Kevin Windsor, 88, and Bill Seymour, 91, have created more than 1000 toys for Mackay foster children at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith
Kevin Windsor, 88, and Bill Seymour, 91, have created more than 1000 toys for Mackay foster children at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith

The cheeky shed duo building joy for foster children

BILL and Kevin the toy-making men have handcrafted more than 1000 toys for Mackay children since they joined forces at the Men's Shed two years ago.

Bill Seymour, 91 and a half - as he'd have you know - said the pair became friends over their shared history of driving automotives throughout their careers.

"I caught up with Kevin and we found out working with wood fit in with our lives," Mr Seymour said.

"We haven't looked back.

"I do a lot of the painting and he does a lot of the cutting out and shaping."

Bill Seymour, 91, and Kevin Windsor, 88, have created more than 1000 toys for Mackay foster children at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith
Bill Seymour, 91, and Kevin Windsor, 88, have created more than 1000 toys for Mackay foster children at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith

Kevin Windsor, 88, said they began making toys for foster children after somebody approached the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed asking if anyone could do it.

"I've been making the damn things ever since," he said with a laugh.

The toy-making duo have their production roles down to an art form. Picture: Heidi Petith
The toy-making duo have their production roles down to an art form. Picture: Heidi Petith

The larrikin pair hand-craft a catalogue of toys from trucks, wagons and fire engines to mud kitchens and waddling ducks.

All the while they trade cheeky barbs at one another, as though they have been friends since childhood.

Kevin Windsor, 88, and Bill Seymour, 91, are the cheeky toy-making pair at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith
Kevin Windsor, 88, and Bill Seymour, 91, are the cheeky toy-making pair at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith

Mr Windsor said they made the toys to bring joy to the lives of foster children through the Mackay Churches of Christ Care.

"Anything with wheels on them, they'll get on and ride them," he said.

Mr Seymour said the children's eyes light up, as for many it was the first time a toy was presented especially for them.

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Churches of Christ Care Mackay acting service manager Cindy Kember said the beautiful handmade wooden toys were a festive highlight bringing "many hours of enjoyment".

Ms Kember said COCC was one of Queensland's largest out-of-home care providers, working with more than 3000 children and young people each year.

"We cannot thank the men (enough) who work so hard to have these gifts ready each Christmas," Ms Kember said.

Bill Seymour, 91, and Kevin Windsor, 88, have created more than 1000 toys for Mackay foster children at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith
Bill Seymour, 91, and Kevin Windsor, 88, have created more than 1000 toys for Mackay foster children at the Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed. Picture: Heidi Petith

And with a production line of toys set out before them on the work bench, the pair show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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Mr Seymour said he enjoyed the company of his "good mate" Kev at the shed, adding the reason for their friendship was obvious: "train drivers stuck together".

"We also get out of the washing up at home," he said with a mischievous smile.

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The Beaconsfield Road Men's Shed is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8am to noon along Beaconsfield Rd (next to the church). For more information, phone 4942 3321.

Churches of Christ Care Mackay are located at 110B Wood St, Mackay. Phone 4953 6100.


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