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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 the 15th annual Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
This story was published on: 04/06/2021
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