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Full steam ahead for Men’s Shed as Nairn group acquires second building at town's railway station


By Donald Wilson

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Chairman of Nairn Men's Shed John Rushforth at the new premises at Nairn station. The group have acquired the central section of the main building on the north side of station. Picture: Gary Anthony
Chairman of Nairn Men's Shed John Rushforth at the new premises at Nairn station. The group have acquired the central section of the main building on the north side of station. Picture: Gary Anthony

An organisation which provides a meeting place for men has secured a second building on the platform at Nairn Railway Station for their activities.

The Men's Shed opened a workshop in what was originally waiting rooms on the south platform at the Victorian railway hub more than two years ago.

Now its members are eagerly awaiting the lifting of Covid restrictions so they can develop another waiting room which has been lying unused for many years on the north platform.

The Men's Shed initiative to tackle social isolation among older men started off in Australia and has spread worldwide.

Nairn Men's Shed spokesman John Rushforth said both buildings had been leased to the group for a peppercorn rent by Scotrail.

Since it's launch they now have over 30 members who use their skills in a fully fitted workshop providing machinery to enjoy their hobbies and at the same time making equipment for local community groups.

"It was fantastic news to learn Scotrail were giving us a lease on the waiting room on the north platform.

"We can have a coffee in the workshop but this will give us space to build a new kitchen for socialising gatherings.

"We actually took delivery of the new kitchen but work had to stop when the restrictions were put in place. We are looking forward to getting back to our live meetings. At present we keep in touch through Zoom."

The lease to take over the second building was signed in December.

Funding has been provided by the Railway Heritage Trust and other bodies for both projects.

It cost £10,000 to redevelop the workshop space on the south platform which for many years operated as a flower shop and a similar sum is being spent on the new building.

"We are responsible for the upkeep of both buildings and we have lots of skills in our membership who can turn their hand to anything," said John.

Before lockdown we built picnic benches for an orchard in Viewfield park, storage boxes for schools and hobby tables for the Alzheimer's Day Centre.

"The work will go ahead when restrictions are lifted and we can we can re-start activities."


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