The embers are glowing at the Phoenix Shed…

Follow me as Ed Moss and Chris Freeman provide an exclusive look into the Phoenix Shed!

1. Mural donated to Shed 2. Money Box 

I visited the Shed, initially expecting to find an amateur woodworking workshop, offering men something to do, only to find out that there is much more than that available to members.

As I was shown around, it was abundantly evident that each member that comes through the Shed is much more than a name.

I’ve been regaled with several touching, success stories and evidence of dignified support available in time of hardship.

You get to know the people who visit, you make meaningful connections, you find solutions to their problems and there is the Shed’s uniqueness. It actively promotes social cohesion and integration to society.

What is the Phoenix Shed?

A place where men are reborn

The Phoenix Shed is a place for men over the age of 55 to meet, greet and find support from each other during what life has in store.

Being a member of the Shed opens up avenues to support that would otherwise not be readily available. What makes this place special is the emotional support, camaraderie and genuine concern the members find from those running the Shed, each other and ultimately, themselves.

Not the least, the Phoenix Shed offers the opportunity to its members to engage in woodwork, wood turning, joinery projects among other things.

The woodworking areas of the Shed are well stocked with material and equipped with well maintained, good grade tools.

Their work has been featured at Hebden Bridge, in the form of a golden painted bench sitting in the Town Hall.

1. Chris with a vintage chair he restored 2. Bench similar to that found at Hebden Bridge Townhall 3. Planter made from reclaimed wood

Several other works, including benches, planters as well as birdboxes, hedgehog shelters, as well as many, many more projects have been commissioned.  If you need a walking stick or hiking pole, they can make those too and they’re rather good at it.

1. Ed displaying a shepherd’s hook and walking stick 2,3,4. Walking sticks made by members of the shed with different handles.

As well as that, members are instructed in the finer art of wood carving and wood turning, creating some impressive pieces of work.

One of their members is teaching woodcarving at The Shed and he is also a member of the West Riding Woodcarvers, who have large panels of work in several West Yorkshire Hospices, including Overgate.

Samples of wood carved panels (carved by George)

The Shed welcomes all men over the age of 55, especially those who have for any reason become displaced and isolated from society.

Membership involves an annual £20 fee and a small contribution per visit.

You don’t have to do woodwork to attend. There is a lounge where you can get a hot drink and just have a conversation.


Many have been wanting to know when the Phoenix Shed will be welcoming its members back.

The Shed has been operating quietly, following Covid guidelines during the past year and a half, offering what help and support it could to its members.

It offered a time to reflect, take stock and prepare for the reopening. A lot of work is currently afoot at their Threeways Centre hub and it won’t be long before you can go back to your favourite hub again!

Carving of the Shed’s Phoenix

The recent past and the future of the Phoenix Shed

Before we came to the lockdown, the Phoenix Shed had been doing some amazing things in the local community.  Their most recent project involved the pupils of Moorside Community Primary School.  The school had been planning a community garden and wanted to encourage wildlife into it, so they enlisted the help of The Shed.  What came out of that was a wonderful amalgamation of old brains and youthful exuberance.  The Shed made up 8 bird box kits, a hedgehog house and a bird table.

Eddie Moss and Chris Freeman, from The Shed, visited the school in March and two groups of children and parents made up the 8 bird boxes.  The joy of seeing 8 and 9 year old children banging nails in with all their might, with smiles on their faces, will live in me forever.  With hope, these animal houses will attract many birds and maybe a hedgehog family next year.

The Future

 The trustees of The Shed are having to deal with the way forwards and to address this they are considering how this can be achieved, in keeping with the Government’s guidelines, with help from the UK Men’s Sheds Association.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Men’s sheds are set up to help tackle social isolation.  If you know of someone who could benefit from joining the Phoenix Shed, please contact Chris Freeman – 07930207537, or Eddie Moss 07481543881.  We have so much to offer!

The Story of Beauty the Rocking Horse

From Grandma’s redundant upright piano, ‘Beauty’ the rocking horse, was made by a lady called Pearl Howarth around 28 years ago, but was never finished.

The horse never rocked, but was fitted to a wooden frame and many children enjoyed just sitting on her back.

And then something rather magic happened!

At a Staying Well ‘Bring Your Neighbour’ event last November, Pearl was introduced to Chris Freeman from The Phoenix Shed, Halifax. “Can you make a rocking horse rock?” Pearl asked, and Chris said that he would love to take on the challenge.

So on 12 December ‘Beauty’ arrived at The Shed and work started. Well, not so much as start, but first the research as to where to source all of the necessary kit.

Then Chris struck gold and found that Yorkshire Rocking Horses were based in Hebden Bridge, with a workshop in Sowerby Bridge. The proprietor, Steve Bulcock, was more than willing to give valuable advice and supply the necessary ‘Restoration Kit’, which would be needed to complete the project.

Pear came along to The Shed to finish off the paintwork one Saturday in January and Chris then set about the restoration of some of the 28 years of wear and tear, before starting to ‘dress’ the horse.

Slowly, over the next few months, Chris was able to get The stand built up, varnished and then mount ‘Beauty’ on the stand using the special hangers and brackets, supplied by Steve.

Then finally on Monday 28th May the day had finally come to deliver ‘Beauty’. Thanks to Paul from Green Homes for the help with the move, using his van.

As you can see from the photo, ‘Beauty’ is now complete with what every good rocking horse should have, a bucket and shovel. However, due to the rarity of ‘rocking-horse-droppings, the bucket is empty!

Challenge complete!

Bird Boxes, Toilet Roll Holders and Garden Benches from Phoenix Shed

The guys at the Phoenix Shed have been busy making bird boxes for this Spring and now have a small stock, just waiting for some bird friendly customers. The ‘Standard’ bird box is of a typical RSPB design, but is easier to clean. Our newest offering is a ‘Swift’ nest box. All of these are on offer at £15 each, or £24 for two. Their quality means that they will give many, many years of service, without needing to be painted, or treated.






A Posh Toilet Roll Holder


The brief was’ “I would like a sort of rustic toilet roll holder that will hang from the towel rail under the hand basin”. So here’s what was made for the lady.



Garden Benches

They now have garden benches all ready to grace your garden this summer. Made of pressure/heat treated timber and triple coated with Ronseal 5 year paint, they should give many, many years of faithful service. They are also very sturdy and competitively priced at just £125.

And next week a story about Victoria Road, Hebden Bridge and how The Phoenix Shed has worked with the local community to clean up the are in time for summer.

Great News from the Phoenix Shed

Thanks to kind donations, The Phoenix Shed now has sufficient wood carving and wood turning tools to be able to offer more older men (over 55s) the chance to take up either, or both, wood turning and wood carving.

Sticky George (of Ogden fame) runs walking stick making and wood carving on Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Several members are now doing wood turning and one member has made two lovely wood carving mallets for the Shed.

If you, or someone you know, would like to come along and try out walking stick making, wood carving, or wood turning, please ring Chris Freeman 07930 207537 to book a place. Price is £2.00 per session for members and £5 for non members. Membership is just £20 per year.

They are a really friendly bunch and we can assure everyone that they will receive a warm and hearty welcome.

Get your Presents from the Phoenix Shed!

The Phoenix Shed Halifax can make a whole load of different sorts of things that you could give as Christmas presents.

Walking Sticks

Stick A is a Derby head in American white oak with an English chestnut shaft.  The head is reinforced with a hard steel pin.  It would suit a person about 5ft 6in, but could be made smaller and could be fitted with a rubber tip.  £35

Stick B is a Ring Stick with American white oak head and English cherry shaft. These sticks are often taken into a show ring and used to tap a bull, or cow to get them to move.  However, as it’s quite small, it would be great for a child.  Again the head is reinforced with a hard steel pin. £25

Stick C is ‘Benny the Beluga’ head in honour of the Thames Beluga Whale.  The head is English silver birch with a cotoneaster shaft from my own garden.  Again the head is reinforced with a hard steel pin and the shaft can be cut to suit the buyer. £50 represents the uniqueness of this stick.

Ring either Eddie on 07481 543881 or Chris on 07930 207537 for more details

Bird Boxes

Maybe you would like a bird box.  If one is put up during Winter, it will ensure that birds are used to it come Spring time and they may even roost in it during bad winter weather.

The Phoenix Shed standard bird box is made to an RSPD design from untreated pine.  With 22mm thick timber they offer excellent insulation.  They also have a unique and very simple way to clean them.

The front entry hole shown is 29mm, but smaller, or larger holes can be made to suit different birds. 29mm is ideal for most sparrows and tits. Half front boxes can be made to suit robins and wrens.

All of the boxes are £15.


The good news is that Phoenix Shed has just taken delivery of a new batch of Red Pine, so they are better placed to continue with garden benches and planters, ready for next season. They can make a whole load of other things as well.

However, if you want things for Christmas, best get cracking now, before it’s too late.

If you know of a man, over 55, who is not getting out enough and maybe needs a new purpose in life then he can learn new skills, or pass on what they already know.

The Shed is open to all men over 55 years, Monday and Wednesday 9:30am–4:00pm and Friday, 9:30am–12:30pm. They are located in Threeways Centre, Nursery Lane, Ovenden (the old Ridings School). Give either Eddie 07481 543881, or Chris 07930 207537 a ring to discuss. 

Find them on Facebook! @Phoenix Shed or come along and see what else we do.

Phoenix Shed

Give a Hog a Home – Hog Houses at the Phoenix Shed

Would you like to give a hedgehog a home? Well the chaps at The Phoenix Shed have been doing just that and three are now safely in sheltered spots in three gardens. This is the time to get these hedgehog houses in place ready for leaf fall and give the hedgehogs time to adapt to them. The hog house is big enough not just for hibernation, but also for breeding.

The hog house is approximately 600mm long x 430mm wide and 240mm high. The timber is 30mm thick and will provide excellent insulation. It is also heat pressure treated so will last many years. The 100mm square box entrance is offset to prevent predators getting in. The Hog Houses are only £40 and local delivery is free of charge. This is far cheaper than anything you could buy that’s built to this quality. (The RSPB one is £54 + delivery)

Timber to make these houses is running low, so if you want one, you need to act quickly.

Please call Chris: 07930 207537 to place your order.

HOg House

The Shed is open to all men over 55 years, Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30am–4:00pm and Friday, 9:30am–12:30pm and is located in Threeways Centre, Nursery Lane, Ovenden (the old Ridings School).

Find out more here –

Or Like us on Facebook! @Phoenix Shed.Phoenix Shed