Bloke's shed strikes a chord with male show-goers

SIENA YATES
Last updated 05:00 08/10/2012
MEN'S SANCTUARY: Peter McKenzie, left, Paul Alderton and John Clarke, front, escape the crowds in the Ultimate Bloke’s Shed yesterday.
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

MEN'S SANCTUARY: Peter McKenzie, left, Paul Alderton and John Clarke, front, escape the crowds in the Ultimate Bloke’s Shed yesterday.

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It might be men dragging their girlfriends along to the Waikato Home and Garden Show next year, after one of this year's new features - the Ultimate Bloke's Shed - proved popular.

Masterminded and brought together by Kiwispan New Zealand director Paul Alderton, the shed's homey feel, live band and bar became a haven for blokes surrounded by homewares and floral arrangements.

The shed was built especially for the show only a matter of days ago, but as blokes, partners and children gathered in the shed, it could easily have passed for a decades-old local.

The old car and car parts, the vintage pinball machine, live music, eating at an old workshop bench and a bar serving local craft beer brought what could have been a run-of-the-mill exhibit to life.

Mr Alderton said the shed was meant to be "a bit of a man-creche", which the women ended up enjoying just as much as the men.

"Women need to kick their men out every now and again. Everyone needs their own space, and the ladies are also quite happy just getting a wine and sitting down and enjoying themselves too," he said.

"The whole idea of the home show is to create something different each year, this was a new concept. [The show] is so much more geared towards the ladies - the shoppers - and this might encourage a few more guys to come along and they can kick back in someone else's shed for the weekend."

Working in conjunction with Peter McKenzie and Dave Smith from Shunters Yard Brewery, the Bloke's Shed won Best Outside Stand for 2012.

Graham Hannah, of Hannah & Associates, who organised the show, said this year's was the biggest yet, boasting 409 exhibitors and more than 33,000 visitors.

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- Waikato Times

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