Open to all residents of Keevil, both men and women, we help look after our village. We meet Monday mornings at 9.30am for deployment. Email Paul Lenaerts for details on firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the things we do/have done:
- Paint the railings
- Strim the verges
- Clear the ditches
- Trim overgrowth back from footpaths
- Mow the Recreation Ground
- Plant flower beds at the Banfield Memorial and Coronation Bench
- Litter picking
- Painting village hall walls and steps
- Various repairs
- Installed new noticeboard at the Recreation Ground and replace the goalposts
Now the better weather has finally arrived we have started mowing the Playing Field and the 3 compost bins we made last year were almost filled with the grass cuttings from the first session on 26th March. We’re hoping after that first cut, we can ‘mulch’, but it depends on the weather.
Looking back at last year’s records, I see that the first cut was on 6th March – almost 3 weeks earlier than this year. We still had snow lying on that date this year ! We mowed 29 times last year with the last session on 22nd November and with the flower border that Geoff and Sarah in particular have worked hard on, we hope you agree our efforts have been worth it.
The ‘Shed’ haven’t been the only force for recent improvements on the Playing Field (or more properly the James Banfield Recreation Ground). Janet White’s use of the Keevil Society grant to get the adjacent path upgraded to gravel, and the WI commissioning the new path and bench have both been great successes thanks to the efforts of Mark Drewett and Gerry Vaughan. All in all, I think we can feel rightly proud of the new look and it’s good to see more people, young and old enjoying the space. We can look forward to the first full village event here on 7th July with the Keevil Church Fete & Family Fun Day. Let’s hope James Banfield will be looking down and grant us good weather !
Back to ‘Shed’ business and I wonder if anyone can help with a mower dilemma we have? The new ‘Ride-On’ is doing well but we also use a Hayter ‘walk-behind’ for the twiddly bits. It has a 56cm wide cut, a rear roller to propel it and would be ideal for a large smart lawn. However, we don’t really need the stripes and could do with a 4 wheeled job which is a bit more manoeuvrable. So if anyone fancies a swap, give me a call or talk to your local ‘shedder’. We would need a petrol one with driven back wheels that collects the mowings and has a cut of at least 50cm width.
Paul Lenaerts, 870186
KEEVIL LITTER PICK
After being postponed from snow, the Keevil Litter Pick finally got underway under cloudy skies and drizzle with 21 villagers signing up to attack the roadside rubbish that we all drive by regularly.
Wiltshire Council worked hard to “engage” with residents, and came up with litter picks, hoops, bags and gloves to make the task slightly less daunting. They have also arranged for all the bags to be picked up next week from the collection point at Cold Harbour crossroads.
So we split up into teams as the drizzle fortunately dried up, and bagged the trash from Wick Lane cross roads through the village to the A350. This year we also went up Seend Farm Road and past the sewage works to the A361.
The haul didn’t quite match the quantity we got last year, but the variety was perhaps even more amazing. It included a flat screen telly and an iPhone in its wallet, with undoubtedly the most stimulating item being found by John Tucker (who else !). Decency prevents a full description here but he’ll be delighted to demonstrate I’m sure (when he has fitted new batteries !).
A big thanks to all volunteers, especially Ian Simpson who ferried teams to the further reaches of the Parish in his faithful old Volvo, and transported the smelly, leaky bags to the collection point.
The photos show the full team outside the Village Hall at ‘kick-off’ and the last bunch with the pile of 30 bags plus at Cold Harbour crossroads.
Paul Lenaerts Saturday 24th March 2018
Ride-on Mower Grant
See here for an update on the Community Shed grant for the ride-on mower.
The Keevil “Shedders” have been busy around the Village most Monday mornings through this year, plus mowing the playing field when the weather permitted. Now winter is approaching, it seems a good time to report on the year’s activities.
We started 2017 with a grant from the Melksham Area Board which enabled us to purchase the ride-on mower for the playing field. We had to modify the storage shed to take the mower, and gave it a ‘face-lift’ at the same time.
The mower arrived in February and we started mowing in March. So far this year we have cut the grass on the playing field 24 times and by the time you read this we hope the grass will have stopped growing! Also the border by the entrance has been much improved by Geoff West assisted by Sarah Dow.
Meanwhile, other “non-shed” activities on the playing field have been the construction of the wonderful new WI bench by Gerry Vaughan, together with the new path to it and improved surface to the path from Martins Road.
All in all, we hope you agree that the playing field is now looking ten times better than a year ago!
Elsewhere, we have strimmed the Main Street bank from The Old Bakery to Manor Farm entrance every month since the snowdrops finished, painted more railings, refurbished the light over the Church gate, painted the outside of the Village Hall and completed many smaller jobs too numerous to mention.
Since we started in April 2016, we have clocked up over 80 sessions, putting in over 1,200 hours of voluntary labour. This financial year, we have received donations of £600 as well as £510 from the Parish Council for mowing the playing field, and £56 for insurance. The money goes towards our equipment and running costs, as well as a fund to replace the mowers etc, in the future.
None of this work would be possible without a “Shed” to base ourselves in and we would particularly like to thank Pat and Bryan Banfield for providing this. Bryan is also a regular “shedder” so extra thanks to him and all the other volunteers who make our sessions productive, sociable and fun – not to mention the hard work !
Origins of the Keevil Community Shed
The original Keevil Society was formed on 20th July 1987 by residents, with the founding aim of “stimulating interest and care for the beauty and character of the village among those who live here, a collective desire to keep Keevil unique in its own small way”.
In 1990 members published the first edition of the famous Book of Keevil; three more publications followed culminating in Book IV which was published in 2002. These remarkable books are the result of dedicated work by many people most of whom are past or present residents of the village. These volumes tell the history of the village together with stories of the interesting people and buildings which formed the community. In addition, a Village Design Statement was drawn up and agreed, to provide a guide for those that considered planning applications for new buildings and modifications to existing properties. The Keevil Society also organised talks on subjects of local interest, and promoted many social events to bring residents together for the betterment of the community.
Whilst the Society was unquestionably successful in achieving its original aims, by the end of the “noughties”, other village groups had formed and grown, and it was finally decided, in 2015, to ‘wind up’ the Keevil Society. It was agreed to use its not inconsiderable bank balance to fund other promising projects in the village, and one of these was the Keevil Shed.
Inspiration for the Shed came from Bob Ayres, a “newcomer from Oz” who had experience of Mens Sheds in Australia. His enthusiasm struck a chord with villagers who were getting increasingly frustrated by government cuts which were reducing the amount of maintenance work on things that made the village look nice and function properly. There were a couple of inconsistencies in the “Shed” concept however: an all male group didn’t seem right, and the need was not for therapeutic personal projects in a workshop, more a band of volunteers to get stuck into outside jobs that needed doing.
So early in 2016, the Keevil Community Shed was born with a £1,500 grant from the Keevil Society’s coffers, plus other donations from supportive residents. Further crucial help came from Bryan Banfield, retired farmer, who offered his barn as a ‘Shed’ to store equipment and as space to work inside when needed. Bryan also became one of the mainstays of the volunteer workforce with his valuable experience gained on the farm.
Word of the new Shed spread with the help of the Keevil Parish News and before long a couple of dozen residents had signed up for active duty. Equipment was purchased and Monday morning became the regular slot for strimming the banks, clearing drains, painting railings, litter picking and lots of other jobs. One rule needed to be made clear, however. The work of the Shed was clearly to maintain the communal parts of the village and not “Garden SOS” !