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Gosport Shedders save HMS Collingwood’s cross

15 June 2017
HMS Collingwood recently hosted members of the Gosport Men’s Shed to bacon butties in the Chaplaincy as a thank-you for refurbishing the cross that stands outside.

Taking pride of place outside the Establishment’s church, the oldest building on the site, the cross, although structurally sound, needed to be completely stripped back to the bare wood as years of harsh weather had taken its toll.  The Shedders then had to re-stain and re-varnish the wood equating to a total of about 40 hours’ work.

The men from Gosport Shed have been kept busy by HMS Collingwood as they have also just finished building a new sign from scratch for the Base’s Woodentots nursery.

Ian Bainbridge, the Shed’s Workshop Manager, explained that the Shedders are now working on restoring two cannons for HMS Nelson, having just finished making candle holders and a new sign for a church in Alverstoke. They have also refurbished an historic diving bell for the Diving Museum and renovated a lampstand outside St Vincent College.

The Gosport Men’s Shed is a good thing, it’s like the WI for men! Sometimes men are encouraged to come along by their wives but once they’re here they usually stay.

Jim Coleman

Jim Coleman said, “The Gosport Men’s Shed is a good thing, it’s like the WI for men! Sometimes men are encouraged to come along by their wives but once they’re here they usually stay.”

Brian Richards, the Shed’s Facebook photographer, added, “When men are at work, they have their circle of friends there that they can say hello to every morning.

"After retirement, lots of men find they have no contact with that network and they miss that contact every day. For ex-servicemen it’s even worse so Gosport Shed provides that camaraderie. We’re a strong team.”

The Shed movement started in Australia in the 1990s and the Gosport branch, founded in 2013, is acknowledged as one of the largest in the UK with around 140 members.

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