A collection of vintage plastics
with some glass, pottery and fossil exhibits


Museum floor plan

Vintage Plastics
Pottery and glass

Random Gallery


under development


under development





Green Poppet Puff-kin 1959

Poppet Puff-kin 1959

These were given away with Weetabix Puff-Kin cereal. He looks understandably overjoyed that his thumb has remained intact despite his probable six decades at sea!

Found: North Devon 2022

1957 Sugar puffs racing car

Little red racing car. 1957

These were given away in boxes of Sugar Puffs in 1957. I can't imagine that any child finding one of these in their cereal boxes was anywhere near as delighted as I was to find it on a beach. Sadly, we are now forced by health and saftey considerations to avoid putting things that children can choke on in their food. As a result the world of cereals is a much less exciting place.

Found: North Devon 2023

Green Rowntree smarties lid

Smarties lids 1950s

Smarties lids cover a history from the 1950s to 2015 when they were withdrawn to make way for all-cardboard packaging on which letters are used only to make up words and not decorate lids. Based on the manufacturer's name, the size of the lid and what is written on the other side, it is possible to date lids accurately using the BeachStuff interactive Smarties history

Found: numerous North Devon beaches

Eiffel Tower lemonade crystals text

Eiffel Tower Lemonade Crystals c. 1950

This is the plastic lid from a glass (?) bottle. The container held 2oz of crystals which could be used to make lemonade but has nothing to do with the Eiffel Tower. It's not even French lemonade.

Found: North Devon. c. 2017

Yellow Rice Krispies spaceman

Rice Krispies Spaceman c. 1960s

This was one of a set of six spacemen given away in boxes of Kellogs Rice Krispies some time between 1959 and 1962, a time when the excitement of the 'space race' was in full force and nearly a decade before the first human steps were taken on the moon. This one is carrying a camera which, coincidentally, became an iconic image from the 1969 moon landing.

Found: Trina Trggs. Penmaenpool, 2018.

Red plastic Solitaire game piece

Solitaire piece c. 1960s/1970s

It was entirely down to the members of the BeachStuff facebook group to identify this tiny piece!

Found: North Devon 2020

Red boy counter from a Haunted House board game

Red boy counter c.1970s

This was a counter from a Haunted House board game by Denys Fisher.

Found:North Devon 2024.


Shell promo plastic VW campervan

Shell promotional VW camper van

This plastic model was presumably a giveaway at petrol stations  or a promo with oil sales. The Shell logo on its side dates it to between 1955 and 1971 as different logos were used both before this time and ever since.

We'd love to know more about it! Please let us know if you remember these being around.

Found: Seth Draper. Merthyr Mawr, 2024

A fruit veg pencil topper

Pencil topper. c. 1970s

A fruit/veg pencil topper which were very popular in the days before mobile phones and online dating were invented. Is he a cucumber? To his credit, he's lost his hat and one of his legs, but he's still waving.

Found: North Devon 2021

Tonibell ice cream spoon

Tonibell ice-cream spoon handle. c1970s.

This handle, bearing a native American (a very popular image in the 70s), bears the words REG. DES. BY TONIBELL.

Tonibell was a popular ice cream company from the 1960s for decades in England, especially south England. The name is an amlagam of Toni, whose company it was, and bellisima which means beautiful in his native language of Italian. Toni's family still run the company and were amazed to hear of the find. "You can see why we now use biodegradable products as this has lasted all this time", they said.

Found: North Devon 2024

Briton Ferry & Neath Co-op Society token

Briton Ferry & Neath Co-op Society token c. 1960s 

This plastic two shilling token has 'Briton Ferry and Neath Co-op Society' written on the reverse. The Briton Ferry & Neath Co-operative Society functioned in South Wales between 1916 and 1975. As decimalisation happened in the UK in 1971, this token is probably from the 60s although the bright orange makes it look quite modern.

Found: North Devon 2020s

Woman's Own magazine Cuticle pusher
Woman's Own magazine Cuticle pusher

Cuticle pusher pre-1977

This was a give away on the cover of Woman's Own Magazine. The logo, only faintly visible, was changed from this version in 1977 so we know that the gift was earlier than that.

Found: North Devon. c. 2020.

Amateur Gardening magazine

Magazine give-away. 1974

This carries all the information we have - it says 'Amateur Gardening. 1974. IPC Magazines Ltd.' As to what it is exactly, I have no idea!

Found: North Devon c. 2020

Project Sword badge

Project Sword badge. 1960s

Project Sword was a range of space toys launched in the 1960s. With the toys came a blue badge (above) which originally had metallic edging and a pin on the back. Despite giving away free badges, I have yet to find anyone who remembers Project Sword toys.
Found: North Devon 2024.

Wonderloaf bread tag

Wonderloaf bread tag. c1980s

The half penny was withdrawn in December 1984 so we know that anything with a half penny on it is older then that. Wonderloaf came up with the advertising slogan Nice One Cyril in 1973 (Cyril being one of their bakers) which was then taken on by Tottenham Hotspur fans (as they had a player called Cyril) and subsequently became part of 1970s culture. As a direct result, people stopped calling their children Cyril.


Found: North Devon 2023

Lego Lost at Sea

Lego Lost at Sea 1997

In a storm in 1997, a container which had thousands and thousands of pieces of (largely) nautical themed Lego were lost at sea off Cornwall. Since then, pieces have been washing up on beaches. The 'Holy Grail' in lost Lego terms is the Octopus - a large black piece. Please let us see a photo if you have found one!

Found: Various 2014 to the present

McDonalds Coffee stirrers

McDonalds Coffee stirrers. pre-2018

There are some great stories about coffee-stirrers. There is an urban legend that the original plastic coffee stirrers used by take-away places were tiny little spoons on the end of long stirrers. It is said that (although not proven) that these became part of the paraphernalia of drug-users and were withdrawn in the 1970s/80s to be replaced in most establishments by flat paddles like the one pictured which were not so handy for measuring out small quantities of drugs. McDonalds, as part of their efforts to be more environmentally friendly, withdrew plastic stirrers and straws in 2018.

Found: various 2018-2023

Mothercare logo

Mothercare logo c. 1980s

I have no clue what this piece of plastic is but I like the elephant and the logo dates it to 1985 or earlier. The logo, with the little character in the 'M' was introduced in 1949 and replaced in 1985.

Found: North Devon. 2022.

Vintage Fox's glacier mints bag

Fox's Glacier mints c. 1980s

These mints were first available in the UK in 1918 and Peppy the polar bear has always been a part of their branding. This whole bag of sweets cost 17p to buy at the time. 

Found: North Devon. 2021.

Fairy Liquid bottle cap

Fairy Liquid bottle red top c 1990s

Fairy Liquid was the first dedicated washing up liquid and it carried the baby in a nappy logo from the outset even though it soon became clear that babies were terrible washer uppers as they were rarely tall enough to reach the sink. The traditional white bottles with red tops disappeared in 2000 as the company switched to clear bottles which were easier to recycle. The old red tops frequently wash up on beaches (see what I did there?) as they were apparently used by anglers as bite detectors.

Found: various

Bed Bugs game

Bed Bug 1980s

A piece from the MB board game 'Bed Bugs'. I knew the 80s were a dark time for many, what with riots, the Falklands War, the Miner's strike and so on but I hadn't realised things were so bad that bed bugs were our idea of fun!

Found: North Devon 2023.

Cassette tape

Cassette tape. c.1980s

When people were thinking about the written word, they came up with the idea of books, and pretty much stuck with them throughout time. For audio, however, we just keep changing our minds. First there were LPs and we were happy with those until someone invented music cassettes in the 1960s which became very popular largely because they were not only easy to shop lift but it was easy to make copies of the stolen cassettes. They can still be found in the glove boxes of old cars but, elsewhere, they were superceded by CDs in 2005. And now we don't even have to give music shelf-space, just computer files.
Found: various 

'Cowboy and Indian' toy figures

'Cowboy and Indian' toy figures c 1980s

From the 1940s, the world of cowboys and native Americans, then known as 'Indians' were very popular. In the 1970s and 1980s, toyy figures of cowboys and native Americans were popular toys. With a greater understanding of the plight of America's indigenous population, the popularity of games with cowboys fighting the 'Indians' has lessened.

Found: various

Rubber spade handle

Rubber spade handle. c 1960s

A toy spade handle from back in the days when they were made of rubber, not plastic.

Found: North Devon. 2021

vintage fair liquid bottle

Fairy Liquid Bottle. c 1990s

In the 1980s Nanette Newman told us that the suds lasted longer. But the bottles last a very long time too!

Found: North Devon. 2021

Tupper Toys Snapics

Tupper Toys Snapics 1960s

This is one of the many things I have found and have had to ask for the help of the BeachStuff facebook group for help in identifying.

Found: North Devon. 2020


Piece from A Shepherd and His Dog board game

Piece from A Shepherd and His Dog board game. Spears 1984.

The pieces included sheep, a dog and a shepherd and several pieces of fencing to keep the plastic flock of sheep contained. How someone (from the BeachStuff facebook page) recognised this, I have no idea, but they were right - a little bit of sheep fencing from the 1980s.

Found: North Devon 2023

Nutella spreader

Nutella spreader. 1980s

Nutella was born out of the need to make a cheap form of chocolate post World War II. It was available in the UK from 1964 and has remained popular ever since even though, in theory, we can now afford proper chocolate.

Found: North Devon. Various