The winner of the Shed of the year 2011 is…

I have great pleasure in announcing that this year Shed of the year is a Workshop/Studio shed

Songs from the shed

songs from the shed - Jon Earl

Many congratulations to sheddie Jon Earl from Clevedon N Somerset he will win the £1000 prize and shedload of product from our Sponsors Cuprinol.

Even though the shed is in a state of disrepair, the judges were impressed with the unusual use of this very special shed. Sarah Beeny commented “this is what a shed should be – full of interesting things that you’re not quite sure what you’ll ever do with,” and DJ Simon Mayo branded it a “great idea” and a “beautiful shed”.

Jon said “I’m absolutely thrilled to win Shed of the Year, especially against such tough competition. I inherited my shed and its contents from the previous owners of my house and had been using it for storage until the idea to turn it into a music venue came about in 2009 after a visit to the local pub. I set up the ‘Songs from the Shed’ website which is where I upload videos of bands playing acoustic sessions from the shed. Since I started inviting bands to play in the shed things have really taken off, with over 1,000 musicians having had their songs videoed here so far, including well-known stars such as Steve Harley, future stars such as Benjamin Francis Leftwich, bands from the USA, the Netherlands, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Australia and Tasmania and even a 26-strong gospel choir.

“I’ve actually got a waiting list of over 100 bands wanting to be filmed but the shed needs a little sprucing up before I get them all booked in. The shed’s got a bit of a woodworm problem and is about to undergo a major refurbishment so the £1,000 prize and the Cuprinol products will come in very handy!”

Originally a First World War billet hut, music fan and regular festival goer Jon decided in 2009 to turn his ramshackle shed into a venue to video acoustic music sessions. He began inviting musicians from all over the world into the 12ft by 10ft shed to video the sessions. The humble looking shed has hosted sessions for musicians ranging from the Fairport Convention to Steve Harley and has even been the setting for a video for US band the Water Tower Bucket Boys. Videos from the sessions can be viewed on www.songsfromtheshed.com, which has now had over 350,000 visitors.

This is the fifth year we have run Shed of the year and each year the competition gets tougher and what Jon is doing is creating a community within his shed, which I admire a lot as that’s what I have been trying to do with readersheds, and sometimes it’s not the quality of the building itself but what you do with it that makes a National Shed of the Year winner.

Congrats again to Jon and Many thanks to all the sheddies who took part and the sheds that made it to the final list - Can’t wait to see what you get up to for Shed of the year 2012!.