Memories of eccentric collectors with a flair for the unusual

They are the eccentrics and folk with a flair for the unusual who always bring a smile to our faces.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:43 am
Memories of eccentric collectors with a flair for the unusual.
Memories of eccentric collectors with a flair for the unusual.

Tommy Styrin from Chapel Allerton was photographed with this collection of one armed bandits in 1985. The exotic names of old fruit machines were music to the ears of the 61-year-old.

He told your YEP how anyone who owned a Jenny's Peacock, a Roman Head, a Rol-A-Top or a Diamond Front could have hit the jackpot.

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Tommy Styrin.

An even stranger collection was shown to us in December 1982 when milkman Colin Nash showed off this selection of bespoke milk bottles.

He had more than 240 of them stored at his home in Malton. They come from dairies all over the country including some with rhyming messages. One, in dialect from Sheffield, reminds the customer that the bottle cost 9d and adds that it is "As brittle as owt, if yer brek it or lost it, I'm working for nowt."

He said at the time that collecting was getting harder: "Small dairies are getting out of business all over the country. I have bottles from ten local dairies and all of them have closed in recent years."

Batley’s own George Corner had a penchant for leap frogging over post boxes in the 1970s and in 1984 phonographs and gramophones were the speciality of father and son Bill and John Astin.

Colin Nash.

Finally Mr H C Haldane struck an extraordinary pose in 1962 when he donned this Elizabethan helmet and pike at Clarke Hall.


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Batley's famous high flyer George Corner, vaults over a pillar box in Commercial Street in Janaury 1973. He was 73 years old at the time.

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Thank you

Laura Collins

Bill Astin and son John with part of their collection of phonographs, gramophones and music boxes as part of Harrogate's Centenary Celebrations in July 1984.
Mr H C Haldane.