Men who have spent years disappearing to their garden sheds will soon have somewhere else to escape to, with the launch of Wiltshire’s first Shed Club in Melksham.

The Men’s Shed movement began in Australia, but is now sweeping the UK, aiming to bring together men of all ages to share practical skills and combat social isolation.

The Melksham Shed is being organised by Brian Warwick, of the Melk- sham and District Senior Forum, and has already attracted a lot of attention.

He said: “There has been a considerable interest already, from people who want to learn carpentry, joinery and a wide range of activities, like painting or even cake decorating.

“It’s not just a men’s group, we have two interested females and we are really hoping to widen the opport- unities for people to use their hobbies and teach younger people the skills they have.”

The club was launched with a public meeting at the Forrester’s Arms last night, with securing a permanent venue high on the agenda.

Mr Warwick said: “We need to be looking for different venues, particularly for the engineering side. We need facilities where we might be able to use a redundant building with a workbench and somewhere to store tools.

“As well as older people teaching skills, we want to have some short courses on things like digital photography and how to use a smartphone, to pass on this skills base from the younger to the older generation.

“Teaching some of the older people to use tablets and iPads and how to link into social media gives them that little bit of knowledge so they can communicate with their younger family.”

The club will be in Melksham, but is open to anyone. For details, call Mr Warwick on 01225 792959.