Shed of the Year 2016: Episode One

Shed of the year episode one

On Friday night we saw the triumphant return of the highly anticipated and hotly contested event in every shed owner’s calendar – Shed of the Year. Now, in its tenth year, this uniquely British competition celebrates the splendour of all things shed!

The once humble garden shed has become a home for hidden passions, hobbies, cutting edge design and some rather surprising new uses. This competition is a true celebration of eccentricity – by the shed load!

To kick off this year’s shed showdown the first episode showed the finalists from the Unique and Historic categories…

What happened in episode 1?

The Unique shed category finalists:

Shed of the year

The first shed we were introduced to was ‘The Shed’ which was created by Bryan Lewis Jones and is nestled at the bottom of his garden in North Wales. This was no ordinary shed but a beautifully designed shed which George Clark said looked as if it had “landed from out of space!”

Not your average shed, the hidden gem of this build is that it can rotate 360 degrees to really make the most of the breath-taking countryside scenery. Powered by a 3 phase electric motor with a double reduction gearbox, the shed seamlessly rotates and is a beautiful and clever piece of engineering, an elliptical masterpiece! The stunning shed took 6 months to build at a cost of £40,000!

Shed of the year

Next we met Kevin Nicks who is the proud owner of the Fastest Shed in the world. Starting life as a Volkswagen Passat, this automobile took 7 months to be painstakingly shed-ified using a reinforced steel structure and clad in tongue and groove panels. This is a high spec precision engineered machine which had to pass strict DVLA road safety tests to become completely road legal. Kevin spent £5,000 to create the speedy shed which we saw break the world record on Friday night’s episode to reach 89.5 mph! A triumph for a 2 tonne shed on wheels!

Shed of the year 2016

What do you do if you live in a bustling city but yearn for simple country life? Create a shed village at the bottom of your garden – The perfect shed solution! That’s exactly what Rufus and his wife Molly did in their garden in Hackney, London. The Village took 5 years to create and is made up of 9 separate sheds.

The cost to create this ‘Shed City’ was a mere £100 as everything was constructed using recycled materials and built using the help of friends and family. The Village contains a pub, café, cottage, vicarage, music chapel, sweet shop and railway station and just keeps on growing.

Not only is it a great place for friends to gather but both Rufus and Molly are artisans and use the buildings in the village as a workshop to create their art. At a normal house in Hackney, this couple has created a whole new world at the bottom of their garden…

Shed of the year 2016

The final shed in the unique category is perched on a cliff top at the tip of Scotland in the coastal town Wick. The Maggie Ewing is owned by David Carter and is the wheel house from an old ship. David’s garden backs onto the north sea and this is where he chose to house his gorgeous one of a kind shed to make the most of the panoramic views.

David saved the wheel house from a 1960’s trawler called ‘Boy Peter’ from a scrapyard, he spent £200 and 100’s of hours restoring it to create the perfect shed with a view. The 10 x 7ft shed has been renamed to honour David’s mother and Maggie Ewing still has the original ship wheel and bell and is the perfect spot to look out over the ocean.

Now it was time to reveal the winner of this category as voted for by the public… The winner was Bryan and ‘The Shed’. The public must have fallen in love with the modern design and ingenious rotating motion of this gorgeous shed just like we did, definitely our favourite of this exciting category. The rotating shed is sent into the next round!

Shed of the year 2016 Unique winner

The Historic shed category finalists:

The History category celebrates the sheddie’s obsession with the past down to the minutest detail. The sheds in this category are all very different but have one thing in common – the ability to transport you through the ages through the means of a shed!

Shed of the year 2016

The first shed in this category is the Vietnam Outpost shed – The Air Cavalry Bunker owned by John Wealden. This brick outhouse has a run of the mill exterior but on the inside it transports John back into the thick of the action. Filled with genuine artefacts and memorabilia this is the result of a boyhood dream, the ideal man cave filled with sandbags, camouflage, flags and everything needed to give an authentic experience of being in a first air Calvary command post during the Vietnam war.

This 8 x 5 ft bunker took 3 months to create at a cost of £400 plus many hours sourcing authentic artefacts to fulfil the excellent attention to detail and to create the true authentic feeling that of being a soldier in the Vietnam war.

Shed of the year 2016

Next we head over to Kent and are transported back to Anglo Saxon times as we check out Wychurst. This long house is 30ft high and 60ft long and is the creation of the Anglo Saxon re-enactment society. We met Roland Williamson who filled us in on this momentous shed. Built by the society members who are non-trained professionals, construction took 15 years and cost £60,000 but they sure did get a lot of shed for their money!

The cathedral like vaulted ceiling is built using 29 tonnes of locally sourced oak and there are 20,000 shingles on the roof ! Inside it is one large room which is dominated by a 12 ft working hearth. The walls are covered in a 200ft mural which depicts traditional Anglo Saxon life and took 5 years to paint. The perfect club house for the society who use the space for enjoyment and a place to socialise.

Shed of the year 2016

The third shed in this category is a true piece of history and probably the most famous shed in its country of Wales. Based in Laugharne is The writing shed, the original shed used by writer and poet Dylan Thomas where he wrote some of his most famous works.

Nestled on a sleepy public road and stood on stilts on a cliff edge is this humble structure with amazing views. Outside it looks like an ordinary painted Edwardian shed but inside it is restored to resemble the true workspace of writer Dylan Thomas – true literacy heritage.

This shed was originally a garage and transformed into this writing shed by adding windows and a working stove. The shed was restored in 2004 by the council at a cost of £20,000. It now houses a perfect reconstruction of how Thomas worked with books and papers strewn over the desk and walls which is where the writer penned some of his best known works for 4 years, inspired by the breath-taking views. It’s great to know that this literacy legend was a fellow sheddie too!

Shed of the year 2016

 

Shed of the year 2016

The fourth and final shed in the Historic category is Dun 25. Based on the perimeter of a decommissioned RAF base in Edzell, Scotland is this underground bunker owned by military buff Jim Sherrit. Jim spent 4 years hunting for the perfect shed, he found this bunker and pays the farmer who’s land it is on a mere £1 a year for rent!

The man cave of his dreams and only a few miles from his home, Dun 25 is a 3 man nuclear bunker designed to protect the occupants from a nuclear attack. This is one of only 1,500 built between 1956 and 1967 in response of a possible Soviet nuclear attack during the Cold War.  With original features left inside, Jim has also added authentic paraphernalia to create the perfect snapshot of a cold war past in this fascinating underground space.

All four contenders in this category are true inspirational spaces which give a huge nod to their historic influences and background. The winner of this category was the second contender – the Anglo Saxon long house, a momentous shed and well deserved winner and will continue on into the next round along with the winner of the unique category.

Shed of the year 2016

 

Did you agree with the two winners in the first episode? Which ones would you have voted for?

We can’t wait to see the finalists in next week’s episode, on Friday 5th August at 8pm. We will be introduced to the entries of the Eco and Unexpected sheds… Be sure to take a look at our coverage of this episode next week, we are excited to see the extraordinary sheds our fellow sheddies are creating!

 

Don’t forget to check out our Shed of the Year hub for the latest news

 

Image credits - Reader Sheds, Finalists
http://www.readersheds.co.uk/index.cfm
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