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If you really like old British things and you live in the West Country then visit Oakham Treasures in Bristol (near Gordano Junction of M5). They have everything that was ever bought and sold in local shops over about the last 100 years. The stuff on display is not just packaging either, all of the contents are still inside. I’ve been a few times, here are some random sample pictures I took.
The grocery store is the largest of the shops on display at Oakham Treasures. Stocked from floor to ceiling behind the original shop counters and weighing scales, there is a vast array of not only real live grocery contents, but their packaging, merchandising and advertising signs as well!
The store provides a fascinating view of the vast number of grocery brands in existence throughout the 20th century. Famous names such as OXO, Coca Cola, Colman’s, Heinz and Huntley and Palmers have all changed little in appearance, whereas others, such as Birds Egg Substitute, Smiths Crisps and Black Boy Coffee are all long gone!
As you browse through shelf upon shelf of stock, you’ll be amazed at just how many old products you recognise from your past. Do you remember doing the laundry with Rinso, Fairy Snow, Drive, Clozone, Fab or even Omo? It’s all here in this vast treasure trove of grocery items, just waiting to be rediscovered by you on your nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Oakham Treasures is the demonstration of one man’s passion for collecting memorabilia throughout his lifetime. The owner, Keith Sherrell, born in 1939, is a 5th generation West Country Farmer, and began collecting farm machinery in the 60’s as a sideline to his business of buying and selling used farm machinery. As Keith says, ‘I started buying a bit more, and selling a bit less. The things I really loved I kept and it went on from there’.
More recently, Keith turned his interest into the retail area, and has steadily built up a huge and varied museum across all aspects of the old high street including an old grocery store, haberdashery, hardware store, chemist, tobacconist, off licence, and sweet shop.
Keith has spent years travelling the country visiting auctions, seeking out nuggets for his museum. He is also an avid eBay surfer and as his reputation has spread he has purchased more and more artefacts through word of mouth and regular contacts.
Keith runs the museum with his wife Frances, and 3 daughters, Ruth, Helen and Diana. Amazingly, no outside help has been drafted in to create or run the museum. Keith and his 3 farm hands painstakingly catalogued and arranged the displays themselves over a number of years. Keith has drafted members of his team to work in the museum and café, and his wife cooks the freshly prepared food which is sold in the café.