Chesterfield grandad's 'castle at the bottom of the garden' short-listed for shed of the year
A Chesterfield grandad has reached the finals of a national competition – after building a fairytale castle for his granddaughter during lockdown.
Mark Campbell began the ambitious project in his Wingerworth garden after he was required to shield during the pandemic.
He is now hoping to emulate another Derbyshire man after reaching the final of the annual Cuprinol Shed Of The Year competition, which was won by Buxton’s Chris Hield, for his Hobbit hole-inspired Bux End, in 2019.
Mr Campbell, who worked in banking, said: “It was my eldest son who gave me the idea, reminding me that my father had wanted to build a treehouse for me when I was young but could never find the time.
“History was about to repeat itself with my son and his daughter, so I took the initiative and built this.
“As a retired chap I wore several caps, designer, builder, financier and general dogsbody. I have absolutely no experience in building, especially with wood and not even when I was at school.”
Mark’s design was inspired by illustrations from granddaughter Sienna’s favourite story books.
The two-storey creation, christened Winterwood, stands 12-feet tall and is one of three on the shortlist for the Lockdown category.
Mark followed internet tutorials while building the castle and says he had to watch what he ate during the process - so he could fit through its tiny door.
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 awardeda giant golden crown.
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.
“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."
Public voting for the competition opens on Wednesday, June 2 and will close on Monday, July 12.
Cast your vote here.