REPORTS that local men were turning to a life of vice were confirmed when Winchester county councillor Jackie Porter officially opened the Alresford Men’s Shed, the “WI for chaps”.

Cutting the ribbon among the benches and lathes and tools of the Men’s Shed’s temporary donated home Cllr Porter applauded the work that has gone into building Alresford’s new not-for-profit meeting place and workshop for men.

Speaking to the packed room of Men’s Shed members and supporters at The Dean last Thursday, Cllr Porter said: “The whole community will benefit from this practical new facility, but it’s an invaluable space especially for men to meet like-minded chaps for a cuppa and a chance to bond over their woodworking, hobbies and DIY repairs.”

Having only received its start-up funding from Hampshire County Council and Alresford Pigs last year, Cllr Porter praised chairman Brian Durham, fundraising trustee Graham Smith, and the five other trustees responsible for getting the Men’s Shed off the ground.

“The speed between the initial idea and delivery has been very impressive – if only all council meetings could be so productive. And you have better fig rolls!” she joked.

Presenting Cllr Porter with a bouquet of flowers for her support, Mr Durham explained how it all started: “When I volunteered for Age Concern, the retired men I talked to said they desperately missed the comradeship and banter they enjoyed when they were at work. So I did a bit of research and I found Men’s Sheds on the internet – and the rest is history.”

Alresford Pigs member Peter Tudor was also on hand to present a cheque for £500 to Shed fundraiser trustee Graham Smith, taking their total donations to £3,300.

The Shed works closely with the Alresford Pigs Association and have a link in Shed trustee Nick Denbow who is training “Shedders” to maintain the mobility scooters that Pigs source or provide for Alresford residents who need them.

After thanking a long list of local charities, organisations and building firms for their support, Mr Smith appealed for help in finding a permanent home.