Tin Shed Experience

Tin Shed Experience

The Tin Shed started off as a quaint and quirky 1940's museum, and is pleased to say that it is still quaint and quirky, however, we have moved on since our initial opening. In our fourth year we realise our potential for schools and colleges, as well as tourism and therefore will be inviting teachers and lecturers to bring their students and get involved. On June 4th, 2011 after 18 months hard work, by a very small team of enthusiasts, the project had been a labour of love for local men Andrew Isaacs and Seimon Pugh-Jones, both of whom have collected such memorabilia since meeting whilst working at the Ministry of Defence in Pendine. Both have always had a love of nostalgia and history, Andrew collects items from the American old west and even spent his summers as a ranch hand in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Seimon has a great love of the 1940s and the war era often visiting famous battlegrounds in Normandy and the rest of Europe and has accrued a vast collection of items. In 2009 they had a chance meeting in a local supermarket and got talking, eventually leading them to stage a 1940s themed dance backed by an exhibition of Seimon’s collection in Andrew’s hometown of Laugharne. Andrew was an armourer and Seimon a photographer. Seimon’s camera work has taken him into the realms of staff photographer for an American war magazine (Armchair General) and has seen him work on many historical features such as Steven Spielberg’s HBO’s award winning mini series ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ The location would be Andrew’s large tin sheeted shed. Andrew says, "both myself and Seimon were stood in this dilapidated tin building full of cleaning equipment and materials when it seemed to spark an idea off in our heads almost at once. We thought, it would be great to restore the tin garage to look like it originally did when built by my father pre war." He goes on, "from there the idea grew and it became the perfect location to transform into a museum." The ‘Tin Shed’ was originally built in 1933 by Andrew’s father as a garage and cost £50 to construct from second hand materials. During the war it was used as a place to store and service vehicles from the Ministry of Defence and after the war returned to civillian uses including services on the motorcycles of the great Bob Berry who used it as a base for repairs for his many bikes during his motor cycle world record attempts at neighbouring Pendine sands. When the garage was inherited by Andrew he used it as storage space and also as a stable for his horse, Blaze. The building was in a bit of a sorry state and would need a great deal of renovation work in order to transform it into a museum The idea came to them after a small temporary exhibition of wartime memorabilia was staged in Andrew’s old zinc sheeted garage in October 2009. Andrew explains, “The exhibition went so well we thought there may be space in the township for something more permanent. I thought it would be great to restore the garage to look like it originally did when built by my father in 1933.” He goes on, “From there the idea grew and it became the perfect location to transform into a museum.” Seimon said, “After numerous meetings with various bodies a small match funded grant from the Welsh Assembly Government was secured. This, combined with the skills of Stephen Hughes, friend and builder, we were able to carry out the refurbishment work. We have however, recycled and reclaimed a great number of materials wherever we could.” The Tin Shed team are also very keen to help educate the younger generation and hope to highlight the effects of war on everyday life in wartime Britain. Andrew explains, “We want part of the project to be educational, picking up on the national curriculum and tailoring some of the exhibit specifically for schools. We do not wish to glamorise war, our goal is to help give an insight of what war meant to the life of ordinary civilians and those serving during the war years. It is important for today’s youth to know that war and conflict has the ability to shape and effect entire generations.” The Tin Shed does not claim to be the biggest museum of it's kind, however with Seimon's background it will certainly be of high quality. He said "We hope to create imaginative story-telling sets to the highest of standards, concentrating on the smallest of details. We hope to make a significant contribution to the Township of Laugharne’s economy.” It seems that the Tin Shed could have many other uses. Seimon said "We have installed an original WWII shelter in the garden of our tin cottage. We have encouraged film and TV companies to consider us. The tin shed is obviously an ideal location for a rural 1940's based production but also as we are based in the town made famous by Dylan Thomas it would be very fitting as a location for a production about the poet. With the centenary of his birth in 2014 as well as the centenary of the start of the Great War it will be a very busy time for film making." Recent projects include BBC's film production 'A Poet In New York' and The National Theatre Of Wales/BBC 'Llareggub'. Seimon continues, “Because the concept of the museum has changed somewhat since its origin we are hoping to diversify into staging collectors and retro and vintage weekends which would see us using the Millennium Memorial Hall adjacent to us and see us bringing a more varied crowd into the town. This will then, hopefully see our visitors utilising other local business and in turn help the local economy which is a major part of the Tin Shed concept.”

CONTACT INFO:
Clifton Street, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, SA33 4QG, United Kingdom