Barry Benning

After spending thirty five years in engineering workshops doubled over dirty, noisy and smelly lathes, milling machines and associated machinery I neatly and cleverly halved my income and became a nurseryman. During my engineering years I was fortunate to work in a number of interesting and varied industries predominantly research and development venture capital companies and a number of university departments.

Although working with plants has been good for my flaccid soul and very satisfying it has never entirely ousted the urge to make stuff. Over the years I have collected sufficient tools and machinery to outfit a reasonable workshop which has kept me engaged.

Then I retired and shifted house; everything changed and my social network, never large, contracted. I was in danger of becoming reclusive and odd.

‘The Shed’ has, for me, stepped into the breach and although I have never been a club sort of person what it offers suits me well. The interaction with other club members, especially when working on a common project fills the gaps that my home workshop cannot.

Presently the The Shed is dominated by one demographic i.e. male grey hair. Perhaps a case can be made that at this stage of building the new facility at the domain this demographic was advantageous and possibly necessary. However, the future is wide open.