Shed of the Year 2016: Episode Three

We are half way through the shed world’s equivalent to the Oscars. Last week’s episode of our favourite TV show – Shed of the year saw the Eco and Unexpected shed categories which included a shed which housed a crocodile and a shed which raises off the ground, this week’s episode was nothing short of amazing either. On Friday night’s episode George Clark introduced us to the 4 finalists in the Workshop/Studio category and the 4 finalists in the Pub/Entertainment category. Let’s look at the fine sheds which are on the quest to become the king or queen of sheds…

What happened in episode 3?

The Workshop/Studio category finalists:

The first category on Friday’s show was the Workshop/Studio sheds; these are a haven where ideas take seed and flourish. The home for creativity and invention where passion and ingenuity mix with the humble garden shed.

The first shed we were introduced to is a showcase for builder/artist Michael Connell’s creativity and individuality. Based at the bottom of his garden in South London is the ‘Povera’, a magnificent shed built entirely from odd cuts of wood which makes this workshop something of an art installation in its own right. Textures, patterns and shapes are created from off cuts of roof batons and incorporated trees within the build make a unique and beautiful living installation.

The 24 x 26ft Povera took 2 years to create and at a cost of £3,000, it houses Michael’s ever growing collection of abstract art which he creates. This design of this shed is based on the 50’s style artwork known as Povera which channels the use of unconventional materials and styles.

Not just a practical space but a beautifully designed abstract and art filled workshop perfectly combines layers of shed and art mixed design… Just beautiful!

Next, we headed over to Cheshire to meet retired engineer John Bernard who uses his 10 x 12ft shed as something of a museum. John has a unique passion for the humble lawn mower and has turned his shed into ‘Lawnside House’ – a dedicated space to house his immense vintage collection of grass cutters.

John has spent 3 decades collecting, restoring and renovating old mowers and his collection of over 350 may be the largest in the country and he is still going! John’s restoration handiwork and collection of mowers is impressive and he has currently filled his shed, what was the solution? – Build another! He now not only has the museum to show off his remarkable collection but also an additional workshop where he can tinker away restoring these old mowers back to their former glory.

To have a passion, the obsession if you like, to buy, restore and collect the quintessential lawn mower is one thing but to have the magical workshop to do the restoration and a place to display them really is something else.

The third entry is a little out of this world! Based on Stonebridge farm in Nottingham is a shed from a galaxy far far away. We met Stephen Gee who introduced us to this unique potting shed, no ordinary potting shed but an intergalactic potting shed!

Designed by a local company who usually create more conventional garden buildings, this Sci-Fi Shed is based on the Millennium Falcon’s gun turret – a spaceship owned by Star Wars Hans Solo and was donated to the farm.

This 8 x 4ft hexagonal shed is built from ply and Perspex, inside the walls are covered in realistic looking switches to control the aircraft – the perfect retreat for any sci-fi fan. This potting shed brings joy and happiness to youngsters who are visiting the farm, a great space for kids to let their imagination run wild! It’s not just kids who feel the force, a great retreat for all ages. May she shed be with you!

3 Sheds down and 1 to go, the last shed in the workshop/studio category is based in Lancashire and owned by Robin Sharples. Robin has a passion for blacksmithing as well as anvils and wanted to do metal work in the comfort of his own man cave.

Robin spent £500 building his blacksmith shed – The Cowpe Smithy from corrugated iron from a military surplus dealer which was once used during the 1st World War for lining trenches. This heavy duty build was initially designed by Robin by drawing out his idea onto the back of an envelope! He built it himself, painted it black and now this 10 x 9ft shed is the ideal blacksmith shed.

Inside, Robin has utilised the wall space to house his epic collection of over 600 tools. There is also a fully working forge fire inside which can reach temperatures of up to 1500 degrees! This shed has allowed Robin to follow his childhood dream of becoming a blacksmith.

Inspired by 20th-century blacksmith’s who worked from their garden, Robin has created a workshop which allows him to spark up his burning passion whenever he wants!

All four entries in the Workshop/Studio shed category have been truly inspirational, the ideal spaces which allow creativity to flow as well as providing the ideal space to create. The viewers voted and the winning workshop shed was the Cowpe Smithy, the viewers were obviously as impressed as we were with Robin’s fully working blacksmith forge in his garden shed, well done!

The Pub/Entertainment category finalists:

This category is the most popular in the competition and includes sheds ranging from the spectacular to the unconventional!

The first shed is owned by drag artist extraordinaire Chrissy Darling and is based in Hackney, East London. Chrissy works as a nightclub host and loves his job so much he decided to bring it home!

In 2008 with help from friends, work started on this amazing club shed. Chrissy spent £5000 constructing this party palace, a colourful exterior decorated with paintings and sculptures from local artists with the real main attraction waiting inside.

Fitted with a light up the dance floor, DJ booth, state of the art sound system, full lighting rig, lasers, smoke machine and chill out zone with sofas and hot tub, this is the ultimate party shed! Not only is this shed the place to be in East London but it is also completely sound proof with the door closed so they aren’t annoying any neighbours and guests can party at any time of the day or night.

The 16 x 12ft Party Shed is a super club in miniature and the joy which it brings to Chrissy and the party crowd is incredible.

Next, we headed over to West Ireland to meet Derek McCarthy and his enchanted pub shed The Hooting Owl. This European style pine cabin is situated in 6 acres of lush woodland near Derek’s home and is possibly the most picturesque shed ever entered in the competition.

A thing of beauty, this cabin was inspired by the Polish Zakopane log cabins and was built in Poland, deconstructed and transported over by a lorry and rebuilt in only 10 days and cost £10,000. The 10 x 18ft shed is kitted out with local art, sheepskin and family trinkets and houses a cosy bar built in the same timber which blends in perfectly. There is even a small bedroom located in the mezzanine which is the perfect stop for party guests.

After a party went a bit wild a fire damaged the back wall but Derek used a stone to patch it up which now looks as though they have always been there, a real architectural feature and matches the large fireplace which has been built on the veranda. This warm and cosy space has a truly authentic feel and is the perfect home for the community, friends and neighbours and is just simply stunning.

We are now at the halfway point in the Pub/Entertainment category so it’s time to see something a little different, we headed up to Aberdeen to see retired history teacher Alistair Baronowsky’s 2 acre back garden where we found the Tranquility Saloon. Part of Scotland’s first Wild West frontier farm, this authentic outpost is the main attraction in the town which consists of 9 shed buildings including a town hall, bank and general store.

10 years ago Wild West fan Alistair decided he needed somewhere to set his fantasy cowboy adventures so built his own Wild West frontier town where he recreates gun fires with his re-enactment group. The saloon is the social hub of the Wild West town and cost £1,000 to build. Alistair and his group set out recreating the traditional saloon with little to no woodwork experience. All they had to go on was the memory of a photo which Alistair saw once in a history book and even used traditional tools and techniques to build this majestic shed.

The Tranquillity saloon is the community hub for members and they use it as a backdrop to film their Wild West home videos. Every kid has a childhood dream but Alistair’s creation is nothing short of unbelievable.

The 4th and final shed in the Pub/Entertainment category is probably the pubbiest pub shed out there! Reflections or Stephens Bar as its known is in the garden of Stephen Warriloe’s home in Cannock, Staffordshire.

The 16 x 10ft ‘L shape’ pub shed is constructed from 2 standard flat packs with a bespoke extension at one end. Stephen spent £600 and 10 years (and still going) to create this excellent mini pub in his garden. Adorned with all manners of boozy collectables – traditional signage and more than 3000 beer pump clips which he salvages and has bought from pubs across the country. Inside you get a true cosy traditional pub feel as it is crammed full of pub memorabilia with so much of everything everywhere, every inch of space is spoken for and Stephen is even considering expanding!

This excellent authentic space can be mistaken for a real boozer and Stephen has made a real effort to pay homage to the traditional British pub. We’re sure many people are going to be wishing they have one of these in their garden!

It’s no surprise that this category is the most popular, all 4 sheds are very unique and exciting and provide the ideal space for socialising and bring people together. It must have been a very hard job for the public to choose a winner but the votes were in and we can reveal that the winner was revealed as The Hooting Owl. The viewers must have fallen in love with the cosy picturesque shed because we sure did! A big congratulation to Derek and his gorgeous shed!

Wow, what an extraordinary selection of sheds which were on display in this week’s episode, we cannot wait to see next weeks episode where we will see the final 4 sheds from the Budget and the Cabin/Summerhouse shed category plus the judges gather to choose the overall winner of Shed of the Year 2016!

If you missed out on any of the previous episodes then don’t worry, you can catch up and view our episode guides for all of the previous episodes in our Shed of the Year hub.

Did you miss the last episode? Don’t worry you can catch up here