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Amazing things found in skips!

Amazing things found in skips!

Most of the time, skips contain nothing terribly exciting.  Maybe some old carpet, dated cabinets which have been ripped out to make way for a new kitchen, discarded furniture.  We usually just walk past them without a second glance.  However, every now and then the skip hire industry can turn up some extraordinary finds…

Never before seen photographs…

In 2011, some amazing photographs dating back to as early as 1892 came to light.  Found in a skip some 5 years earlier, the photographs show the iconic Tower Bridge in London in various stages of construction.      

The series of photographs shows the internal steel frame of the famous landmark and document the construction process.  They were rescued from a Westminster skip by a caretaker who was looking after a former office building which was being turned into flats.  They are likely to have ended up in the skip when the occupants of the offices moved out.  

See the photos and the full story behind their amazing discovery in this article from 2011 

Long-Lost Peter Sellers films 

Thought to have been lost forever, two films starring the legendary Peter Sellers were uncovered in 1996.  The films, were made in 1957, before Peter Sellers major film success. They were found in a skip outside a film production company's headquarters by the building manager, Robert Farrow, who said he "put them in a cupboard and pretty much forgot about them".  It wasn’t until some time later he rediscovered them and realised what they were.  The films were shown for the first time in 2014 after being given to the Southend Film Festival.  

World War One letters

A series of letters dating from between 1912 and 1917 were found in a council skip in Hartlepool in 2013.  The personal letters, written between and soldier and his wife detail the life of a front line soldier in the Great War.   They document a 5 year period from training through to fighting on the front line.  The letters were subsequently used in a project across all the schools in Hartlepool to commemorate the start of the war in 2014.  

A World War One Bomb!

The site staff at James Waste Management in Essex found a mystery object in one of their skips which turned out to be a World War 1 bomb!  The 15lb explosive was removed from the waste management facility by the bomb squad and disposed of in a controlled explosion.  The bomb was apparently still highly explosive – luckily, it remained intact until such a time as it could be disposed of!  

Storm Trooper Masks 

A skip at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood turned up two storm trooper helmets from the 1977 film, ‘A New Hope’ which has gone on to become a genre defining, cult classic. The helmets were worn by the storm troopers in the scenes filmed in Tunisia and are thought to have been dumped in the skip after filming.  The helmets are thought to have been kept for 30 years by the finder, a mystery man who is believed to have been an employee at the studio.  The helmets sold at auction in 2005 for £40,000.


So, it turns out, it’s amazing what you can find in a skip!  Here at GM Insurance, we have been specialist insurers to the skip hire and waste and recycling industry for more than 10 years, providing liability, plant and machinery, vehicle and property insurance.  So far, we have not heard of any of our skip hire clients finding anything as interesting (or as dangerous!) as those featured above - if they do, we really hope it is not a bomb!   

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