Weird items found in self-storage and what not to store
In the north of England there’s a saying: “there’s nowt so queer as folk” and that surely applies to some of the weird items that have been found in self-storage units over the years.
The majority of bizarre finds have been in the USA, where self-storage has been going for a lot longer than it has in the UK, even so, you have to wonder what people were thinking!
Perhaps the strangest find of all was a meat smoker containing an amputated human leg. It turned out that the leg’s owner had been in a plane crash and had been keeping it in storage so that it could be buried with him when he died.
High on the weirdness list is the remains of a grandmother – fortunately in her coffin – in Tampa Bay, Florida. There was an explanation, however. The woman’s daughter had been prevented from arranging burial by a combination of rainstorms and a broken-down truck, hence putting granny in storage.
Among the other finds have been a live hand grenade and a NASA rocket.
In the UK, finds have included a Sunday dinner left in an oven, a stuffed mammoth, a rifle and samurai sword, an old piano, empty champagne bottles and a wooden fridge.
What not to store
Self-storage companies do have some rules about what you can’t store, mostly for safety reasons.
Plainly, anything that could rot or attract vermin is not a good idea, so food is on the no-store list. It can rot and can also attract vermin and insects. Not only that an infestation would spread to other units in the facility.
By the same token hazardous materials are banned. They include chemicals, aerosol cans, acids, gases, gasoline, propane tanks, lamp or motor oils, pains, paint thinners, cleaners, pesticides, weed killers, car batteries and fireworks. Similarly, if storing lawn mowers or similar items that are petrol driven they should be drained of fuel before storage.
Equally, anything living, whether plants or pets should not be stored. Believe it or not, it has been tried, with tragic results in some cases.
Similarly, self-storage is not the solution for stashing stolen goods or for firearms, munitions, gunpowder and explosives.
Finally, and perhaps surprisingly, there is a restriction on the storage of tyres – usually limited to a maximum of four. The explanation facility owners give is that it is expensive to dispose of them and storage companies are often stung with the bill.
How many people are aware that two Suffolk sisters, both born in June, made a significant impact on women’s lives?
Recently, the first ever statue of a woman was installed in London’s Parliament Square. That woman was Millicent Fawcett, born in Aldeburgh to a Leiston Entrepreneur, Newson Garrett, in June 1847. She was famous for her work to promote Women’s Suffrage and a president of the Suffragist Movement for 50 years. She was also one of the founders of Newnham College, Cambridge.
Millicent’s elder sister Elizabeth Garret Anderson was born in June 1836 and she, too, was a pioneer on behalf of women. Not without considerable struggle and in the face of some determined male opposition Elizabeth was the first woman to openly qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon, the first female dean of a British medical school, the first female Doctor of Medicine in France and the first ever female mayor of Aldeburgh.
Our Most Famous Artist
Our third famous June birth is the landscape painter John Constable, who was born in East Bergholt in June 1776. He was the son of the son of Golding Constable, who owned mills at Flatford and Dedham and also ran a barge transport business. Many of John Constable’s landscapes feature the beautiful countryside around his home, the Stour Valley and Dedham Vale and among the best known of his many works is The Hay Wain, completed in 1821.
Flatford Mill John Constable
Did You Know?
Joseph Conrad, the Polish author of Heart of Darkness, about the Congo during its period as a Belgian colony, arrived in Lowestoft in June 1878 on the British steamer, the Mavis, knowing just six words of English.
The author George Orwell was actually born Eric Arthur Blair in India in 1903. He went to school in Southwold and returned to live there for a number of years from 1929. He named himself George Orwell after the River Orwell.
Another famous author, Hammond Innes lived in Kersey with his wife Dorothy in his later years and died there on the 10th June 1998. A prolific writer of adventures and thrillers, four of his early works were made into films. They were The Lonely Skier, The White South, Campbell’s kingdom and The Wreck of the Mary Deare.