Cook Collection finds new home

Gina Cook in the Museum in the Garden

Gina Cook in the Museum in the Garden

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Stospley widow Gina Cook will make a special pilgrimage to Pitstone Green Museum on Easter Monday.

She’s going to see her late husband Colin’s eclectic collection of vintage artefacts in its new home – a specially converted loft in the Museum’s Heritage Park.

The former Keech Hospice Care admin assistant said: “I’m relieved it’s gone to a good home. It’s being very well looked after and others will be able to enjoy it in future.

“I know Colin would be very happy about where it is.”

Gina, 72, said her husband – a fitter and turner at Hayward Tyler – had always been fascinated by social and industrial history, particularly after he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.

Over the years his carefully indexed collection of kitchenalia, old cameras and other office equipment, as well as foundry and farming items gradually filled five sheds at the back of their Crowland Road home.

Gina recalled: “Colin used to find things, clean them and refurbish them, then I’d label everything and catalogue it. I’m sure people thought we were a couple of old eccentrics but we both enjoyed it.”

The collection was known as the Museum in the Garden and three years ago Gina wrote a book about it entitled One Man’s Treasure.

She’d hoped Stockwood Park would take the collection but they said it would have to be stored, and she was keen for it to have a wider audience.

Then she had a vist from Pitstone Park Museum. “They were very excited by what they saw,” Gina said. “Two special ladies have photographed and catalogued each individual item and set up separate displays.

“They tell me it’s a developing project which will take several years to complete.

“But it will be on display at their first Open Day this year – Easter Monday.”

> The Museum is just off the B489. Visit www.pitstonemuseum.co.uk/