Pembroke Dock Men's Shed welcomed two visitors from the Men's Shed Associations of Ireland and Australia last week. They were on their way to Hampshire to meet with other shedders from Australia, Ireland and the UK, to celebrate the growth of Men's Sheds and share experiences.

Jim Lyons, representing the amateur radio group, who are members of the shed, used the radio equipment to let members know when the ferry bringing the visitors from Ireland had arrived at the port.

Dave, from Australia, reported that their well established association of around 870 Men's Sheds has over 150,000 individual members and enjoys good government support. This encouraging story was echoed by John from the Ireland Association who said "On average one new shed a week is being established in Ireland and the groups serve their communities by providing a place for men to meet and share skills."

With the overseas visitors was Rhodri Walters from Hafan Cymru. Rhodri is developing the Men's Sheds Cymru Association which will help to develop and support Men's Sheds all across Wales. Rhodri is particularly keen to build on the success of the Pembroke Dock shed and develop a Pembrokeshire cluster of sheds that will be able to work together and make a real difference to communities across the county.

The visitors were delighted to receive a memento of their visit. Copies of Phil Carradice's 'Old Postcards of Pembroke Dock' were presented by the Pembroke Dock chairman Des Parry, who reminded everyone that one of their aims was to be a caring and sharing group.

Before leaving, the visitors enjoyed refreshments with shed members and guests from Communities First, and the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

The Men's Sheds Cymru Association is keen to speak to anyone interested in joining or setting up a Men's Shed. Anyone interested should contact Rhodri Walters by e-mail or phone at Hafan Cymru [email protected]">[email protected] 01267 225555.