Littlehampton Lads need help to keep their workshop

Roy Amos, left, with members of the Littlehampton Lads in their workshop in Rope Walk. Picture: Derek Martin
Roy Amos, left, with members of the Littlehampton Lads in their workshop in Rope Walk. Picture: Derek Martin

In the case of the Littlehampton LADS, the phrase ‘cottage industry’ should be ‘shed industry’.

Because the group, officially titled Littlehampton & District Men’s Shed West, have made hundreds of handcrafted wooden gifts from their workshop in Rope Walk over the last three years.

DM1864564a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183118008

DM1864564a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183118008

But after sponsorship money dried up, the boys might have to disband unless someone can help pay their annual £3,000 rent.

Founding member Pat Doherty, 68, from Ingram Close, Rustington, said: “If we could just get the weight of this rent off our shoulders, we could make the things we want. We don’t want to turn the group into some kind of sweatshop – these guys are retired.”

Roy Amos, 69, from River Road, is a retired carpenter for the Ministry of Defence. Now he does not have to fix doors damaged by sailors, he is able to pursue his passion: building rocking horses.

A member of the Guild of Rocking Horse Makers, Roy has made 30 in the last 20 years, including one which weighs 22 stone and is the size of a Shetland pony.

DM1864585a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Roy Amos. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183138008

DM1864585a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Roy Amos. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183138008

He plans to sell his latest creation, designed for small children, at the Rustington Street Fayre on Saturday.

The craftsman said: “Being part of this group has brought me out of myself. I love it; it is one of the best things I have ever done.”

The original Littlehampton group was founded in 2016, based on an alternative for women’s social groups in Australia which has spread worldwide.

Their faction split off and moved to Rope Walk, where they currently have 20 members who meet from 9am to 1pm from Tuesday to Thursday. Among their creations are planters for Rustington in Bloom and suffragette plaques for the Littlehampton Civic Society. They took £600 at Rustington Christmas Fayre last year selling wooden decorations.

DM1864589a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Peter Mercer. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183149008

DM1864589a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Peter Mercer. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183149008

To commission the Littlehampton LADS or become a benefactor, email ladswest@aol.com.

DM1864597a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Maurice Russell. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183200008

DM1864597a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Maurice Russell. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183200008

DM1864598a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Bernard Cursons. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183211008

DM1864598a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Bernard Cursons. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183211008

DM1864608a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Mike Geen. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183222008

DM1864608a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. Mike Geen. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183222008

DM1864611a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. David Mead. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183233008

DM1864611a.jpg. Men in Sheds, Rope Walk, Littlehampton appeal for sponsorship. David Mead. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180619-183233008