Tools dating back to 1850s stored in ‘secret museum’ above Glasgow shop

Val Pearson with his collection of thousands of historic tools that he has collected over the years.  Picture: SWNS
Val Pearson with his collection of thousands of historic tools that he has collected over the years. Picture: SWNS
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A former hardware shop owner has stored a collection of tools spanning the past two centuries in a “secret museum”.

Val Pearson has been collecting old tools for the past 15 years with some dating as far back as the 1850s.

The collection of tools spanning the past two centuries are stored in a "secret museum".  Picture: SWNS

The collection of tools spanning the past two centuries are stored in a "secret museum". Picture: SWNS

The 74-year-old, from Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, stores them in a room upstairs at the Bill’s Tool Store building in Glasgow.

The “secret museum” of hundreds of hammers, wrenches and more has only been seen by business associates, friends and family so far.

His impressive collection includes tools from the old Czechoslovakia, Russia and Poland.

Mr Pearson had owned the store after it was passed down through the family by his father Bill who first helped start his love of tools.

The old tools are stored in a room upstairs at the Bill's Tool Store in Glasgow. Picture: SWNS

The old tools are stored in a room upstairs at the Bill's Tool Store in Glasgow. Picture: SWNS

Father-of-three Val still works at the shop, which is now owned by his son 50-year-old Paul, twice a week.

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Val said: “I’ve always been interested in the tool game, I just find it interesting to find out what people used years ago when it came to fixing things.

“I noticed I had quite a lot of old tools and we wanted to gather them together. I just get the tools from literally everywhere. Just tool shops everywhere and sometimes customers come and sell me tools.

“You would think it’s some sort of secret museum but it’s really a collection of old tools stored upstairs in a room in the building which not many have seen.

“My tools date back to about the 1850s until now. I have no idea how much they would be worth these days.”

One of the oldest tools Val has obtained is a Mathieson wood-working plane which dates back to at least 150 years ago.

Although most of the hardware tools are stored in the upstairs space, some are scattered around the shop.

Val would like the tools to go on public display one day.

He added: “It would be nice to have them put in a museum as they are now taking up a lot of space.

“When the collection was much smaller I spoke to Kelvin Hall and the People’s Palace at Glasgow Green to see how we could go about it.

“They had mentioned everything would have to go through the council but I would love to them displayed somewhere.

“I have all kinds of tools -- everything under the sun -- hammers, adjustable wrenches and screwdrivers.

“There are many tool firms and a lot of young people have never seen some of these.”