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Shed of the Year: The Candidates - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The garden shed isn’t simply somewhere to store broken lawnmowers and household tools, it’s a great British institution and the Shed of the Year competition showcases the best the UK has to offer.

This year has seen almost 2,500 entries across all categories, so it doesn’t matter if you prefer a garden office or a retreat from the family, Shed of the Year 2015 has it covered. The competition closes on 21 April, so with just a few days left to go we’ve highlighted some of this year’s front-runners below.

Normal Sheds
The “Normal Sheds” category might not sound the most exciting, but there’s still plenty of room for innovation and unique ideas.

This year, Roy James has entered his Dream City Railway shed, which from the outside looks impressive enough, but inside houses one of the largest and most complex standard gauge 0 model railway layouts in the country.

Encompassing metres upon metres of track, 16 stations and 30 trains running simultaneously, the model railway has been a labour of love for Roy over the past 20 years and even includes a fully functioning miniature fairground.

A separate central control room manages the entire operation, with Roy’s entry demonstrating perfectly why a shed is a hobbyist’s dream.

Unique Sheds
The unique shed category has had no shortage of weird and wonderful entries this year, ranging from a cat sanctuary to a road legal shed capable of reaching speeds of 50mph.

However, one of the highest rated entries is Derek Verlander’s Japanese Tea House Shed. The build’s external look is that of a westernised Japanese Tea House (hence the name) and inside Derek has equipped it with a tropical fish tank, a stand made up of traditional Japanese ornaments and a bonsai tree, as well as modern facilities such as a fridge, TV system and bar.

The exterior is made from cedar shingles and frosted Perspex in order to simulate the look of Japanese paper doors, but Derek’s attention to detail isn’t restricted to the shed itself – the Tea House also overlooks a koi carp pond constructed from a disused railway cutting.

Pub Sheds
The only way to improve on a British institution is to combine it with another and hence, the pub shed was born.

The category has become increasingly popular as the pub shed makes a perfect venue for hosting friends and family or sneaking away for a quiet pint or two. This year, Darren’s Shenanigan's Irish Bar has generated a lot of interest as it comes equipped with bar, TV, wood burner stove and is large enough to sit 16 people.

The pub also comes with a dart board for some classic pub games and has Guinness, Murphy’s and Irish Harp lager on tap. The construction of the shed primarily used scrap wood and pallets and Darren was even able to convert the other half of the building into a workshop, so he can still be productive when not entertaining.

However, any prospective drinker at Shenanigans should be warned that Darren has a strict rule that new visitors must have their photo taken with the Irish hat and beard, so that it can take pride of place on the shed’s wall of fame.

Hopefully the sheds above have inspired you to enter the Shed of the Year competition in 2016. Sheds are a great way of indulging your passion, whatever it may be, so why not get started now and see if your own creation has what it takes to be crowned one of the UK’s best sheds.

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