Queanbeyan shed scores a spot in TV presenter Scott Cam's Top Aussie Sheds book

Chris Tregea in his shed at home in Queanbyean. He has been featured in a new book by Scott Cam, Scotty's Top Aussie Sheds. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Chris Tregea in his shed at home in Queanbyean. He has been featured in a new book by Scott Cam, Scotty's Top Aussie Sheds. Photo: Rohan Thomson

"Every good shed should have a photo of the Queen."

So said Chris Tregea's father Jim as he presented a framed photo of Queen Elizabeth to his son to hang on the wall of his Queanbeyan shed.

The gold-trimmed picture of Her Majesty is just one defining feature of Chris's large tin structure, recently named by Channel Nine television personality and host of The Block Scotty Cam as one of Australia's top sheds.

Chris's shed features on page 110 of new book Scotty's Top Aussie Sheds, one of only four New South Wales sheds in a book mostly dominated by man caves from regional Victoria.

"Every good shed should have a photo of the Queen." Photo: Rohan Thomson

"Every good shed should have a photo of the Queen." Photo: Rohan Thomson

It's an unassuming shed from the outside - there are no windows or roller doors - but open the side door to Chris's shed and you're immersed in a world packed with his favourite things.

From a Hot Wheels car collection and moving Meccano to a giant Kustom guitar amplifier and a wall of discontinued Sidchrome tools hung meticulously.

"It's a space where you can do whatever you want," Chris, a retired electronics technician, said.

Chris Tregea in his shed at home in Queanbyean. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Chris Tregea in his shed at home in Queanbyean. Photo: Rohan Thomson

"You can do things that you wouldn't normally want to do in the house - like, you shouldn't spray paint petrol tanks in the lounge room.

"I can do electronics out here or build Meccano. It's a place for doing all the dirty things and where I can do my hobbies."

Chris's big cream-coloured shed was built out the back of his brand new Queanbeyan home in the early 1990s. It had a single purpose - to allow him to work on his passion for restoring old 1920s and 30s stationary engines. The shed went up before the paths and and driveway were in, or the grass was laid. 

Everything in Chris Tregea's shed is meticulously cared for. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Everything in Chris Tregea's shed is meticulously cared for. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Across more than two decades, Chris, 62, has restored 22 engines, spending hours in the shed listening to electronica - Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method are his favourite - as he worked.

The first Moffat Virtue engine he restored is a "mash-up" of many different things, including the petrol tank from a Victa lawn mower and a coin drum from the Australian Mint. 

"You need to be very, very patient [to restore engines]," Chris said.

"One very simple task can take many weeks. 

"Like the rings in the pistons get stuck and I've literally spent three weeks just trying to get the rings out without breaking them, because they're very brittle and if you try too hard they just snap."

Weighing in at about 600kg each, 17 of the 22 engines take pride of place in the middle of Chris's shed. There's no room for more engines, so Chris now spends his hours building Meccano or practising guitar - "I just make very loud, bad noises" - and synthesiser.

November is the perfect time to spend all day in the shed, Chris said.

"It's freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer, so now's a good time to be out here," he said.

"[My wife] Christina will whinge if I spend too much time in here. But I occasionally come down and say I'm working on something and just have a little snooze in the chair," he laughed.