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How Mike Indulged a Love of Travel During Lockdown

Published: 06/05/2021

Tiger’s range of sheds, log cabins and summerhouses is made to fulfil many uses – from storage, to guest accommodation, garden offices, pet houses, wooden playhouses, bike storage and more. We designed the Tiger Overlap Apex Shed to provide a blend of classic looks, solid build quality and value for money – and most of our customers use it as an inexpensive way to create extra storage space. But as it turns out, Mike had other plans for his Tiger Shed.

Here’s how Mike’s Tiger story starts…

The Covid-19 pandemic got a lot of people asking one particular question: What do you do when there’s nothing to do? For Mike Bingham, this was a real issue as he loves travelling – especially by train. During the travel bans in lockdown throughout 2020 and into 2021, there was no way he could indulge this passion. Or was there?

Keeping busy despite Covid

To help him keep busy in the winter months, during which travel was restricted due to Covid, Mike set to work on a project that would help him indulge his love of travel without actually travelling... He wanted to build a faux railway signal box – a tribute to the rich heritage of railway buildings in the UK, some of which are almost 200 years old [1].

Mike’s inspiration

Mike explains, “The inspiration for my signal box theme came from my Grandad who was employed by the Great Central Railway, which later became the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). “With the colours, I aimed to match those the LNER used on its buildings in the late 1930’s – or Deep Cream and Buckingham Green for the purists.

What made Mike choose a Tiger Shed?

“I needed a shed that had the look of those lovely old LNER signal boxes, but not the size – there’s not enough room in my garden for a full-size one!” Mike laughs. He continues, “The Tiger 8x6 Overlap Apex Shed had the look I wanted – its apex roof, rivets and proportions were just right. I could see in my mind’s eye what the finished product would look like – and it was perfect.

Was the signal box easy to build?

“Luckily I had a covered area to prepare the shed – it was easier to paint it before assembly and do it inside. “On the days it was warm enough to apply paint, I learned quickly that the number of coats needed was proportional to the cost of the paint.

Tiger signal box during building process “Once the shed had been painted, putting it up was easy with the help of my wife Sandra and son Nathan. I’m not great at DIY, but managed to build a workbench inside from reused wood. "I’ve also up-cycled other things like the watering can and some old stools.  I’ve even put up some old railway photos and posters.”

What does Mike use the shed for?

Mike says, “Well, the shed is close enough to my house to get a Wi-Fi signal so I’ve done a few work meetings from my faux signal box. “But really it’s for chilling – reading and planning for future travel when the world opens again. “I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I don’t often use Twitter but when I shared a photo of the signal box, Tim Dunn, who’s well known in heritage-railway circles, described it as ‘ace’, which was nice to hear.” Tim Dunn's reaction to signal box on Twitter  

To start your next project, go to tigersheds.com


[1] https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/iha-signal-boxes/heag137-signal-boxes-iha/?fbclid=IwAR2yU1ha4BbfWqBX2GPEP2rmSi-8vbM672rZz0rik82UKL_p5gDUx2oVa54  

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