The Orkney Men's Shed      

Registered Charity SC 046611




It was last updated on August 19th 2016



There will be a progress meeting at the St Colm's Centre, Pickaquoy Road on Monday 29th August from 6.30 to 9 pm where members of the steering committee will explain how we started, where we are now and our hopes for the future of the Shed here in Orkney.  The informal presentation will take place around 7.30.  All are welcome and there will be an opportunity to ask questions, meet other prospective members and have a cuppa and homebakes.  Contact any of the steering committee to express your interest or just turn up on the night.  Membership forms (free) will be available, together with some information and examples of the kind of projects possible in the Shed, but hopefully you will have your own ideas!



Latest developments with our Shed


We now have Charitable Status conforming to SCIO regulations

***Site under Construction, our Shed is not yet Operational***


The Men's shed movement started in Australia and was taken up in Scotland in about 2012, the first being in Westhill, Aberdeen.


What is a Men's Shed?

    It's just a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A Men's Shed offers this to a group of such men where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. They are places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction. A place of leisure where men come together to work.

The activities in the Shed usually involve making or mending in wood (e.g. carpentry, joinery, turning, carving, marquetry, furniture renovation) but may also include metalworking (turning, milling, sheet metalwork, welding) bike repair, gardening, electronics, tool renovation, boat renovation, model engineering (model railways, aeroplanes) and even building a car!  

Using computers and photography often feature in the activities. Reclamation, reuse and restoration usually feature strongly – and some say that is true of the men too! Although Sheds mostly attract older men, some have included men of any age, women and young people. Whichever activities are pursued the essence of a Shed is not really the building, but the network of relationships which develop between the members. Health benefits, both physical and mental are frequently mentioned by members of other sheds.

We are well aware of the immense practical talent here in Orkney and perhaps some of you might like to be a part of this exciting and worthwhile new venture. Even if you feel that you don't have anything practical to offer, you might just want to meet up with fellow enthusiasts for a chat and the usual banter when like minded folk are gathered together. Rest assured, there will be a working kettle and a tin of biscuits 'aboot hands'

Some might be only too pleased to pass on skills learned in a lifetime of work or just be there to lift the other end of a long piece of 6 by 2 and perhaps learn new skills in the process.

The Westhill folk have gradually developed an income stream by refurbishing unwanted donated tools ready for sale and undertaking small projects for the community which would not be commercially viable. This ensures that they can purchase more equipment for use in the shed and that they don't tread on anyone's toes who is trying to make a living.  This too will be our intention.


A few suggestions for activities which might be undertaken at the Shed:
Clock repair.   Video transfer and editing.  Marquetry.
Photography.   Cookery.   Model making
Boat repair.   Vehicle restoration.   Fitness activities
Board games.   Jigsaws.    Darts
Snooker/Pool.   Chess/draughts     Straw work
Carpentry.   Sheet metalwork.   Engraving
Ships in bottles.   Pyrography.   Lino cut printing
Musical instrument making and repair.   Pottery.   Etching
3D printing.   Computing.   Rug making
Sketching/drawing/painting.   Birdwatching.   Fly tying
Amateur Radio.   Weather recording.  Gardening.
Home brewing.    Electronics.   Model railways
Stamp/coin collecting.   Orienteering.   Furniture restoration
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list - if you have something you would like to try then it is just as valid as any of the others in the list.  Activities in the Shed are decided by the members themselves, within the bounds of decency and common sense.  Nuclear fission and fusion would most likely be prohibited!



How much does it cost to Join?

There will be no charge to join the Shed and no fees for attending but an application will have to be made and considered by the Committee.


Where will the Shed be?

At present we are looking for suitable premises, hopefully accessible to most of the Mainland and preferably fairly close to transport links.

BBC Radio Orkney broadcast a feature on their Bruck program recently, it can be found on the Sound Cloud and starts at about 11 mins 30 secs into the program but you might be interested in other parts too.



Our podcast is now live!

Morgan has now done a Podcast which is now available on the Orkney Podcasts site at under 'New retreat place for men in Orkney'



If you feel that you need more information and it sounds like something you would like to be a part of, please contact one of us:


Morgan Harcus: morharcus 'at' btinternet 'dot' com

Andrew Swain:  andrewj 'dot' swain 'at' phonecoop 'dot' coop

Dr John Corse:  jocorse 'at' aol 'dot' com

Ian Stallard:  ianstallard 'at' hotmail 'dot' com

Ross Groundwater: ross 'dot' groundwater 'at' orkney 'dot' gov 'dot' uk

David Harvey: deharvey100 'at' gmail 'dot' com



please add the correct symbols to make valid addresses which will help prevent spam


Important health warning:

If you become a member of the Shed you run the very real risk of becoming more interested in life and your surroundings, more healthy both physically and mentally and will almost certainly miss many televised repeats of Strictly come Baking on Ice - you have been warned!


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