I have seen the future in Stuart's shed

Friday 18 November 2011, 11:55

Angelique Halliburton Angelique Halliburton

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BBC world affairs producer Stuart Hughes recently wrote about the marvels of modern broadcast technology that allow him to set up, in all of ten minutes, a radio studio in a hotel room anywhere in the world.

But what intrigued me the most about Stuart's blog was the image of his self-styled News Shed, once a disused garage and now, he claimed, a fully operational studio at the bottom of his garden.

This clearly called for further investigation. Stuart kindly agreed to give my co-producer Helen Hutchinson and I an exclusive tour of the shed to show us what he can do in it.

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    Comment number 1.

    This has got the shed world buzzing, as writers, poets, dreamers and artists habitually consort with their sheds and many more only need to read of a good example. As a child it was considered bad form, though, to have a small (transistor) radio in our family beach hut, even with only an earphone in one ear. Later as a student I claimed I could revise at the same hut, which gradually became bedecked with a car battery and a small television. This gadgetry grew and grew and the ruination of us all was the national Sunday papers doing lifestyle pieces on beach hut topics. When television got interested I found a small mac classic , scanner and laser-printer could feed my ego and produce the Mudeford Sandbank News. With every annual issue the prices went up £10,000 a hut, until in 2005 we sold out...to a senior BBC manager for £120,000. Then I started to write about falling prices noticing that as people said, "maybe he knows something we don't". All I knew was I was sitting on a family asset and I had already loved the place to bits. My newspaper was 20 pages each summer and I didn't know what a deadline was. I claimed of course I wrote it in the hut but actually I wrote it in the roofspace of my day job where I had found a sound proof room. Summer was for slummin'. I got to be on BBC radio and various TV programmes, including ARD1 where I got paid £440 for just having fun. The crew were only due to do a days filming, it was hot and sunny and they stayed for 4 or 5 days. It was a good piece. One winter I thought I would try to slightly annoy another hut neighbour who was a Councillor and farmer using his set aside money to create an Alice in Wonderland park. After 5 weeks of research I found I had strayed into what some theme parks used to get used for, sometimes, , something tricky to report called Monarch Programming. So I published 3 highly thought of articles on the subject, sadly I have lost them but the British Library have archived all my papers and BBC South linked to my site (currently in limbo). So here I write, in my newly acquired home ten miles upstream on an island WITH a web connection, trying to restore my former life and love for small enclosed spaces, while I can resort to a dozen rooms.
    Now, like Isaac Newton, Iwonder at the great wealth of truth that is spread out all before me. We have never had it so good. And I can share what I know at no cost, other than effort to think and the time I can cull out of early retirement.
    And yet, and yet, knowing what I know, (google "How tall was Mengele?" )
    I would risk it all just to pass on the knowledge I have stumbled upon in this little piece. Thoughts are Free. Google "sneeze" and NSA. This is my last and final will, Good Luck to you all. Tim Baber


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