Jackie Bates, Weird Museums


weird museums_0001An affectionate look at some of Britain’s quirkiest collections. Bored with the big hitters on the museum circuit? Maybe it’s time to take the family to one of Britain’s many weird museums, where you never get quite what you bargained for. Anyone with an interest in the unusual will love this collection of places specialising in the curious, the cool – and the downright peculiar. These are under-the-radar collections of artefacts where you come with an open mind and leave having learned something unexpected or having seen something amazing, strange, intriguing or hilarious. Written with humour and a great deal of affection for the bizarre side of Britain, the book takes an in-depth look at this neglected subject, winkling out some of the strangest and most fanciful museums this country has to offer, such as the Baked Bean Museum in Port Talbot or the Lawnmower Museum in Merseyside. So, whether you have a penchant for fans, windmills, teapots or canine neckwear, if it’s weird and there’s a museum dedicated to it, you’ll find it lovingly described within these pages.

weird museums_0002

… buy it!

Bill Nash, Secret London

Bill buddied up with some visitors and had the whole tour incl. cream tea.

Secret London – An Unusual Guide (third edition) – Jonglez Publishing

28th November 2019

How does something qualify for entry into ‘Secret London – An Unusual Guide’? ‘See something differently.’ It might be a small detail somewhere well known, like the Triforium at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a weird space that offers an insight into Wren’s construction and where you’ll find a floating staircase used in one of the Harry Potter films. Or how about the Antique Breadboard Museum in Putney, where one room in Madeleine Neave’s home has been devoted to lovingly made wooden breadboards. Entrance to this, erm, fascinating micro-museum includes a cream tea!

Joint talk, Kelham Island, Sheffield

Touch Wood – The Story of Sheffield’s Breadboard Makers

Discover the story of Sheffield’s Breadboard Makers with a Bread knives to match from the Hawley Collection.

About this Event

A talk and handling session investigating the fascinating history of Sheffield makers of breadboards with examples of Sheffield bread knives from the Hawley Collection. By Madeleine Neave from the Antique Breadboard Museum, Putney, London with Nick Duggan from the Hawley Collection.

N.B. Admission free but if you wish to view the main museum galleries before the talk normal admission charges will apply.



A tiny selection of the breadknives on show for the first time at Kelham Island

Nick Duggan doing a Scissorhands with KI knives
An impressive collection of trade catalogues was also in display. Nick’s ambition is to collect every item which appears in these catalogues and photograph them in order

Frances Allitt, Antiques Trade Gazette

Madeleine’s book of board talk

Madeleine Neave, curator of The Antique Breadboard Museum, has published a book describing her extensive collection of boards, butter knives and butter churners.


The cover of Madeleine Neave’s new book.

It also includes memories of her late mother Rosslyn, a Portobello Road dealer and restorer. She started the collection after growing up on a farm, milking cows and making butter by hand.

In the new book, Madeleine tracks the history of decorative ‘bread-platters’ from their Victorian origins to the present. It features 100 colour images and is available for £16.

Visitors to the Putney museum are served cream teas on a board their choice and may book a visit with details via the website below.




Karel de Gendre, Photographer


Karel came from Paris and took some wonderful shots of our recent book launch at Putney Library. Our thanks go to him for making such a precious record. Also hearty hugs go to Charlene Coleman for hosting, Catheryn Kilgarriff of Prospect Books for supporting with wine and books, Tom for displaying his beautiful pieces of art in wood, Marie for preparing such a delicious spread, Martin for bringing his knowledge of forestry and our guests for making it such a fun evening.

Dédicace du Livre de M. Neave à Londres

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