A pike, a pickled eel and 200 bobbins - Bolton Council cleans strange artefacts out of its museum archive
Historians have listed seven collections — also including a pike preserved in formalin and a gear box — that they say can be disposed of as they do not hold any educational value.
Councillors have agreed the plans and the objects will be advertised on the Museums Association website, a network for historians across the country. And if there are no takers, they could be given as a gift to another organisation, sold or thrown out by waste management services.
A council spokesman said the authority constantly reviews and updates its museum collection.
She added: “Some parts of the collections which are particularly bulky, degraded or have special storage requirements have been reviewed in order to see whether they still need to be retained, and a number of objects have been identified as suitable for formal disposal from the Bolton Council museum collections.
“These objects are either duplicates, of no educational or display value or are not related to Bolton.”
A loom built by industrialist WB White was approved for disposal in a report in March 2012 but it has since been identified by textile machinery specialist as being “virtually unique” and so will be kept.
By disposing of the material, museum staff say it will reduce ongoing storage and conservation costs, and in rare cases may bring in money, mainly through scrap payment schemes.
The museum service was given notice to leave its old storage premises at Lincoln Mill by the end of August 2013, resulting in objects being transferred to the Chadwick Resource Centre, in Union Road, Tonge Moor.