North Lowestoft’s Men’s Shed have become custodians of the former Lowestoft Railway cattle dock and plan to transform it into a community space as part of a collaboration with the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP), the Lowestoft Central Project and Greater Anglia.
Situated off Denmark Road, Lowestoft, the land has been unused for several decades and presents an opportunity for the Men’s Sheds team to expand, enabling them to utilise the land for a variety of uses whilst helping to preserve the unique mix of wildlife and railway heritage.
The UK Men’s Sheds Association work to inspire and support the development of as many Men’s Sheds as possible, for the benefit of men’s health and wellbeing. Men’s Sheds are community spaces for men to connect, converse, and create. They help to reduce loneliness and isolation, hosting activities often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together.
North Lowestoft’s Men’s Shed held its first open meeting on Wednesday 19 April at the Parcel’s Office in Lowestoft Station, providing an opportunity for members of the public to hear what the Shed is about, what it is doing now and the group’s ambitions for the future, followed by a tour of the new land.
Martin Halliday, Community Rail Norfolk development officer, said: “We are delighted to have facilitated use of the former cattle dock at Lowestoft Station and are certain the Men’s Shed will be able to develop a fantastic community resource there, complementing other initiatives around the station being undertaken through the Lowestoft Central Project, Community Rail Norfolk, Network Rail and Greater Anglia.”
John Ellerby, Shed Chair, said: “We’re really pleased to have secured the land and look forward to welcoming new members. Our next step will be to get a container on the land – our Shed – and our first job will be to create a hard standing for it.”
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Community and Customer Engagement Manager, said: “Our station adoption scheme is 20 years old this year, with the vast majority of stations now adopted. The Men’s Shed initiative at Lowestoft is very welcome and will see another unused section of railway land brought back into use, supporting both the community and wildlife.”