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Putting smiles on little faces

DELWYN DICKEY
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2013
Safe Roads

BUSY BLOKES: Bloke’s Shed members, from left, Murray Bamfield, Harold Bramble and Colin Pirrit hard at work on their wooden toys

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A bloke and his shed - it's a Kiwi institution.

Now some of the blokes at the Evelyn Page retirement village in Orewa are taking the concept to a whole new level as they beaver away in their man cave to produce wooden toys for charity.

All the wood is supplied by village management, with Dulux donating non-toxic paint.

"There are about 15 of us who regularly get together in our workshop on a Friday, though there's always someone working away there," group member John Harwood says.

The DIY spirit is also alive and well with an eclectic range of skills being put to good use.

"While we have a couple of cabinetmakers in the group, we come from all walks of life," the retired engineer says.

Ages range from 75 to 87. John's recently been made an OBE - "That's Over Bloody Eighty", he says.

The St John Ambulance was one of the first charities to receive a boost from the industrious group with a $2100 donation.

While the blokes are turning the toys out, they haven't got a regular spot to sell them.

A one-off sale at a market wasn't that successful and with Christmas around the corner John has swapped his engineers/woodworking hat for a salesman's hat.

Contact John on 09 426 4666.

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