An artist from New Brighton has made the shortlist for the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 with his heptagonal, geometry-themed shed.

Les Rowe created his shed, 'Tranquility Base', out of mostly recycled materials and parts donated from family, friends and neighbours.

The shed features seven outwards-sloping sides, seven-sided domed roof, stained glass windows from a synagogue in Cardiff and a centre star made from pitch pine reclaimed from St James’ Church in New Brighton.

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Les said: “I'm not at all religious but I love the atmosphere created in religious buildings and have tried to create some of that in the shed.

“The ‘In Memoriam’ stained glass is not about the dead, its beautiful colours and fantastic designs evoke all kinds of memories and reflections in a peaceful uncluttered space.”

Les said the inspiration behind his shed was ‘triggered by the death of a chicken’.

“I built an enclosure for four chickens and they kept us well - supplied with eggs for about three years - and one by one they all died except for the last one,” he said.

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“I had wanted to build a shed for some time and had to wait for her demise at the age of ten before I could begin the build as the chicken run occupied the space I wanted to use.”

During lockdown, Les said the shed has been used as ‘somewhere to go as an escape from the house’.

He said: “A visit to the shed with a cup of coffee has provided variety and relief from the frustration of not being able to visit friends and relatives.”

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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. 

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“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. 

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“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.” 

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Public voting for the 15th annual competition opens on Wednesday, June 2 and will close on Monday, July 12. 

You can see all of the 22 finalists and cast your vote here.