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By SHELLEY TOPP

A trailer-load of old wheelbarrows earmarked for the rubbish dump has been a windfall for the Rangiora Menz Shed.

The wheelbarrows were formerly owned by the Corrections Department, which donated them when they no longer became useable.

Industrious Menz Shed members set to work restoring them to raise funds for their work. They sold like hot cakes on Trade Me.

Now they are working on restoring a large horse jump owned by the Rangiora Pony Club.

“It was made way back in 2003 and many parts are now rotten and need replacing,” treasurer Ian Stephenson explains.

Members have also rebuilt two smaller jumps for the club.

They will try their hand at anything. While some projects have included everyday items such as coffee tables, planter boxes, dog kennels and rocking chairs, others have been more offbeat, including a coffin, a Santa seat and wooden mushrooms for Ashgrove School. They have also built weta motels and insect houses.

Members have a lot of fun working on projects together and pride themselves on doing a great job using recycled materials whenever possible. “Unless it is rotten we recycle it,” life member Eddie Stancombe says.

They meet on Wednesday and Friday mornings. The atmosphere is relaxed and encouraging.

However, Arthur Linnell did not receive much encouragement from chairman and life member Peter Cornelius when he began making bird houses from recycled wood, hoping to sell them on Trade Me to raise funds for the Menz Shed. Peter thought Arthur was wasting his time.

“You will never sell those,” he said. How wrong he was. “They have proved a big seller at $10 each and he has made us more than $300,” Peter says.

Ian says they do not do the work for the money. “It is more about fun.” However, donations were appreciated because money was needed to keep their machinery and tools in good working order.

They are always on the lookout for new sponsors to help fund the work they do. Members appreciate help from Rangiora New World Supermarket, which sponsors their tea and coffee, and Mitre 10 Mega which helps with discounts.