Opening Evening: Puffers Café, Montgomery Street, Irvine Harbourside

5.30pm-7.30pm Thursday 27th September

The Scottish Maritime Museum will host a new Men’s Shed on Irvine Harbourside and anyone who would like to join the Shed is invited to an opening evening which will take place at Puffers Café on Montgomery Street, Irvine Harbourside, between 5.30pm-7.30pm on Thursday 27th September. 

From then, there will be regular meet ups at the Museum on Harbour Road as the new Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed grows. 

As Men’s Sheds are membership based, the group will be set up and developed by the men getting involved.

The Scottish Maritime Museum is also seeking physical or financial support to purchase temporary buildings to house the Shed. It is hoped to develop two spaces, one a ‘workshop’ with tools, workbenches and resources and, the other, a ‘social’ area with comfortable seating, heating and refreshment facilities. 

The Men’s Shed movement, which began in Australia in 2005, centres on encouraging groups of men to get together around activities that you could find in a garden shed, from engineering to creative writing and everything in between, in a way which benefits their health and wellbeing. 

The concept has taken off over the last 13 years and, today, there are 67 open Sheds in Scotland and 47 in development. 

The Scottish Maritime Museum received funding from the Robertson Trust to support a full time Learning and Access Officer, Jamie Menzies. Jamie is leading the development of the Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed. 

Those interested in joining the Shed or offering support to develop the workshop or social space, should contact Jamie on 01294 278283.

Jamie Menzies, Learning and Access Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, explains the inspiration behind Irvine Harbouside’s new Men’s Shed:

“We currently have a dedicated volunteer base, many of whom are men and mainly ex-engineers. They often cite loneliness and social isolation as a reason for volunteering. The new Men’s Shed project gives us the chance to offer all men, whatever their background, the opportunity to come together, learn new skills, become more social, get active and, in so doing, improve their mental wellbeing.

“A common phrase heard in Sheds is that “men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder” whilst working or enjoying a hobby with friends. This is something we have observed and admired about our volunteer base and we hope this camaraderie will be part of our Men’s Shed. 

“There are also demonstrable wider benefits to setting up a Shed. As well as supporting individuals, local communities in which Sheds have a firm place can benefit from projects, from Shed made planters and wendy houses for local nurseries through to commercial bicycle refurbishment schemes. We look forward to seeing Irvine Harbourside benefit similarly.”

David Mann, Director of the Scottish Maritime Museum, adds:

“The Museum has been involved in a number of projects which have benefited our local community in Irvine Harbourside and beyond, from offering employment to young people to learn traditional skills in our Boatbuilding School to reminiscence work in care homes. 

“The Men’s Shed project provides an excellent platform for men of all ages and backgrounds to get out of the house and participate in a group that is valuable to both themselves and the community.”