1960s Shed Restoration

The Restoration of the shed began in spring 2017. It was believed by the restorer, Simon Coleman that the shed had special value to the allotments. During the excavation items were found dating back to the 1920’s. It was physically impossible to get inside the shed as large amounts of soil had been piled around the door area. This had allowed it to be preserved for possibly the last 20 years.
The shed had been unused for a number of years, there was so much soil inside the shed and against the door that looking inside was very difficult. The public can visit this shed on our Summer open days in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The images below shows the shed as found before any restoration was carried out and the soil dug out from inside and around the front of the shed during the restoration.

 

How old is this shed?   We believe this shed was built in the 1960s or possibly 1950s. In an 1971 aerial photograph a structure is shown on the exact site.

Were any old items found in the shed?   Yes, we found a semi rotary pump from around 1950s, four 1920s- 1930s enamel cigarette signs, a Corry’s Slug Death tin from around 1930s various bottles and plastic bags.

Why is the shed so small?   We know from aerial photographs dating back to 1942 that there were less sheds in decades past. We believe that sheds were mostly hand built by plot holders and just used for storing tools and sheltering in poor weather. It is known that some allotments had restrictions in height in the 1960’s but it is not known if that was the case in this allotment.

What features are original?   The shed was completely rebuilt using as much of the original material as possible. The back wall with various hooks is pretty much as it was found dating back to the 1960Ss. The shelf was in the same position but one bracket was missing as well as the wooden shelf. The corrugated metal south end may not be original but it has been kept as it was found. The front section and door had serious rot in the lower sections and has had some of the wood replaced but it looks the same as when restoration began.

What new features were added during the restoration?   We found 4 enamel signs during excavations and two of these have been displayed in the shed. They were found laying on the floor. The right hand side had been repaired more recently with plastic corrugated sheeting, this end has been rebuilt using floor boards from Bloomfield place and a perforated aluminium window added. A front step has been created using Edwardian paving tiles from the local area.

 

Above: Two items found in the shed: Wills’s Gold Flake Cigarettes enamel sign and a Corry’s Slug death tin both from the 1930s. For a pdf version of the Shed restoration click