Enter Shed of the year 2023

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    A P Bailey
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This shed is in its third iteration built at the end of my garden on the River Exe, using mostly of recycled materials, flotsam and jetsam. The roof is of big six tin sheets, overlaid with salvaged polystyrene and fibreglass for insulation and roofed again with twinwall plastic sheeting discarded by a neighbour. Two of the walls are the original garden walls, two large recycled double-glazed windows and the distictive wooden chimney (with stainless steel liner). The doors are 100 year old sourced from the main house It comprises a small workshop, galley and studio/summerhouse that is reminiscent of the saloon on an old workboat. Every bit of wood has a story, the walls are lined with panels fashioned from driftwood, mounted on plywood which were once desktops in County Hall, school gymnasium beams and discarded masts support the ceiling, the table came from a motor launch owned by a German POW who never went back home, the parquet floor recycled by a neighbour and then discarded. The settee/bunk fashioned from planks cut from old sea defence timbers. And the skipper of our lifeboat gave me a ball of heavy twine soaked in stockholm tarr so it even smells right! This space has a great ambiance and when the tide is in we hold dinner parties there, the wood burner with its wooden chimney providing required warmth. At other times it is a "clean space" for finishing products of the workshop. The little galley is "work in progress" lined with tiles given or collected over the years and centred on a laboratory sink. Outside one wall is wany edged planks sawn from a tree that fell down in an uncle's garden, a number of dinghy floorboards create a sailing memorial in memory of Larry Hockings, a local fisherman who left the boards to his nephew, a southern railway finial on the roof dug from the mud and a mural by my wife representing the eclipse. Many of the artefacts inside also tell a story.

Other info

For me a good shed is organic growing out of materials that become available...the first version of this one was made from disassembled larch lap panels (I even recycled the nails), roofed with driftwood ply and waterproofed with discarded rubberised canvas that once had been roller blackboard. Total cost ...a box of roofing nails and a tin of bitumastic for a 15 x 15 shed It has to suit its purpose and be capable of changing to suit changing needs: what started as a store for boat bits and garden tools eventually evolved into a workshop/studio/summerhouse which can actually be used all year round as it is so well insulated

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