Rescued red-zoned sheds given new life

Billy Wilson's restored garden sheds are on display at 100 Peterborough Street from Friday July 10.
Dean Kozanic

Billy Wilson's restored garden sheds are on display at 100 Peterborough Street from Friday July 10.

A painter and decorator has restored old garden sheds that he rescued from the residential red zone.

The Tool Sheds are Billy Wilson's parting gift to Christchurch.

The rescued state-house tool sheds have been restored, roofed, raked, sanded, caulked, filled, primed and painted as part of Wilson's art project.

Billy Wilson has created The Tool Sheds project where he has refurbished four garden sheds that he rescued from ...
Dean Kozanic

Billy Wilson has created The Tool Sheds project where he has refurbished four garden sheds that he rescued from red-zoned state houses.

Wilson, 37 plans to unveil his four 1940s sheds on 100 Peterborough St at a child-friendly public opening on Friday July 10.

It had been a labour of love for Wilson over the last three months, who was now preparing to move north.

"I'll go and they can stay."

Wilson, a self employed EQR painter and decorater, rescued five garden sheds from red-zoned properties.

He had his eye on several more, but by the time funding was in place and permission granted by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority to rescue the wooden sheds, they were the only ones that survived arson or demolition.

"It was kind of lucky really because if there had been any more, I might have bitten off more than I could chew in restoring them."

"They're deceptively time consuming little things."

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More than $12,000 had been donated by Christchurch City Council's Transitional City Projects Fund for the project.

Three of the sheds once occupied properties in Avonside's Robson Ave, and one from Maling St.

The Student Volunteer Army had received one of the rescued sheds to use as a mobile office.

After a month, the biggest shed would be moved to its new home in St Albans for the community gardens on Packe St.

Wilson was taking proposals from "any one" to decide the future of the remaining three sheds.

He said he liked the idea of them becoming some kind of "modular spaces" or antique porta-coms in the city.

"I really wanted to see what they looked like in good condition because they never really were... and let them speak for themselves."

Wilson would be on site from 11 to 6 on Friday and the sheds would be on display until August 10.

The first ribbon cutting was scheduled for 11.15am and would be followed by performance and puppets. A second ribbon cutting would be at 5pm by mayor Lianne Dalziel.

 - The Press

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