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Men and Sheds [Hardcover]

Gordon Thorburn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2002 Men &
It has been said that a shed is to a man what a handbag is to a woman - both contain all the essentials for surviving in the modern world and in the same way that no decent man would ever consider looking in a woman's handbag uninvited, so no reasonable woman would dream of setting foot in a man's shed. This book is a study of over 40 men and their sheds around the UK, a quirky look at the personalities and the passions hidden within the shed, whether it is used for eccentric inventions, as a chapel, a housing for a milk bottle collection, an allotment shed, a home for exotic reptiles or a place to make music. The fascinating story of each bloke and his shed is accompanied by photographs of the inner sanctum and of the customized exteriors.

Frequently Bought Together

Men and Sheds + The Joy of Sheds: Because a Man's Place Isn't in the Home + I'm Pottering in the Shed Mug
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: New Holland Publishers Ltd (1 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843303299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843303299
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Gordon Thorburn the legitimate child of Hrothgar Tørbjorn, Swedish air ace, whose Volvo night fighter was mistakenly shot down over Dewsbury. Hrothgar sold his parachute and married Ivy Milburn, a Geordie ice-cream girl and exotic-dance understudy, in a private ceremony at Leeds City Varieties.

As a boy, Gordon was keen to be a bought ledger clerk with the Assembly of the Free Churches of Scotland but his father wanted him to be a poet or sculptor. As a compromise, Gordon enrolled at the Kirkstall Lane Temperance College to learn black-pudding knotting. He supplemented this with a course in participle dangling then ran away to London to be indentured to the advertising legend S H Benson, gent., as an infinitive splitter (hot metal).

After two years' trying to think of a different way of saying 'Guinness is good for you', Gordon joined McCann Erickson where he became known as 'The Nine out of Ten Copywriter'. Phrases he coined there included 'The Esso sign appertains to happy motoring', 'A Double Diamond works quite well considering', 'Oh, Bisto', 'Hardly anything acts faster than Anadin' and 'I'd like to buy the world a Jennings of Cockermouth'.

Gordon lived in Suffolk for 15 years, where shed enlightenment began to dawn but was cut short by a large number of Essex people moving in and erecting fibreglass Victorian street lamps in their gardens. After ten years in Appleby-in-Westmorland smallholding and good-lifing, with many stone sheds, a bull pen and a barn, he's now back in Suffolk with his wife Sue. He is working on several new books, including one about sheds.

See also

Published 2010
The Classic Allotment. March, Remember When/Pen & Sword
The Classic Herb Garden. June, Remember When/Pen & Sword
Travelling Art - Gypsy Caravans and Canal Boats. June, The History Press
Cassius - paperback edition, July, John Blake
Pubs and their history - October, Remember When

Unauthorised celebrity biography (under pseudonym). February, John Blake
Me and My MG - May.
The Pocket Guide to Sheds - June.
Remembering the High Street - September.

Kindle books
666 Squadron - The owl that shriek'd (WW2 fiction)
Pigs for Dinner (psycho-thriller)
Nicky Tams, King of Nosepipe (children's fiction)

Currently working on:
Jocks in the Jungle (Black Watch as Chindits 1944 - Pen and Sword)
Superpiss, Kiss Me, Bedcocks and Fart (international brand names)
The Fighter Pilot's Handbook

Earlier books published
No Need To Die, Americans in RAF Bomber Command. July 2009, Haynes
Cassius, true story of an exceptional police dog. March 2009, John Blake
Animal Spy - undercover investigations into animal cruelty. Sept 2007, Vision
Bombers, first and last - WW2 with No IX Squadron, RAF. June 2006, Robson
Men and Sheds - October 2002, New Holland (140,000 copies sold)
Ghosted autobiography of undercover agent. Simon & Schuster, August 2001
43 Unsporting Moments, Village Cricket, The Appleby Rai, The Buxton Baths Murders - own imprint.

Awards London BISFA 'Best Scriptwriter', Los Angeles ITVA 'Golden Reel' (both for video documentary about lack of treatment for kidney patients); Lakeland Books of the Year, Jennings Prize (The Appleby Rai).

Newspaper and magazine articles and stories - many, including Art Review, Crafts, The Independent, Yorkshire Post, Garden News, Garden Answers, Yorkshire Journal, Police Review, At Home (medical journal), Golf Monthly, Whitbread Magazine, Yours, Plain English, FlyPast, Armourer, Britain at War. American magazines Logbook and MAKE. Weekly humorous column This world of ours in the Yorkshire Post.

Career summary Benn Brothers (trade and technical journalism); S H Benson, then McCann Erickson (advertising copywriting); Thorburn Kirkpatrick (copywriting, editing, design, PR and print production); freelancing in copywriting, journalism, non-fictional and fictional books; editing and publishing under own imprint; more freelancing and more books.

Product Description

About the Author

Gordon Thorburn started his writing career as an advertising copywriter before becoming a freelance journalist in corporate communications and eventually a full-time author of a variety of books ranging from romantic fiction through an account of the RAF to a hilarious look at village cricket. He lives in Buxton, Derbyshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sheds I have known and loved 16 Oct 2003
This is a pretty cracking book, with some fantastic sheds featured, brought to life with some lovely black and white photography.
My only criticism is that the text lets it down a wee bit - I didn't feel that the author really gets to the bottom of the "shed thing", but tended instead to ramble on a bit about stuff that wasn't really relevant.
That said, it's worth buying on the strength of the photos - you can't help but smile looking at them!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to get a Shedstart in life 15 Jan 2003
By Dave
This highly entertaining book seeks to highlight and promote the many and varied activities that are undertaken in the buildings-that-aren't-buildings living in gardens across the UK. The seeming mundanity of the humble shed is blown-apart by the sheer exuberant range of activities, people and machines that appear in these pages. A thoroughly interesting, if brief, read that seeks no explanation or philosophy behind the shed, but simply to show what people, in fact men, do in and with their sheds.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't get you out of my shed 20 Jan 2003
By Dave
What an excellent way to imagine you have another life outside of the daily grind. Each of the short articles, accompanied by a picture, explains a different use that chaps have for their sheds. It is well presented and made me wonder in awe at the somewhat unusual spare (and not so spare) time activities of the shed-loving community. The photographs capture the esence of the activities undertaken in each shed, and it is amazing to look at how each shed has evolved over time to be an ideal partner for whatever goes in inside. It rather put my simple garden shed full of tools and garden equipment into the shade. It is a great read to flick through in any order, and gives flight to your imagination, and maybe your motivation, in order to contemplate what your old shed would be like with a lick of paint and a comfy chair.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Englishman's home is... his shed 17 May 2004
The shed is a powerful psychological totem for the Englishman. It is private space, sacred space, space for contemplation - oh and space for storing the debris of a life's hobbies, DIY, and assorted junk-gathering. This excellent little photo-essay on shedding covers a range of sheds and their owners ranging from the purely functional to the esoteric and eclectic. All human life (at least, all human life as comprehended by the Shed-Type Bloke) can be found within the walls of an outbuilding - the hopes, dreams and mad projects of the British male can be seen in extremis in this book.
Oh and it's funny too ;)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The woman's Perspective! 13 Dec 2003
By A Customer
A Lovely book! An ideal Christmas gift for the man in your life - along with a shed of course! In my view, every man should be shedded!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very small book! 15 Dec 2008
By G. Town
I haven't yet read this book as it is a present for my father. However the first impression left me slightly disappointed. There is much emphasis on the photography in this book yet its dimensions are smaller than many fiction books and it is a lot thinner. The description led me to believe it would be a book with high visual impact when in fact this is a book that would easily be overlooked on a bookshelf or coffee table.

However, having flicked through the content I am sure that my dad will love learning that there are people out there just like him :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A book about men who have their own private den. A retreat away from the cares of life where they are free to engage in their hobbies be it a home made office, lab, workshop or simply a store for collecting things. A snapshot about life itself, showing diverse buildings and the many uses which people put their sheds to. One very minor gripe is that I would have preferred colour pictures which would have brought out a more individual feel, so characteristic of every proud shedder
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every man's retreat 14 Jan 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just what every man who needs to get away from it needs - all without having to get away. Simply take this with you to any safe quite haven and indulge. Nice to know there's others who do this sort of thing. A good read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Deadpan funny!
I bought this as a stocking filler for my husband. We both enjoyed it! Such a lot of laughter from such a little book.
Published 7 months ago by Jane Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Men and Sheds
I bought this for a male friend of ours who has recently built himself a shed at the end of his garden. When I saw this I thought it would make him and his wife laugh. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sam Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Men and sheds
This was a perfect book for my brother in law at Christmas. It kept him quiet and chuckling to himself for ages!! Money well spent!!
Published 9 months ago by CLARE
5.0 out of 5 stars book
purchased for my husband who has just bought and installed a cabin. HE calls it a shed though, I think it is his mid life crisis man shed. goog value, arrived on time.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs H E Annesley
4.0 out of 5 stars Men and Sheds
Bought as a christmas stocking filler for "shed bound" husband. A quick flick through tells me that he will enjoy it.
Published 10 months ago by stargazer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This ,is a great little book , full of charm . There is not a page to be turned that doesn't produce broad smiles . A lovely selection of sheds and characters . Read more
Published 15 months ago by A.J. Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB
A great little book bought for my dad who loves his man shed! Made him smile....reasonable price and arrived promptly thank you
Published 16 months ago by sarah
1.0 out of 5 stars ladies and sheds
I do not own this book but have had a read through and would like to ask the author to consider ladies with sheds! Read more
Published 18 months ago by E. Watkins
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
A fun book with lots of pictures of sheds sheds and more sheds . If you like r knw someone who likes sheds this book is bout sheds lol
Published 21 months ago by Zennadream
5.0 out of 5 stars MEN AND SHEDS
This book was purchsed for a 60th birthday present - it was very well received, a fun book and a perfect present for anyone who loves sheds!
Published 22 months ago by EmmaOrgill
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