It is a gen­tle­man’s club with a dif­fer­ence

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

IT IS a gen­tle­man’s club with a dif­fer­ence – the New­town­moun­tkennedy & New­cas­tle Men’s Shed in the town­land of Kil­ladreenan.

The mem­bers have found a home for them­selves in a for­mer gar­den cen­tre which has been con­verted into a sit­ting room with a cheery stove and a welle­quipped workshop.

Those who come to en­joy the ca­ma­raderie of their fel­low men here have vary­ing views on what makes the ‘shed’ so ap­peal­ing.

For some, it is an op­por­tu­nity to make things, to dust off old skills and be qui­etly creative.

The out­put from the workshop in­cludes planters which are ex­ported to a Dublin school for dyslexic chil­dren and ‘ buddy benches’ for lo­cal schools.

For oth­ers, the chance to grow things in the mini-al­lot­ments is very at­trac­tive.

At this time of year, the out­door ac­tiv­i­ties are very at­trac­tive with a good crop of let­tuce, cab­bage and scal­lions com­ing through.

The N&N may well be the only Shed in the coun­try with its own live­stock – a flock of hens.

The ad­mirably spir­i­tual de­sire to plant and nur­ture and grow is laced with mis­chievous ri­valry as the gar­den­ers com­pete to pro­duce the big­gest onion or the finest toma­toes.

All agree that the craic and the ban­ter ex­changed in the best of good hu­mour are at the heart of the ven­ture.

The set-up of the shed rep­re­sents in­cred­i­bly good value for the ten­ner a year sub­scrip­tion – a bar­gain if ever there was one.

Mem­ber­ship is strictly limited to 50, which means that a wait­ing list has had to be in­tro­duced.

‘This is the best thing since the sliced pan,’ says one of the 50. ‘Any­one can come in here to read the pa­per and have a chat.’

New­cas­tle and New­town Mens Shed: Derek Car­roll, Jack Byrne, Willy Fitz­patrick, Colin Gam­mell, Der­mot Downes, Pat Doyle, Chair­man John Kelly, Paddy Mur­phy, Jpohn Mooney, Ed­die Gre­gory, James Gre­gory, Ger­ald Sin­nott.

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