This next museum reminds me of the smallest museum in Wales, a red telephone box that was converted into an exhibit space dedicated to photographer Tom Mathias, who documented daily life in rural West Wales. Britain was once dotted with these iconic structures but due to privatisation and the rise of the mobile phone, most have been abandoned. Luckily, the British government began selling them for one pound each.
In 2012, the Barningham Parish Council in County Durham did just that, buying a vintage green telephone box for only a pound. Unsure of what to do with it, one of the council’s members (and a new retiree) named John Hay decided to fix up the telephone box and turn it into a miniature World War I museum. Known as “The Listening Post,” it might be the world’s smallest war museum. Some of the objects on display include front pages of 1914 newspapers, poppy flowers, a WWI tin helmet, several maps of the war’s earliest battles, sandbags and toy rats, a miniature WWI plane as well as a brass tin which Princess Mary gave to soldiers as Christmas presents. There is also a painting of Hay’s grandfather, a WWI soldier, who served as the main inspiration for the museum.