Stoke’s ‘Men­zshed’ rises from the ashes

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - HAN­NAH BARTLETT

Rex Lu­cas is back in his happy place af­ter a long wait to re­turn to the work­bench.

The Stoke Re­tire­ment Vil­lage’s Men­zshed is back in busi­ness, af­ter a fire com­pletely gut­ted it a lit­tle more than a year ago.

The shed was built as a place for oc­cu­pants to do hand­i­work and re­pairs, or to learn new skills. Lu­cas, who lives at the vil­lage with his wife, said he spent nearly ev­ery day there.

But for about six months, he was left twid­dling his thumbs, wait­ing for it to be re­built.

‘‘I wan­dered around streets,’’ Lu­cas said.

His wife Pam said she was par­tic­u­larly glad the shed has been re­built, as it gave her hus­band some­thing to do.

Rex Lu­cas said he al­ways had a work­shop, and con­tin­u­ing with wood­work in his re­tire­ment gave him great sat­is­fac­tion.

‘‘I just like do­ing wood­work. I’m not into do­ing steel weld­ing the and all that non­sense…’’ he said.

Lu­cas said he re­mem­bers his first en­counter with a band­saw, back in 1948.

‘‘Papa saw me go in [to the work­shop] and I was look­ing at this ma­chine and didn’t know what it was, didn’t know what it did or any­thing,’’ Lu­cas said.

He said his fa­ther made him wait un­til morn­ing to see how it worked.

‘‘Be­lieve it or not he’d built a stand for me so I could look over the top,’’ he said.

‘‘That band­saw was de­stroyed in the fire here.’’

Lu­cas said while it was painful to have lost the sen­ti­men­tal band­saw, the im­por­tant thing was no one had been hurt.

He said in­surance had paid for the shed to be re­built, and for brand new re­place­ment equip­ment. Mitre 10 Mega had do­nated a brand new Makita saw­bench.

Lu­cas said he had been able to get back to mak­ing fold­ing pic­nic ta­bles and chairs, which his wife Pam paints, and which they sell around the re­gion’s mar­kets.

The ‘Men­zshed’ went up in flames last Jan­uary, at Stoke’s Omaio Vil­lage. Lu­cas said the cause of the fire was never es­tab­lished.


Rex Lu­cas with a new saw bench do­nated to the Menz Shed at Omaio Vil­lage, Stoke. A year ago the shed and all the equip­ment was de­stroyed by in a fire.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.