What goes on in the shed next door?

Blokes and Sheds Bus Tour organiser Ken Bowie gearing up for another mystery tour on August 13.
Rebecca Moore/STUFF

Blokes and Sheds Bus Tour organiser Ken Bowie gearing up for another mystery tour on August 13.

Sheds come in all shapes and sizes, but inside them hidden treasures are found.

This year is the 17th year of the annual Blokes and Sheds Bus Tour fundraiser for Southland Boys' High School.

Organiser Ken Bowie said the mystery bus tour was running earlier than previous years, on August 13, so would be the perfect early Father's Day present.

There was a long history of the mystery bus tour, which involved visiting mens sheds throughout the region.

It started in 2001 as a fundraiser for students of the school to attend a trip to Kumagaya, Japan.

With its success the fundraiser continued to draw crowds each year, with an average of about 130 people joining the tour, Bowie said.

"It was a big surprise to get here."

Throughout the years "all sorts" of sheds had been visited, including woodwork sheds, car restorations and different collections.

"We're showing the identity and craftsmanship of the Southland bloke."

People were "just amazed" at the variety, ingenuity and perserverance that had gone into some of the sheds, he said.

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"It's hard to say what's different. They're all different.

"There's something for the woodworkers, restorers and collectors."

However there was no stereotype of "bloke" that attended the tour, tradies, mechanics, accountants and "the odd lady" joined the group.

"It's the sheer variety of what goes on in the shed next door. You just don't know what's in there."

Bowie said this year would be no different, and he was promising variety on the tour whether that be in the shed itself or the character of the owner.

"Some of them [the shed owners] are hard cases. Some are quite funny and some are quite quiet and reserved."

The tours success came down to the people, the sheds and the networking, Bowie said.

There were always new sheds to be seen, and a country bus tour that would run over a weekend was in the works for people interested in heading out of town, he said.

But the school fundraiser tour was the longest standing consecutive shed tour in New Zealand.

Usually about $2000 to $2500 were raised for the school.

The money would go to "all different things" in the school that the parent-teacher association allocated it to, Bowie said.

Tickets are $35 for "real blokes" and "$15 for "apprentice blokes", aka school pupils.

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 - Stuff

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