About Todmorden Makery

Let’s Make it Happen!

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

Todmorden Maker Space is 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 

First Volunteer Meeting at Todmorden Makery

(As you know) Todmorden Makery is starting up as a community workshop for repairing and making of many kinds. We  are getting up and running  with drop-ins and projects starting in mid to late September. We are running a starting session for volunteers so they know what’s going on.

Repair Cafe

Monday 13th of September from 1-3pm at the Makery Workshop in Todmorden College

What’s this for?

This get together is to get to know other volunteers, to share info and get your input into some of the following elements of upcoming drop-in and members sessions;

  • What are the most exciting things about the project and how can we share them?
  • What tools and equipment are available for people to use and when?
  • How we will make decisions about equipment needed in the workshop
  • How we will work with volunteers and members to gather and respond to feedback from members and user of the space
  • How we support volunteers if there are tricky situations in drop-ins or to do with anything 

We have sent this invitation to those who have been involved or interested as a volunteer for the Makery or in the repair cafe so far. The meeting is by invitation but please let us know if you think there is someone else we should invite.

This session will be partly social too and a chance to see what progress has been made and what equipment is available to use.

Many Thanks,

Mick Chesterman and Viv Slack*

*NB: Viv is supporting us in this phase as we work out how to organise as a community

Find out more about different volunteer roles here – https://todmordenmakery.org.uk/volunteering-at-the-makery

Sign up to be a volunteer using this form here

Workshop [Young People] – Family Fixit Club

Starts on 6th July – 3.30 – 5.00pm at Todmorden College Makery Workshop (just ask for the Makery at the reception of Tod College) then 13th & 20th of July  3.30 – 5.00 too

Fixing is magic. You can breathe new life into the things you love. You can build your skills up starting with simple fixes.

In our first FREE family fixing clubs we will stitch some feathers for the Phoenix and create some interactive art from recycled electronics for the base.

Places are limited due to COVID  (friends and siblings welcome) – Normally parents will attend (One parent can look after more than one kid)

Please book via email or via the form below. Email todmordenmakery@gmail.com We’ll then send you a confirmation email back

Workshop [Art] – Mosaic Making

These workshops led by Bill Kitchener will allow you to work on your own Mosaic as part of a group.

This art project will involve creating a small, decorative mosaic. You will have the chance to use glass and ceramic mosaic tiles to create your own design with guidance. All materials will be provided. This is for adults only.

There will be two stages to the project. A one day taster session will let you find out the techniques used and let you decide if you want to make a more ambitious project over six weeks. The sessions will last for two hours each.

At this stage we are taking details of people who are interested in doing this project. Will will get back in touch with you with details of the taster session towards the end of the summer.

Sneak Preview of Fixit the Phoenix artwork

This artwork by Govi Asano – Fixit the Phoenix – will be part of the campaign presentation of the Making Change project that the Makery is running at Ferney Lee primary school. For more info check back here soon.

[Project] Test and Prepare Consoles for a Games Console Library

We have a lot of donated games consoles – some from the youth service. Let’s check them out and see if they can be modified ready for a Games Console Library.

Families or individuals could borrow an original retro console for a few weeks and then trade it in for another.

Painting at the new workshop update

Painting at the new workshop update – The colours are going on – all paint supplied by the college. Thanks Anna, Neil, Bill and Mick! Also see the first workstation nearly done -Big thanks to Sam B!

Todmorden Makery – A Big Thank You to Todmorden

Press Release – For immediate Release

We have been awarded Town Council grant funding to establish a community workshop located in Todmorden Community College. 

Image of the first Repair Cafe at the new Todmorden Makery workshop

Following the success of the pre-covid monthly Repair Café held in Todmorden Masonic Hall, Mick Chesterman decided more could be done to create a long-term space for people to make, create and repair, as well as provide a home for like-minded community focused projects.

Mick said “Todmorden Makery is a community workshop for repairing and making all manner of things located in Todmorden Community College. One of the leading contributions to climate gas emissions are the textile and electronics industries. This project encourages repairing objects, sharing tools and spreading knowledge of repairing.

This is a project that is good for the environment as well as being great for people. One of the key elements is as a home to a monthly repair cafe and additional workshops to help people repair their own clothes, electronics, bikes and household items.” 

Steering group member Martin Ross said: “As well as reducing waste and saving people money, the aim is to help local people gain transferable skills that will help build confidence, connections and in finding jobs and starting their own businesses. The workshop will be a resource for making all sorts of objects with a range of specialist equipment including an industrial sewing machine, 3D printer and digital media and software development tools.

The Makery is the home of a new, free to use tool library which will allow the community to borrow high quality tools from week to week. It is a home for Techtastic which aims to bridge the digital divide by refurbishing donated laptops and distributing them to people with no access to a computer.”

You can sign up to get involved or to just get updates here – http://todmordenmakery.org.uk

Todmorden Town Council support the launch of Makery Project with grant

Todmorden Town Council have supported the launch of Makery Project with a grant of £3,000. One of the strong elements of the grant application was the way it supported the climate emergency policies of Calderdale council. 

Todmorden Town Council support the launch of Makery Project with grant

They were also particularly interested in our plans for a tool library and the way we hope to become sustainable through a membership scheme and microdonations.

Thank you to everyone involved so far and the support of the people of Todmorden

So far the Makery has been a real team effort. Local community groups have come together to make this project happen. Incredible Edible have co-ordinated a volunteer day to clean and get the space ready for painting and local science educators Scavenger Labs have taken on the administration tasks for the first year. 

The volunteer sign up rate and participation has also been impressive. Since launching the idea this spring hundreds of people have signed up as potential members of the project.  

The Makery is located in Todmorden Community College which has recently come under community ownership via the group Todmorden Learning Centre. TLC have been very supportive allowing the project to rent the workshop part time as we get started and supplying us with paint and worksurfaces. 

Steering group member Mary Clear from Incredible Edible said: “It’s great to feel the support of the college and the people and council Todmorden behind the project. The grant awarded by the Town Council is a fantastic endorsement. 

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 zillions of tons of good things discarded. The joy of making and fixing is incredible!”

How can people get involved?

To build a strong member-run organisation. We are looking for people to get involved in the following ways.

  • Running workshops for their friends, family and other members of the space
  • Coming to the repair cafes to repair their old gadgets and clothes thus saving them from landfill. 
  • Running partnership sessions at the workshop for specialist groups

We are inviting the community to get in touch with ideas or just sign up for updates at the project website and social media. 



What’s next?
We will have a launch event soon once renovations and preparations are complete. From September we will have several weekly drop in sessions running at different times of the day and the tool library open on Saturday mornings. 

Workshop [Communication] – Beginner Websites in WordPress

WordPress is an online system to allow you to create websites. It is flexible and relatively easy to learn. If you get more technically skilled you can alter it one a more flexible level. It’s also easy to move your websites from one place to another. All of these reasons make it a good choice if you want to learn to make your own website or blog.

The host of this website building group Mick Chesterman who is a tech teacher and has also written a manual on WordPress. We plan to meet every 2 weeks starting in September.

Project Status: Mick is ready to start the club when there are a handful of people interested – get in touch if you are interested attending
Project Outcome: A club of people who know more about WordPress and building websites

Is this club a project you would be interested in coming to? If so fill out the form below.

Project [Tool Refurb] – Vintage Mitre Saw

Thanks to a generous donation we have two working – but in need of refurbishment – mitre saws. They need cleaning and some rust removal and potentially new blades.

Project Status: Needing a Volunteer
Project Outcome: A useful tool for our workshops, for a member or to sell via ebay

Is this a job you would be up for helping with? If so email todmordenmakery@gmail.com – Stay Well!

Workshop [Art] – Lino Printing Taster session – [currently full]

[Note: this workshop is currently full]

Using a pre-cut lino block to create a wall border with block printing inks. This workshop will be led by Anna Butler and Rita Frayne.

Date: September – We will plan an afternoon session

Sign up: If you are interested fill out this form with your email and we will contact you in August to arrange.

In a nutshell: Learn how to print an attractive wall border for your home using a hand printed Lino Block. In this first taster session, you’ll start by using a precut block to create a wall border with block printing inks. In future sessions, you’ll be able to move onto cutting your own lino block with your own design. All materials and full instruction provided.

I used to make these to sell when I was at tod studios and always meant to run a workshop on this but never got round to, although several people told me they’d like to have a go! As I still have lots of ink/ rollers and ready cut lino blocks etc I just thought it would be lovely to give people an opportunity to have a go once the workshop space is sorted out.


Painting Update 10-6-2021

10 Litres on the wall so far! Starting to look good.

Project [Refurb] – Laser Printers

We have been donated 2 laser printers.

Laser printers are much better for printing large volumes of documents quickly and quietly – making the best laser printers ideal for home office use. Laser printers also won’t demand a new ink cartridge every hundred or so pages!

These ones need to be cleaned and tested. Let’s keep one for the Makery and then we can find a good home for the other one.

Is this a job you would be up for helping with? If so email todmordenmakery@gmail.com – Stay Well!

Project [DIY] – Workstations for the side walls

This project involves reusing workstations from another room in the college and attaching them to the walls.

There are metal rods and feet that we can use too. They are pretty wide so we may be able to split them in two. If you can take on or support this project email todmordenmakery@gmail.com – Thanks!

Repair Cafe – 22-5-21 – the first in Tod College

It felt good to do a repair cafe in the new workshop space even if it is still very bare bones right now. Some great fixes!