Pass the salt Janice! Halesworth woman unveils her novelty collection

Collectors Corner: Janice Broom from Halesworth has a collection of over 400 salt and pepper pots.

Collectors Corner: Janice Broom from Halesworth has a collection of over 400 salt and pepper pots. - Credit: Nick Butcher

When it comes to collecting quirky items, 65-year-old Janice Broom of Halesworth is pretty much an expert.

After spending years buying novelty tea pots, coloured milk bottles and chocolate mugs, her interest turned to salt and pepper shakers - an interest which developed into a collection of 438.

Mrs Broom started her collection two years ago after visiting a stall at Henham Steam Rally.

She said: “A young boy and his mum had a collection of novelty salt and pepper shakers all laid out on a table. I asked if they were for sale but she said they were her son’s collection.

“I thought it was a lovely idea but at the time I was collecting other things and I didn’t have the space. Then when we moved house we had some space under the stairs which was perfect for shelving, so I thought I could display them there.

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“The first one I bought was a set of scooters. They reminded me of the 1960s when I was a teenager.”

From there Mrs Broom expanded her collection with Disney characters, farm animals, fruit and vegetables and famous faces.

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Her most expensive purchase was a set of Eddie Stobart lorries, which she paid £25 for. Her other favourites include the Bisto Kids, Laurel and Hardy, a piano and stool, Wallace and Gromit, Charlie Dimmock and Alan Titchmarsh and a toaster with two slices of bread.

She said: “I like them all really!

“One of my favourites is a painter and a paint pot because my dad was a painter and decorator.”

The shakers are all for show and are displayed on three shelves in the kitchen, and 17 shelves in the hallway.

Mrs Broom said: “On a Saturday afternoon I take them all down and wipe them with a cloth to keep them nice. It takes me the whole afternoon!”

Mrs Broom and her husband Ivan go searching for new additions every weekend and travel to car boot sales and antique fairs across Norfolk and Suffolk. Mrs Broom is also a regular at Dee’s Den charity shop in Halesworth, where volunteers put aside any salt and pepper shakers they see for her.

She also gets her son to bid for them on eBay, and receives new ones as gifts off her family on birthdays and Christmas.

She said: “It’s a job to know where to display them so you can see them all.

“I’m trying to find more places in the house where we can put up shelves.”

Mrs Broom has now got her eye on a canoe set for sale online, and is desperate to find salt and pepper Harrods doormen.

She said: “I don’t know how many they made but they are lovely. Hopefully I will get them one day.”

Do you own a quirky collection? Email or call 01502 712502 for your chance to feature on our Collector’s Corner page.

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