So SHWI took the annual Summer break in July meaning that understandably our members were practically scratching at the doors of the Women’s Construction Centre in Burngreave eager to get back to some serious SHWI action. We dutifully turned up in our scruffs, builder’s mug in hand ready to roll up our sleeves and learn some fundamental DIY skills.
We got the business section of the meeting out of the way so we could up tools. This mainly involved us all getting rather excited about our involvement in the upcoming Sheffield Food Festival in the form of a classic WI Bake Stall and Best in Show competition and hearing the latest exciting instalment of the debate that rages on about the exact dimensions the shell box entry should be at The Autumn rally.
Kay the glamorous plumber and her troupe of talented tradeswomen had done a fantastic job of organising an informative and most definitely fun evening of learning the basics of some cleverly picked DIY disciplines. A lot of thought had clearly gone into which skills we would be most likely to use ourselves once we got back to our homes. There were taster sessions of painting and decorating where we looked at different paint effects – one of these being frottage which apparently has two meanings (the urban dictionary or Sarah Willoughby will fill you on the alternative meaning of the word should you be interested…). We also had a Q&A session. I’m not sure if this was necessarily part of the plan but we (ok, it was me) had a lot of questions on various projects at home.
We learnt how to change a light fitting, which only highlighted to me how little I listened in my physics classes at school.
Kay demonstrated how to isolate and take a radiator off the wall for when you’re decorating. Pretty useful stuff I’m sure you’ll agree. Not as complicated as you may think.Well when you know how. There was also a session on tile cutting as well as bricklaying. I for one was inspired, as only this weekend I have wangled a re-pointing masterclass with my neighbour to sort out my raised beds. WICAT we salute you for inspiring us to take on jobs that are traditionally seen as man’s work. Oh and how I could forget the ever so tiny detail that photos from our meeting and quotes from our very own Lindsay featured in the Guardian the weekend after our meeting. All in a day’s work at SHWI! Some of the photos taken can be seen in this post, big thanks to photographer Lorne Campbell for allowing us to use them.
WICAT offer some tremendous courses that are fantastic value for money. See www.wicat.org.uk for further details. We’ll be filling you in on what they can offer us at the next meeting.
Anna Tebble SHWI Committee Member