Marr Area Committee Grant

The Banchory Men’s Shed is pleased to announce that our funding drive continues very successfully with the latest grant, this time from Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr Area Committee.  The sum of up to £4,445 would in full take the total allocated to our Phase 2 build (see here) to £39,945. This leaves just over £17,000 left to find. Our sincere thanks to the Marr Area Committee for expressing their support in such a solid manner.

View from a Shed – Update

With the focus on the building of our shed itself, we should remember, this is the view from our Shed.  Nice to sit out and look at, when the weather plays ball:

The last couple of weeks have been busy.


We held our 2019 AGM last Thursday, where the Chairman confirmed our good financial position and listed a number of achievements over the year:

  • The Lease with the Legion was signed
  • We were able to build up sufficient funds for Phase 1
  • The contract was awarded and we started building work on Phase 1
  • We have already made considerable progress towards Phase 2 funds with grants totalling £35,500 within an estimated budget of around £57,000 – that is, only about £20,000 left to go.  (For more details on how Phases 1 and 2 are defined see here.)
  • Further funding applications are under way
  • Our weekly social meetings continue, some with guest speakers in 2018/2019
  • We have had a number of tool sales coinciding with the Legion’s Book/Car Boot sales
  • We have donated surplus items to Scouts and surplus vouchers to the Food Bank

We had a few changes in Trustees, and the new list can be seen here, and we have also had a number of new members joining us over the last couple of months. Welcome.

Building Update

The fitting-out stage is now in progress, with the Electrical work being started today, Tuesday 18th June.  In a few days’ time we shall have a working electrical feed of our own, plug points and full lighting.  The only work left on the fabric will be to fireproof the steel beams, and complete final painting.  We will then move on and install whatever equipment and facilities we want. And on that point…

What do we want in the Phase 1 Shed?

In last Thursday’s meeting we agreed that although we have not been short on ideas for what we want in the Banchory Men’s Shed, without a building to use it was rather difficult to make these things happen.  Since we are now within weeks of opening, we can again focus on what we want.  An e-mail has gone out to all members asking for their individual ideas. Even if you have not had the email, you can also forward any of your own ideas by e-mail to – suggestions are not limited to current members of the Shed; if you are thinking of ever joining you can also let us know what you might like to see.

We will collate these first round responses and then carry out a second round to establish what are the most popular needs, and which of these can be delivered – we need to bear in mind that the Phase 1 room must initially share both social and workshop facilities, and that anything expensive needs to be funded.  The second round will probably take the form of a web questionnaire and we will post details.

Other goings on

We have acquired a trailer.  This was very kindly donated by the family of our late member David Thomson who passed on last year. We will store it at a member’s house and be able to use it for, well, as a trailer.  Huge thanks (again) to the Thomson family.

Visit to Stonehaven Shed.  Several BMS members are visiting the nearly-complete Stonehaven Men’s Shed on Thursday, as both a social visit and to learn anything we can from each other.

Cracking On with Phase 1 Build

Or: “You’re only supposed to put the bloomin’ doors on”

Today, Friday 31st May, has seen rapid progress towards our Phase 1 Men’s Shed Premises.  We are now “wind and water tight”.  Many thanks to Alan P for staying with it all day to make sure it went according to plan.

Earlier in the week, the “windows” on the right hand wall were blocked in and a small painting party (Alan and Howard) on Tuesday finished off the first, sealing, coat on the blockwork.

Today’s progress can be seen in the slideshow below, and now the doors are on, you begin to get a feel for the place, and that the workshop area will be a very useful space.

  • Cracking on

The pics show the set of fluorescent lighting ready to be put up, and the main thing left now is the electrics.  These will consist of the ceiling lighting, plus a number of power points around the room with, finally, emergency power shut-off buttons to allow for any machines that may need them.

Now the up-and-over door has been moved to Bay 2 we can also get at the steelwork to fireproof it. The final thing will be the final painting of the walls.

Powering ahead with funding from Apache North Sea

The Banchory and District Men’s Shed has received a generous donation of £20,000 from Apache North Sea towards converting the open area of the Legion’s undercroft into a multi-purpose workshop and social area – what we refer to as “Phase 2”.

Banchory Legion Undercroft

Karen Williamson, Human Resources Manager, Apache North Sea, commented: “Apache has a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of its people and is delighted to be able to contribute to the local community in supporting the expansion of the Banchory Men’s Shed. This in turn will help to prevent isolation, improve wellbeing and bring people in the community together to a welcoming space, to share skills and most importantly, have fun”.

For the full Press Release, please click here (opens .pdf file)

Understanding Phase 1 Build

As many will know, we have started to actually build the Banchory Men’s Shed.

“Phase 1”, which is fully funded, is the creation of the Workhop area in what we know as “Garage Bay 1” of the Legion, beneath the ballroom.  Initially, this will be what we need it to be as our desired usage becomes clear, with some workshop facilities, but probably also some Social capability – all to be decided, and down to you, the Shedder.

Garage Bay 1 was the garage in which the Legion kept their minibus, so for its new home, it will be moved to Bay 2 or 3. However, the front of Bay 2 is currently bricked up, with garden tools stored behind.  What we will be doing is to knock down the Bay 2 blockwork and move the up-and-over door from Bay 1 to Bay 2. This gives garage access to both Bays 2 & 3 for the Legion to site the bus, garden tools etc., as they need to.  We will then put our own doors and windows on the front of Bay 1.

These are the basic elements of the build, and some photographs can be seen below

  • Which bay is which

There have been some small complications, but nothing insoluble.  Already “fixed” is the fact that behind the block front of Bay 2 used to be some central heating piping which feeds the heaters in the Ballroom above. These would have prevented the up-and-over door mechanism from being fitted, so the piping has been re-routed to give clearance.

There are also some “holes” – three old windows from back when Bay 1 was alone, which are already blocked up inside Bay 2 – and a couple of vent duct and air gaps at the back.  All these are next on the list, to be blocked up with matching blockwork.

Also to be done is to fireproof the bare RSJ members in Bay 1, which is a modern building regulation requirement, and all quite normal. This will be done using “Intumescent” paint to give the required 60 minutes fire resistance.  However, the up-and-over door is restricting access at present, so we can only do that after the door is moved.

We will be sealing and painting the interior blockwork, and fixing lighting and electrical supplies round the walls, and finally fitting the double-glazed access doors and windows either side.  The exact construction sequence has been developing as we come across these various issues.

The Phase 1 “build”, as you can see, is really just a reconfiguration of a number of building features and is a combination of quite limited pieces of work, but we are looking forward to the end result.  We’re still waiting to get a better idea of the final completion date, but at present this is looking like August or September.

BMS in the News

A couple of articles were published yesterday, spreading the news about BMS progress and the start of our build.  Good to see this coverage – thanks!

Links are on the Press page and also here:  P&J  and AJCC

Be Yourself in a Men’s Shed

The new healthy living magazine for the North-East of Scotland, called “Be You”, has included a great article in its Spring 2019 Launch Issue, on Men’s Sheds.  With background from the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association Exec. Officer, Jason Schroeder, the article covers what a Men’s Shed is, the genesis of the Men’s Sheds movement and its development in Scotland.

Whilst many of those already familiar don’t need any more convincing, it is good to see the Men’s Shed message get out to a wider audience, and this will hopefully yield more members, especially in Banchory as our Phase 1 build starts.

You can read the article in the attached file – click the picture on the right to download a .pdf file.

For your own magazine copy, look out for it in many locations, including Number One in Banchory, Doctors and Dentists surgeries, most cafes and restaurants, hairdressers and beauticians, and Deeside physio amongst others, and learn more about local facilities and businesses.

Many thanks to Be You magazine for permission to reproduce the article.

Phase 1 Build Starting !

Garage Bay 1 – white door on the right. Phase 2 will be where the 3 spaces are

The Banchory Men’s Shed is delighted to announce that the “Phase 1” build is starting on Tuesday 16th April. This is the conversion of the first garage bay into a workshop area, with mixed use (social and workshop) until Phase 2 is built. We are finalising planning notifications etc. at present, and from next week we will publish photos of things as they progress.


March 2019 Update

Many Things have been happening in the world of the Banchory Men’s Shed since we last updated the web site, rather a long time ago. And with confirmation of the main event now received, we can announce a number of matters.

Signing of the Lease

After much work and many months of “final” lease clarifications, the Banchory Men’s Shed is very pleased to announce that in January/February we finalised and signed our Lease with the Banchory Legion, to allow us to proceed with the next stages of creating our Men’s Shed. The signed Lease has now been acknowledged by and is back with the Solicitors for registration.

In achieving this milestone our Chairman, Paul, has managed to maintain an outward appearance of placid control and equanimity, much as a duck on a pond does, belying the reality that below the water the feet have been furiously paddling away, mainly between one set of solicitors and another. Our thanks are due to Paul, to staff at the Legion, and to everyone involved in making this happen over the last couple of years

Our next move is to re-engage with builders and get the building work under way for the “Phase 1” (Workshop) section. We will update you in due course as to how this is progressing and when we have a start date.

Workshop Equipment

With an excellent sense of timing, we are also grateful to one of our members who is downsizing, who has offered to donate his home workshop facilities to the Shed for installing in the Phase 1 Workshop room. This is gratefully acknowledged and we are currently working out temporary storage arrangements between his imminent house move and the Phase 1 room being ready.

Phase 2 Fund raising

Further funds have been received for our Phase 2 (Social Area) plans. In January, Shell UK awarded a sum of £1000 which we are allocating against the Phase 2 funding target, thus reaching £15,500 out of £57,000. A number of other grant sources remain open for applications and we will be able to update in due course.

Guest Speaker – 12th March

Chris Third of the Scottish Health Council will be coming to our social meeting on Tuesday to speak about ways in which you can become involved with improving local health services.  Please bring your partners and friends if they are interested.

The aim of the Scottish Health Council is to improve how the NHS listens to you, how it values peoples’ views and experience, how it respects us all as individuals, and how it involves you in the planning and delivery of health and care services. This is an interesting opportunity to find out how things work.

The talk will be part of our regular Tuesday social meeting, at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday 12th March at the Legion Banchory in Ramsay Road. We look forward to seeign you there.