Three garden hideaways go head-to-head to be crowned Britain's best Pub Shed of the Year

7 mins read


Three incredible garden hideaways are going head-to-head to be crowned Britain’s very best pub shed of 2022.

The DIY ‘man caves’, which were mainly passion projects during the pandemic, include a country-style pub complete with a log burner, a bar made from reclaimed and recycled materials, and one family’s private nightclub.

The Dog and Ball in Portsmouth will compete against The Tiger in Somerset and The Stagger Inn in Manchester for the coveted prize, before the winner is announced in the final on November 12.

They were shortlisted from thousands of submissions – most of which were build during the coronavirus lockdowns.

The Dog and Ball in Portsmouth was built by John Simmonds, who used largely recycled and reclaimed materials for the pub

The Dog and Ball in Portsmouth was built by John Simmonds, who used largely recycled and reclaimed materials for the pub

The Tiger in Somerset was built by Mark Fletcher, and is a quintessentially British country pub - named after his old haunt

The Tiger in Somerset was built by Mark Fletcher, and is a quintessentially British country pub – named after his old haunt

Rick Cooper built The Stagger Inn in Manchester using the blueprints of a previous bar in his garden, that was'old and tatty'

Rick Cooper built The Stagger Inn in Manchester using the blueprints of a previous bar in his garden, that was ‘old and tatty’

John Simmonds dedicated himself to using mostly reclaimed and recycled materials for The Dog and Ball.

He began building the structure by himself 12 months ago with two aims: ‘To make the bar myself, and to make it from as much salvaged material as possible.’ 

Mr Simmonds added: ‘I achieved the first part having sourced, cut, sanded and fixed every timber and fitting all 4,500 screws myself. This really is a handmade bar.’

He said using only recycled materials was ‘of course a challenge’ – but he managed it with the help of Facebook Marketplace.    

John Simmonds, from Portsmouth, dedicated himself to using mostly reclaimed and recycled materials for The Dog and Ball

John Simmonds, from Portsmouth, dedicated himself to using mostly reclaimed and recycled materials for The Dog and Ball

He began building the structure by himself 12 months ago with two aims:'To make the bar myself, and to make it from as much salvaged material as possible'

He began building the structure by himself 12 months ago with two aims: ‘To make the bar myself, and to make it from as much salvaged material as possible’

Mr Simmonds said using only recycled materials was'of course a challenge' - but he managed it with the help of Facebook Marketplace

Mr Simmonds said using only recycled materials was ‘of course a challenge’ – but he managed it with the help of Facebook Marketplace

The only exceptions to the recycled rule were the main roof joints, with everything else having been recycled or reused

The only exceptions to the recycled rule were the main roof joints, with everything else having been recycled or reused

‘With the exception of the main roof joists, every other part of the build is made from reclaim, re-used or recycled timber and materials,’ Mr Simmonds said.  

‘Each piece has a different story, from the bar ironmongery that belonged to my late father-in-law from his days as an RAF engineer, to the main oak upright timbers which I found in a reclaim yard that were remarkably salvaged from an old demolished building I worked in some 25 years ago.’

Rick Cooper built The Stagger Inn using the blueprints of a previous bar in his garden, that was ‘old and tatty’.

So, in 2020, he pulled down the original structure and gave it a ‘massive revamp’ when the pandemic hit.    

‘I was working full time throughout the pandemic and built this on my own in the little spare time I had,’ Mr Cooper said.

The Stagger Inn in Manchester comes complete with a pool table, and enough seating for all Rick Cooper's friends and family

The Stagger Inn in Manchester comes complete with a pool table, and enough seating for all Rick Cooper’s friends and family

In 2020, Mr Cooper pulled down the original garden pub structure and gave it a'massive revamp' when the pandemic hit

In 2020, Mr Cooper pulled down the original garden pub structure and gave it a ‘massive revamp’ when the pandemic hit

The pub is themed after a pub and a nightclub, and Mr Cooper said he was'quite impressed with himself' for the result

The pub is themed after a pub and a nightclub, and Mr Cooper said he was ‘quite impressed with himself’ for the result

The owner says he spends hours in The Stagger Inn playing poll and doing'some home DJing on my decks'

The owner says he spends hours in The Stagger Inn playing poll and doing ‘some home DJing on my decks’

“I really wanted a pub/nightclub-themed shed so after many hours looking for inspiration I finally got my bar finished in 2022. I’m quite impressed myself, people can’t believe it’s in my garden. 

‘I do enjoy sitting there most nights and practice playing pool shots and listening to my music whilst doing some home DJing on my decks.’

Mark Fletcher was also inspired to build his own garden pub in lockdown, naming it The Tiger after a pub he previously owned in Middlesbrough.

Mark Fletcher was inspired to build his own garden pub in lockdown, naming it The Tiger after a pub he previously owned in Middlesbrough.

Mark Fletcher was inspired to build his own garden pub in lockdown, naming it The Tiger after a pub he previously owned in Middlesbrough.

It features a full bar, with classic wooden detailing and two brown leather armchairs nearby for Mr Fletcher to relax in

It features a full bar, with classic wooden detailing and two brown leather armchairs nearby for Mr Fletcher to relax in

The impressive garden pub also has a welcome mat designed to usher those visiting inside The Tiger for a pint

The impressive garden pub also has a welcome mat designed to usher those visiting inside The Tiger for a pint

He said: ‘I wanted to create the feel of a traditional country pub. The name came from the pub I co-owned in Middlesbrough, called The Tiger after the local league football team that played in orange and black stripes and had a Tigers head as a logo – Grangetown BC.

‘The original Tiger changed its name again in 2020 so it was only fitting that my garden pub became The Tiger.

‘We have had many fantastic nights and look forward to many more.’

The three finalists will now go to a public vote from October 14 until October 28.

The winner will be announced live on Pub Shed Radio on November 12. 

The three finalists will now go to a public vote from October 14 until October 28. The winner will be announced live on Pub Shed Radio on November 12

The three finalists will now go to a public vote from October 14 until October 28. The winner will be announced live on Pub Shed Radio on November 12

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