The Basket Museum is part of Coates, a willow business based on the Somerset Levels. Willow for basket making has been grown on the levels for centuries. The museum displays a variety of willow items including bushel baskets, tricycles and traps. Images via the museum.
David Mellor was a designer specialising in cutlery, although he also designed street furniture including bus stops and the traffic lights still in use in Britain today. The museum shares the site with a working cutlery factory, which occupies a new building on the site of Hathersage’s old village gasworks. Image via the museum.
Freddie Fox (1913-1990) inherited his father’s Dublin cigar business, and expanded it to an international concern. In 1992 JJ Fox acquired the older business of Robert Lewis, an eighteenth-century tobacco dealer based in St James’s, London. This museum devoted to smoking history is in the London shop’s basement.
The National Fencing Museum was established in 2002 in by Malcolm Fare, a fencer and fencing historian. It includes displays of fencing equipment, paintings, prints, books, and all kinds of ephemera. Image via the museum.
Hopewell Colliery Museum is in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Mining is an ancient tradition in the forest and those born there can exercise their rights to mine coal, iron ore, ochre and stone. The museum includes a working mine, through which visitors can take a guided tour. Image via the museum.
The Buxton Transport Museum was relatively short-lived, open for only three years. It was established in 1980 by Peter Clark, a vintage car enthusiast. The site is now occupied by Buxton Mineral Water company. Images and information via Badge Collectors Circle and Derbyshire Through Time by Margaret Buxton on Google Books.
The Douglas Museum was the brainchild of Randolph Osborne Douglas, who created it in his home in Castleton, Derbyshire with his wife Hetty. Douglas was a silversmith, locksmith, and amateur escapologist with the stage name of The Great Randini, inspired by his childhood hero Houdini. His collection included miniature houses, locks, models of the world’s […]
Edinburgh Wax Museum opened in 1976 and was soon attracting more than 230,000 visitors a year. Displays included Scottish historical figures, fictional characters, and, as you might expect, a chamber of horrors. The museum was curated by Charles Cameron, a professional magician, who also performed as Count Dracula in night-time shows in the Castle Dracula […]
The Spalding Bird Museum was owned by the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society and run by Ashley K. Maples and taxidermist Ben Waltham. It contained 840 specimens of British birds and many other specimens, in 160 display cases. Maples died in 1950 and a lack of funds forced the Society to sell the premises in 1953, when […]
The Grange Cavern Military Museum was housed in a limestone cavern near Holywell, Flintshire. The cavern was excavated in the 19th century and taken over by the Ministry of Defence at the beginning of the Second World War. Eleven thousand tons of bombs were stored there including the bouncing bombs of Dambusters fame. The cavern […]