Members of a local history group, which is part of Crewkerne & District U3A, visited one of Britain’s quirkiest museums that is housed in an old watermill. The Bakelite Museum at Williton in West Somerset is like an Aladdins cave of everyday items such as radios, TVs, telephones, car, caravan and a coffin, all made of Bakelite. The museum collection built up by Patrick Cook also features presses and mouldings from one of Britain’s first Bakelite factories.
Patented in 1909, Bakelite was the first plastic made from synthetic components and from toys to the handles on kettles, no home was without something made of it. Bakelite became less popular as other plastics were developed but has recently made a comeback and is much sought after by collectors. Eileen Mills of the local history group said: “The museum is absolutely full to the brim with all things Bakelite. As we went round we remembered items from our childhood that were on display and which we hadn’t seen for years.” Fifteen members of the local history group went on the visit and enjoyed a cup of tea in the sunny garden of the museum, before stopping on their way back home for lunch in Taunton.