Centrefold: Carry on Monopolising: The Museum of London's eccentric summer collection

'Carry On Collecting at the Museum Of London proves, if nothing else, that we are a nation of eccentrics. The exhibition shows hundreds of obscure objects of desire that people have made it their purpose in life to collect: sticking-plasters, knitting patterns, passport photos, hair combs, police badges, chewing-gum wrappers and milk bottles.

Dr John Altman (right), a medical publisher, is the proud owner of 65 Monopoly boards from around the world. He has games from the Lebanon, Bulgaria, Hungary, Beirut and even Russia, where the ideological equivalent translates as 'Co-operative'. 'I'm still looking for mainland China,' says Altman, who displays the boards on his walls, doors and even his ceiling. 'It's got a unique fascination,' he says, although he finds it difficult to pinpoint exactly why.

'Well, I suppose it's the archetypal board game, isn't it?'

'They remind me of my childhood,' says 30-year-old Barry Barnes, a freelance sound editor, who has been collecting Planet Of The Apes memorabilia for 20 years. 'It's something that's obsessed me since I was a kid.' Reminiscent of Peter Blake's early art, the collections are strangely nostalgic, like the rather self-absorbed montage of passport photographs recording a collector and friends growing up over the last 10 years.

Ronnie Davis, an antique dealer, speaks of his collecting mania as an affliction from which he has barely recovered. Hundreds of his bendy toys are arranged in rows behind glass. He looks at them almost sadly: 'It did get out of hand,' he concedes. 'I used to collect enamel signs, petrol pumps and fruit machines,' he says ruefully. But it all got too much and so he restricts himself to toys only. 'They're sentimental to me - all of them. If I sold them it would be in one mass - then I'd never dare to buy one again.'

'Carry On Collecting, Museum Of London, London Wall, London EC2. Tue-Sat 10pm-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. On until 16 Oct

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, an experienced and hig...

    SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Plumbing & Heating / Bathroom Trade Counter Sales

    £22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established London ba...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat