The 7 Strangest Things Found in Skips

Skips are commonly known to harbour all kinds of waste, such as garden rubbish, household goods, construction equipment and other miscellaneous items. 

Here at James Waste, we’ve seen our fair share of strange objects dumped into our skips over the years. However, after doing some research, it turns out our discoveries are nowhere near as strange as others! We’ve narrowed down our strangest discovery list down to 7, so, brace yourselves!

7. Vintage Posters

james waste poster

A very interesting WW2 discovery. A lucky man from Newcastle was walking down a street in New York when he noticed some interesting posters hanging from a skip. Assuming they were free to take (as they were essentially rubbish) he took them home where they lived in his attic for a number of years.  

It was only several years later that he pulled them out and put them on sale after discovering they were worth over £4,000 each! Not too bad for a skip find!

6. Modern Art Heist

james waste artModern art rarely finds itself in waste removal, let alone a skip, so it came as some surprise when 5 pieces of modern art estimated to be worth over £100 million were found lying in a skip in Paris. The main crime here was not only had the work been found in a skip – but it had been destroyed. The paintings were said to have been stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art by a gang of thieves. When they were caught soon after, they claimed they had destroyed the art in an attempt to escape. 

Unfortunately, we haven’t found anything that falls within that price range in any of our skips yet! 

5. WW2 Artillery Shell

james waste bombNot your everyday find… 

Two unsuspecting skip drivers stumbled upon a World War Two naval artillery shell that had been thrown into their skip in Cornwall in 2006. Eventually, the Royal Navy’s bomb disposal squad arrived to handle the situation, though, it was far more concerning than originally thought. The bomb squad determined the shell to still be live and concern was doubled when they realised the shell was just metres from a petrol station.  

Luckily, the bomb squad were able to calmly and effectively handle the situation. They carried out a controlled explosion in a nearby quarry, insisting that if the bomb had been detonated in the skip, it would have sent shrapnel flying for thousands of metres.

6. Peter Sellers?

pink panther james wasteSite Manager Rob Farrow was lucky enough to rescue two old film canisters from a skip. Although, these weren’t just any films, these were the two long-lost Peter Sellers films, Death of a Salesman and Insomnia is Good for You. Both of these films were assumed to be lost, until Farrow plucked them from a nearby skip! 

3. 1930’s Hog

james waste bikeA Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide was found in a skip back in 2015 in fairly good condition. This, however, wasn’t just any motorbike, this machine was one of only 65 ever made.

What made this bike so special was that it was the penultimate bike to be released before the outbreak of WW2 in 1939. The reason it found itself in a skip was due to a simple admin error, so when Harry Lloyd (owner of the bike) heard it had been thrown into a skip, it was safe to say he wasn’t pleased.  

Luckily, the bike was dismantled and eventually restored in 2007. Unfortunately, Mr Lloyd never got to see the finished product but would have been proud of how it turned out. 

2. A Caravan

caravan james wasteYes, someone actually thought they could dispose of their caravan by dumping it on top of a skip. Of course, it didn’t fit. 

We are impressed by the effort, however. 

1. A Mystery Coffin

james waste coffinOur number #1 spot goes to the mystery coffin that someone dumped into a skip in Norwich back in April, 2007. The skip was situated on Old Palace Road, Norwich – notoriously a busy part of the city. Residents woke-up to find that someone had thrown a coffin into a skip. Startled by this strange sight, many rang the police in order to solve this mystery.  

Luckily, when police arrived, they found the coffin to be empty. However, why the coffin was left there and by who remains unknown! 

I hope you enjoyed our top 7 skip finds! Do let us know if you’ve found anything stranger in one of your local skips! Or better yet, send us a picture and we might feature it in this article! For any other skip inquiries, do not hesitate to get in touch here! 


Author: Ben Taylor

Eco Warrior! Recycling Buff! Owner of James Waste Management LLP, UK recycling over 90% of waste.

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