from my wife.
Due to long term medical problems, I had not worked for over 10 years. I became trapped in a cycle of increasing pain and stronger and stronger painkillers, this resulted in me having to continually say no to going out and socialising, inevitably and understandably the offers to do so practically ceased. Being constantly stuck at home, on the odd occasion I did go out, I had little to contribute and worse still I’m ashamed to say, felt resentful towards people, who were merely getting on with their lives. Along with feeling bad for not being the one who was supporting my family. I couldn’t even take my son to a football match. I felt pretty retched
Don’t get me wrong I have a lot to be thankful for I have a wonderful and loving wife and family.
Then in the summer of 2016. Having had surgery a year before and finally coming out of the haze of pain medication (that was fun) my wife saw an advert from a local blogger for ‘Aldridge Shed’ and knowing that I enjoyed woodworking, pushed and prodded me along to their open day.
So off I went and having been met with a barrage of ‘Hello’ and enthusiastic zeal, I joined.
Within twelve months, my confidence had returned, I get to use and share my skills with others and they share theirs with me but most of all I get to spend time with likeminded people, I even get phone calls and visits from fellow shedders at home. I really enjoy my time at the ‘Shed’.
Unfortunately, my medical problems are raising their ugly heads again and I am again at the beginning of the cycle of strong painkillers. The difference this time is I feel more able to cope with what may come. The shed has become a community of which I am delighted to be part of.
I found the Shed purely by accident but having said that becoming a member has given me hours of enjoyment.
I have mastered new skills I never thought possible and enjoyed the companionships of the other members. It has given me an aim in life and I have made numerous items for friends and family.
Some members use it purely for companionship and that’s fine, anything that gets people out of the house is a brilliant idea, long may it continue. It’s the best thing I have ever done.
When I took early retirement in 2016 I looked around for some new experiences to help fill my new found extra leisure time. I found details of the Aldridge Shed Opening up and made my way to their Opening Day. I was made most welcome and took up membership there and then ( nothing ventured nothing gained )
Despite being dreadful at woodwork whilst at school I could appreciate the pleasure of possibly making something with my own hands . My first project was a simple nest box which allowed me to start to understand the woodworking machinery that is available for all members to use.
After the nest box was a success I found several family members and friends gave me orders for such and I was able to make them with personal touches like a felt roof and rustic edging pieces – they went down a treat with my family and friends.
My new found woodworking skills then moved onto simple garden planters which , again , the family all liked and several requests followed.
My weekly visits to the Shed were always a pleasure and the other members were always very helpful with advice and help when I needed to tackle a new task.
My range extended when we spotted a small wooden ornament in a shop window whilst on holiday in St Ives in Cornwall . The object in question was a small model row of beach huts , brightly painted and very evocative of the seaside . My wife remarked that “ You could make those at the Shed? “ I duly prepared a template and made about 30 beach huts which were then painted and finished off. I gave these to friends who sold them to raise funds at their Church bazaar.
My “ product range “ has subsequently increased to include several versions of Wooden Snowmen which I give to friends and family at Christmas and also a Solitary Bee Hotel which is easily made from bamboo sticks and surplus wood which we always have at the Shed.
I have made new friendships whilst at the Shed , there is a good atmosphere and we always have a laugh and joke . I have improved my Woodworking skills and am pleased to have recently been invited to join the Shed Steering Committee.
Please come along to the Aldridge Shed if you feel you would benefit from membership.
When I retired I had a whole house to decorate in between gardening and holidays, this kept me busy for two or three years then I started having time on my hands and although I kept in touch with my old workmates they didn’t tend to be around in the day time and my wife was often out at knit and natter club or with the Towns Women’s Guild, then the Shed came along. Although I had a workshop of sorts I didn’t have the tools and equipment for larger projects and working on your own in a cold garage doesn’t hold a lot of appeal. At the Shed you have all the tools and equipment you need and more importantly company, people to have a laugh and joke with and the banter I missed from being at work. The range of skills of the members means you are rarely short of advice and often able to pass on your own skills. I often have days when all I do is chat and help other members with their projects, all much better options than sitting at home watching daytime TV.”