Shed of the Year Finalists From the Weird to the Wonderful

Public voting is now open for Readersheds’ Shed of the Year 2021. You can vote for your favourite from a shortlist on the website at www.readersheds.co.uk until July 12th.

Sponsored by garden products specialist Cuprinol, the Shed of the Year Awards celebrates every conceivable style, shape and size of the shed. From the traditional to the unconventional and everything in between, Readersheds has them all.

The man behind Readersheds, Andrew Wilcox (Uncle Wilco) is also head judge and founder of the Shed of the Year competition. A passionate sheddie since his youth, his mission to open the eyes of the world to the importance of the shed, of course the idea came to him in the birthplace of many other fine ideas, the pub!

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Nicholas Pointing and his Chitty Inventor’s Workshop, Sandown, Isle of Wight

The competition has been running for 15 years and now gets extensive media coverage, as the shed ideas get more outrageous and ambitious.

Winers in previous years have included everything from a mock Roman villa to a pirate ship, and un upturned boat to a Hobbit-style warren.

A former navy veteran who built a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-inspired shed and a businesswoman who launched a bra-fitting boutique are among the finalists for this year’s Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 competition.

Lockdowns

After a year of successive lockdowns, this year’s Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition has been the fiercest yet, with a record-breaking 331 entrants vying for shed glory – more than double the entries seen in the 2020 competition.

Entrants were whittled down to just 22 finalists, with three sheddies shortlisted in the Budget, Cabin/Summerhouse, Pub & Entertainment, Unexpected/Unique, Workshop/Studio and Nature’s Haven categories.

Meanwhile, four sheddies were shortlisted in the Lockdown category, which was introduced for last year’s competition to reflect the number of people building sheds as a project during the pandemic.

Danielle Zarb-Cousin with her shed Creme De Menthe-70s Summer Bar in Thorpe Bay Essex.

Some of this year’s entries include influencer Danielle Zarb-Cousin, who created a chic 70s-inspired Creme de Menthe bar in her parent’s garden after going through a break-up, and specialist bra-fitter Joanna van Blommestein, who built lingerie boutique Bra Boss of Kent HQ in her summerhouse.

In the Lockdown category, Catholic priest Father Len Black, from Inverness, made it to the finals with The Oratory Of St Joseph, the summerhouse where he has held Mass since 2011. Over lockdown, he streamed Mass every day from the shed though his website, attracting viewers from Essex to Australia.

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Father Len Black with his shed in Inverness

In the Studio/Workshop category, Isle of Wight resident Nicholas Pointing built a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-inspired shed as he needed a space to build a replica of the film’s iconic car for his wife.

And in the Nature’s Haven category, Herefordshire archeologist Rebecca Roseff built a medieval-inspired shelter – called Batbarn – to support rare horseshoe bat colonies for their summer roosts.

Shed-to-shed

The competition will now see the 22 finalists go shed-to-shed across the nine categories. A winner from each will be decided by public vote, before a panel of shed experts decide which overall winner will be awarded the giant golden crown.

Alongside eternal shed glory, the overall winner will also receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.

Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “The past year has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us and, now more than ever, we’re aware of how important the humble shed can be.

“Sheds are not just unloved, brown structures at the bottom of the garden that house tools and household junk, they are vital spaces where you can go to relax, work on a project or burn off some steam.

Mark Campbell, Winterwood, Wingerworth, Derbyshire

“The high-calibre entries this year really prove why we set up the competition in the first place – to highlight the valuable role sheds can play in our lives, in our businesses and the positive impact they have on our wellbeing.”

Kirsty Woodbine, Marketing Manager for Cuprinol, added: “We are overwhelmed by the amount and quality of entries we’ve received this year.

“The sheds were of such a high standard that narrowing them down to just 22 was an incredibly difficult task.

“The level of innovation, imagination and creativity we’ve seen has been incredible, as has the number of people using their sheds as dedicated spaces to help others in their community. This year’s contest has been truly life affirming.”

Classrooms

Last year’s shed-building superstar Daniel Holloway walked away with the coveted title of Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 after wowing judges with his nature-inspired refuge Bedouin Tree-Shed, built around two tree trunks in his back garden.

Ashley Bates took home the competition’s first ever Special Commendation in 2020, after setting up The Shed School to help educate children while lockdown closed classrooms.

Sobie’s Hair & Wig Shed, Sevenoaks in Kent

Public voting for the 15th annual competition opens on Wednesday, June 2 and will close on Monday, July 12.

Check out all of the 22 finalists and cast your vote here.

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