See the three Suffolk sheds shortlisted for the 2017 Cuprinol Shed of the Year
PUBLISHED: 15:28 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:12 20 May 2017
Enthusiasts across the nation have lovingly crafted their creations and now their finest efforts have been whittled down to a shortlist of 32, spread across eight categories, for the Cuprinol 2017 Shed of the Year. We have spoken to the owners of the three Suffolk entries.
Museum of Knots and Sailors’ Ropework (Wherstead Road, Ipswich). Category: Historic
This niche shed was purpose built 20 years ago as a museum to display the sheddie’s extensive and unique collection of knots and ropework. Curated from all over the world, you will find fisherman knots to endless slings, granny knots to grommets, which come together to create an interesting rope village.
Owner Des Pawson, 70, said: “I was made aware of the competition and saw it as an opportunity to promote the museum. Knots and rope are my passion. I visited many museums around the world and one would have hoped to have seen a (knots and sailors ropework) museum, but I was always disappointed, so we decided to open our own.
“We get people from all over the world visiting, from Canada and Russia to Australia and Japan. I am hoping people will be impressed by what they see and vote for all of us representing Suffolk. It’s great for Suffolk that three of us have been shortlisted. It shows that we are full of interesting individuals.”
Walberswick Ferry Hut. Category: Historic
Established in 1236 as a rowing boat service across the River Blyth from Southwold to Walberswick in Suffolk, owner Dani Church is the fifth generation of her family to run and maintain the service. The simple shed is filled with everything you need for the service, as well as a rest spot for Dani, is set on stilts so that it doesn’t flood with the tides. The wooden rowing boats are based on the Suffolk punt design and carry up to 12 passengers at a time.
Mrs Church, 43, said: “There has been a rowing boat service nearly 800 years and I am fifth generation of my family to run the ferry I took over when lovely dad died in 2001.
“The hut is made of lots of reclaimed materials and has been added onto over the years. It’s full of things from the past: oars, books, signs, wet weather clothes. It is a place to sit and chat and is full of memories of ferrymen and the service from the past.
“My early memories of it are of sitting with my dad chatting to lots of old fishermen and friends, eating sausage rolls, my Nanna drinking out of a thermos going accross to get customers, and swimming in the river.
“It would be nice to win as tribute to all the ferrymen past and present who have shaped the ferry service and the hut over the years.”
Southwold Glass Hut. Category: Workshop/Studio
This colourful little shed is a celebration of the joy of childhood and the British seaside. It has been handmade in wood and glass and each individual piece has been decorated by hand, using techniques such as silk screen printing and glass fusing.
The designs have all been inspired by owner Serena Hall’s own letters, photographs, and imagery from her childhood which come together as a perfect personal space to sit in and reflect on her childhood and her parents.
Mrs Hall, 44, said: “I entered on the encouragement of one of my best friends, Dani Church, who is coincidentally also shortlisted. We are both friends from school and both run businesses in Southwold and support each other’s work.
“My Southwold Glass Hut was literally a ‘labour of love’ and a tribute to my parents who both died from cancer when I was younger.
“Cancer is such a heartbreaking and devastating disease and can effect the people left behind terribly. I was only fifteen when I lost my mum and I really struggled without their amazing love and support and decided to make a memory hut, one that was filled with colour, beauty, optimism and hope.
“It is a space that I use to sit in and remember them but it also reminds me that life is short and to get out there and enjoy every moment of it.
“I have used lots of different techniques, such as screen printing, fusing and sand blasting to decorate the glass with letters, childhood doodles from my dad, sketches of Southwold and colourful imagery.
“I would love my shed to win as a dedication to celebrating the importance of a happy childhood, the power of positive thinking and my lovely mum and dad.”
If the link does not work, the website is: www.readersheds.co.uk