The good old shed, not a bike, agricultural, wood or train shed, but the humble garden shed. From a simple place to store tools, garden equipment and general bric-a-brac to being a refuge from a nagging wife, sheds have held a special place with a broad spectrum of society for hundreds of years. Visions of a man sneaking off for a sly cigarette, flat caps and cooing racing pigeons, home brewing equipment and looking at magazines forbidden in the house are just a few images synonymous with a shed in the back garden. And for avid growers of vegetables on allotments, sheds have been used as meeting points for a cuppa, a place to boast about the size of parsnips and the richness and aroma of the last delivery of manure.
Wind the clock back over four hundred years to when the shed, or shud as it was called then, housed small animals or covered firewood from rain, and there’s a good chance some poor soul lurked within it’s timber walls to escape a shrewish wife. You never know, but maybe old Walt Raleigh snuck off to his shed for a crafty smoke and a bag of potato crisps; it’s the kind of thing you do when someone is after your head. In some countries the shed has connotations with punishment: in America, the threat of a trip to the woodshed by an irate parent generally struck fear into the heart of the child being threatened. It seems the shed is known (most times with affection) in popular culture throughout the western world.
Men and sheds go together like women and hairdressers. Modern sheds, large and small, can be constructed in metal, plastic, vinyl and of course wood, which is probably the most well-liked, being traditional and pleasing to the eye environmentally. A big advantage of a wooden shed is that it can be enlarged relatively easily as they tend to come in modular form. Simply remove one wall and expand – ‘Hi Frank, have you seen my new extension?’ The same can be said about adding extra windows, a second door or even gaining more height by raising the roof.
However, looking after a wooden shed requires a little time now and again. Staining and treating the wood for protection against the elements and pests is essential for maintaining a healthy shed. Purchasing a quality product from the beginning gives a sound foundation for a long-lasting and weather-proof shed. Woodworks Direct meet all these criteria. Then again, escaping once a year to the shed with a pot of stain and a tin of beer is simply part of the love affair for aficionados. In a fast changing world of high technology, it’s good to know some things are timeless and will never change.