11 June 2009
Shop celebrates 60th birthday by opening a memorabilia museum. ...
Blackpool shop Brooks Collectables is opening a museum in July in celebration of its 60th anniversary.
Brooks Memorabilia Museum contains about 4,000 items that have been gathered together from both the shop and someone who has long been associated with the business.
Mac Yates was the son-in-law of the original founder of the shop, which opened to the public in 1949, coinciding with both the nearing of the end of rationing and the first year of the now famous Blackpool Illuminations.
Both of these events are thought to have contributed to the shop’s initial success. Mac is still involved in the business today and it is the collectable pieces amassed by him that will feature in the museum.
His collection will be exhibited along with items from the shop that have been collected over the years, and they will be displayed in home made cabinets built from old tea chests in the post-war years when wood was scarce – the cabinets, veneered with hard wood, were in use in the shop for years.
On display will be vintage and modern toys, cameras, stamps, notes, coins, railway pictures and tickets, as well as TV-related pieces. The museum will also feature a moving model of a tramway, a replica of the Blackpool tramway, the only surviving first generation tramway in Britain and dating back to 1885.
Brooks Collectables of Blackpool opened to the public in 1949, and Mac worked there from being a boy; he subsequently married his boss’s daughter, and eventually took over the business, which at one time had three or four shops in the town.
The shop is now run by Mark Yates, whose father Colin worked in the business until recently, when both he and Mac went into semi-retirement to get involved in the museum.
Brooks Collectables opened in its current location just off the promenade on Waterloo Road in the busy South Shore area of Blackpool in 1998.
It specialises in all that the collectable world has to offer, and in particular in official licensed merchandise, such as Corgi, Betty Boop, Guinness, Coca Cola, Mr Bean models, ArtFX Star Wars figures, and badges, to name just a few.
The company prides itself on providing a good range of collectables for both tourists and people in the town. Mark says: “Like us, many of our customers have grown up visiting our shops, and we have many third generation shoppers who come to shop with us still to this day!”
The museum opens on July 11 2009.