brief history by way of explanation of how this museum became
in 1973 three teenage boys were bored during the half term
holiday. On a whim they decided to go in search of old bottles,
having recently seen a television programme about this
increasingly popular hobby. Armed with spades they chose a site
in Kates Lane and by the end of that day had found quite a
selection of glass bottles and jars. They were hooked!
the next three years they roamed the fields and hedgerows of
Ashdon in search of their treasure, returning at the end of each
exploration to 'The Hut'. This was an old railway carriage at
Hill farm which they had been given the use of by Joy &
Leslie Bidwell. Before long the collection ran into hundreds of
1976 all three boys had left school and started work, gradually
digging for bottles became less of an attraction. Eventually
only one 'boy' was left collecting. Since an early age he had
always been interested in anything old and had become a bit of a
magpie even before digging up bottles. His family had lived in
Ashdon for generations and stories of the village and its people
were part of growing up. This interest in local history was
encouraged by two teachers at Ashdon school, Dorothy Homewood
and Arthur Kemp.
'Hill Farm Collection', as it had become known, eventually
expanded to more than just bottles with objects coming from many
sources, so much so that it outgrew three successive buildings!
By 1995 it was decided that the collection should be safeguarded
for the future, and what had been a private collection became
Ashdon Village Museum.
committee was formed and charitable status gained. In 1999 this
building was purchased with money given by kind individuals keen
The Museum is staffed by volunteers
and relies on donations which can be sent to the above address.