Todmorden Makery – What’s the Plan?

Let’s Make it Happen!

We are a collection of groups and individuals working together to make a community making workshop space happen.

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Todmorden Maker Space will be a member-run space where volunteers help people do the following activities in drop-in and workshop sessions.

  • Repair – repair cafe activities – bikes, electronic appliances, anything that can be glued, knife sharpening & textile repairs 
  • Tool library – weekly rental of power tools such mitre saws, cordless drills and garden strimmers
  • Art and Craft Making – woodworking, textiles, low-cost crafting materials 
  • Refurbishing Computers – for distribution to household that need them (Tech Tastic)
  • Software training – code club, art and tech workshops for family, kids and adults

Good for the Planet – Good for People

There are many different kinds of maker spaces, (including fab labs, hackerspaces, hacklabs). We like to think our own version which we call a Makery –  is special in its own way. 

Our maker space will have a focus making/fixing that is good for the planet and which builds community spirit.  Anything we can do to avoid things going into landfill has to be a good thing. But this project is more than just about building technical fixing skills.

There is already great fixing and making knowledge in our community. This space can help collect into one place and nurture it. We think that growing our collective understanding of what can and can’t be repaired and who has the skills to do it is a fantastic focus to pull people together. Once we’re part of the club, sharing our own knowledge and skills with others only adds to the magic. 

Here are some examples on how this can be put into practice.

  • Fast Fashion has a huge negative environmental impact but Upcycling textile materials is fun and creative. 
  • Learning some basic repair skills is something that everyone can do and can make you feel more empowered around the challenges of living in a consumerist society
  • Making Art via recycling materials is a great motivator and a really accessible way to interest people in repairing and fixing activities 

Quotes from members

From Mary Clear- Incredible Edible

the planet is groaning under the weight of stuff , stuff we chuck out and stuff we feel we need. lets help each other Grow skills , reuse and repurpose the zilliions of tons of good things discarded .
frugality , hand made and home made  equals love for our planet .
the joy of making is incredible 
the joy of fixing indescribable !

Mick Chesterman – Volunteer Digital Maker

I’m doing studies on families making video games together. I’ll be able to help get a suite of computers together that can be used for this kind of digital training. I would love to be able to have a regular place to do a game making workshop with local people.

Steve from Scavenger Labs / Noisy Toys

We work with young people and families to take apart old electronic equiment and make fun and noisy art projects. It would be great to have a space to run those workhops and collect electronic treasure that some people call junk.

John Williams – Tool Library

The average drill is used for 45 minutes a year. Why buy when you can borrow for free? The Tool Library has a large range of tools to make your next DIY or Gardening project easier. Let’s create a community of fixers!

Andrew Kim—Thingumajig Theatre

I’m a puppet, performance and event maker. I’d like to see an open community messy space where we can share tools, materials and skills so we can express the creativity of Todmorden here, there and everywhere.”

Possible User Stories

Dee – organising art activities for families

Dee has been doing a lot of home education with the family in lock down. They have had a lot of fun but reached the limits of creativity. Dee is good friends with Bee who does creative art making workshops as a freelancer. Bee is up for doing some free workshops to Dee’s family and friends. Dee joined the maker space as a member and now asks if they can get trained to open up the space on a rainy holiday Tuesday to use the space and the equipment there. Families that come make a donation for the use of the space.

G and H – repairing and training volunteers

G and H are a volunteer at the repair cafes that happen at the workshop space. They enjoy fixing and repairing electronic equipment and other household objects. They like the community buzz of the cafe events and enjoy volunteering especially to pass on skills and to train other members to use the equipment there. They see the maker space as a useful project but also a way to be a part of a community that isn’t work and isn’t going down to the pub.

Sam – from drill borrowing to textiles

Sam walks into the maker workshop, a biggish room with different stations, to borrow a drill from the tool library. When they come in there is an open session happening with existing members.  Right at the front they see someone using a semi-pro sewing machine to add a patch to a jacket. This seems like a fun and doable thing to learn. Sam asks about it and is invited to the next open session when a volunteer is doing some sewing machine training. Sam does the 30 minute training and joins a member. Every now and then they come down to do small textile and woodworking projects.

S and T – creative coding for young people

S is a mum who wants her two children of 8 and 10 to learn digital skills and knows that her kids learn best when they are doing fun and creative projects. T is a local educator who works at a local college but has applied for funding to run workshops in creative coding. The funding pays for some core equipment and contributes to the rent of the space. S also attends the family coding workshops and learns more about coding then she thought she would. 

Frequently asked Questions

What is a Makery?  There are lots of flavours of maker spaces – ours is a community workshop where volunteers run open access drop in sessions and other workshops. 

How do I become a member and use the space? Membership is pay-what-you-can basis. Anyone is free to use the space once they become a member. For some equipment you will need to do some training before you can use it.  

What equipment will be available? To start with the equipment will be relatively portable and low cost. What equipment will be available? Sewing machines, a good set of repairing tools, art and craft materials, a set of laptops for workshops, specialist wood, textiles and electronics equipment. The Tool Library will have brand new cordless power tools such as mitre saws, lawnmowers, circular saws, drill drivers, SDS drills, hedge trimmers etc.

Where will this happen?  We are not sure yet, but are talking to Tod College but also looking for other low rent spaces that might be a good home for us. 

How will you pay the bills? Through a combination of monthly membership fees by those that can afford it, one off grants to pay the rent from local authorities, and funding to run activities like workshops for young people, families and all favours of adults.  

What do you need right now? How can I help? The following would be really useful:

  • Donations of sewing machines, laptops, keyboards, mice, glue guns and repairing tools.  
  • Spread the word to your friends and family – especially to people who might volunteer to do workshops
  • Give us handy hints on affordable spaces that we could rent.