AN Englishman’s home might be his castle, but for one Southend grandfather it’s his shed that claims the title.

Reg Miller, 64, has spent the past 18 months converting his garden shed into a Caribbean pirate ship paradise, complete with dead man’s chest, rigging and the Jolly Roger.

The shed, which sails under the moniker the Lady Sarah Out of Worthing, is a firm favourite with Mr Miller’s five grandchildren and he has now entered it into the Shed of the Year 2009 competition.

Mr Miller, of Bournemouth Park Road, said: “The grandchildren love it. They think it’s their own captain’s cabin. It’s got everything from muskets, bones and rigging, to its own flag.”

The competition is judged by shed enthusiasts and celebrity judges Chris Evans and Sarah Beeny.

The BBC have even taken an interest in the Lady Sarah, with a film crew from Gardeners World set to pop in later this week for a tour.

The shed is named after Mr Miller’s partner Sarah Knowler, 53, who is originally from Worthing.

He said: “We are total opposites, but we just clicked and Sarah joins me for a rum down here.

“We have some good parties and when the summer finally arrives we will be having barbecues on the deck.”

Constructed from recycled and reclaimed materials, the shed was inspired by Mr Miller’s trips to Barbados.

“What triggered all this was visiting our friends in Barbados. It’s just a fantastic place and I’d love to live there,” said Mr Miller.

“I had lots of bits and pieces I had accumulated over the years which aren’t really suitable for indoors, so I thought I’d build a pirate shed.

“There are people at car boot sales who keep stuff back for me they think I might like – all sorts of strange things. I don’t have a favourite piece, maybe my bottle of rum!”

To complete the tropical feel, the Lady Sarah even has her own population of exotic birds, led by Mr Miller’s macaw Duffy who likes to join her owner for a nip of traditional Barbados rum in the cabin.

The former pet shop owner said: “It’s a work in progress. I’ll never sit back and think ‘that’s it, it’s finished’. This shed thing has taken on a life of its own. It might not win, but it’s just a bit of fun.“ For more information on the competition and to vote for Mr Miller’s shed, visit and click on the Shed of the Year link.