A shedload of opportunities

One for the guys out there next weekend, when June and Rachel will be talking about men and sheds – or, to be more precise, about men IN sheds…

For many chaps (Rachel’s husband Dean included!), a shed at the bottom of the garden is a favourite place to escape to for a bit of peace and quiet. But did you know that more than 11,000 men across the UK head to a shed for precisely the opposite reason?

Like John Nelson and Dez Williams, who’ll be joining the Girls Around Town on Sunday, they’re all Men in Sheds, a nationwide group supported by the UK Men’s Sheds Organisation, which was founded in 2013 to help raise awareness of the social and health benefits of Men’s Sheds in reducing isolation and loneliness and in empowering local communities.

Over the last five years, the number of sheds up and running has grown from around 30 to more than 460, with another 133 currently in development. And for those 11,000-plus Shedders, they’re places where they can share experiences, knowledge and skills while making friends for life with others who share interests and a common purpose.

It gives me a reason to get up in the morning… I feel a sense of worth and love the way all of the men work together

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon to hear John and Dez explain why they joined the Collingham Shed, what they and their fellow members get up to there and, above all, the difference being Shedders has made to their lives.

And, if you’re a man without a shed, to find out how to join them or track down a Shed near you…

On the IPA trail in and around Newark

ipaNo fewer than 18 pubs in and around Newark will be joining forces in a 10-day celebration of the classic beer style IPA (India Pale Ale) next month.

Organised by the Newark branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, the second IPA Trail takes place from Friday 1 to Sunday 10 August, in recognition of International IPA Day on Thursday 7 August. The trail will be launched at The Organ Grinder on Portland Street at 12 noon on Friday 1 August.

Pubs taking part in the Newark Trail will be

  • The Flying Circus – Newark
  • The Prince Rupert – Newark
  • The Fox & Crown – Newark
  • The Organ Grinder – Newark
  • The Castle & Falcon – Newark
  • The Sir John Arderne – Newark
  • The Castle Barge – Newark
  • The Rose & Crown – Balderton
  • The Chequers – Elston
  • The Final Whistle – Southwell
  • The Bramley Apple – Southwell
  • The Hearty Goodfellow – Southwell
  • The Old Coach House – Southwell
  • The Roaring Meg – Newark
  • The Real Ale Store – Newark
  • The Grey Horse – Collingham
  • The Castle Pub – Newark
  • Just Beer – Newark

Throughout the 10 days, they will all be featuring IPAs, with drinkers able to pick up a collector card from any of the pub and get a sticker for buying a pint or a half in participating pubs. Completed cards will be entered into a grand prize draw and there will also be a second prize draw for those visiting 10 pubs or more but not completing the Trail.

In recent years, Newark has become a real ale hub. With many pubs opening and breweries thriving, it is a stark contrast to the scene elsewhere in the country, where up to 30 pubs are closing each week on average.

Newark is also home to a number of other real-ale related businesses. Its real ale and pub scene helps to strengthen the town’s night time economy and provides a welcome boost to the town’s economic prosperity as a whole.

“There are numerous ale trails across the country, with many of them themed on a particular beer style,” said Derek Graham, Vice Chairman of Newark CAMRA and one of the Trail organisers. “But we believe we were the first to celebrate IPA this way, when we held the first trail last year.

“Originally brewed in London and Burton-on-Trent for the colonial market, particularly the troops in India, this was once a classic British beer type and is now increasing in popularity again.

“We are expecting more than 40 different IPAs to be available during the 10 days and the Trail also gives us a chance to showcase many of the excellent pubs we have in the branch area.”