A MUSEUM which opened in Linford more than 18 years ago has closed its doors.

Owner Frank Wood and his wife Penny, are reluctantly selling up due to Frank’s deteriorating health.

Their grade two listed country house, a caravan park, and the barn and out-buildings which house hundreds of collectables, set in 3.6 acres of land, are being marketed by Cheffins Estate Agents.

The couple are hoping that someone will take on the museum and caravan park as a business, but so far potential buyers have been uninterested in that side of it.

Penny, 66, said: “Its going to be really sad to take everything down and have to sell it all off, we both wish someone would carry on the museum, but no one seems interested.

”I think Frank would like to keep it going, but he has a muscle-wasting disease and walks with a stick now, so its not really possible.”

The museum, which opened on April 17 1992, closed for the last time on October 31.

Frank and Penny moved to the five bedroom property 28 years ago, and at first they only had a private collection of things that Frank had started collecting at age 14.

The couple had a private museum, but it wasn’t until ten years later they asked Thurrock Council for permission to open it to the public.

There is no real theme at the museum, which the couple’s daughter Coral has run in recent years, but it is bursting at the seams with hundreds of old items, ranging from war memorabilia, farming equipment, old bicycles, to vintage prams.

There is also a working printing press, blacksmiths, bakery, and scullery, in the out-buildings, giving an insight into how people used to live and work.

Until recently the museum had the country’s biggest private collection of motor road rollers.

It enjoyed has hundreds of visitors each year, and was at its busiest during in the school holidays.

Ward councillor Barry Palmer said: “Hopefully someone will come in and want to run the museum, because it will be a real loss, not just to Linford and East Tilbury, but to the whole borough.

“They worked so hard to get it off the ground, and the collection that Frank has is phenomenal, it will be a sad day if it all goes.”

The couple would like to thank everyone who has supported the museum over the past 18 years.

A small percentage of the items in the museum were either donated or loaned to the Woods, and anyone who would like their item returned can call the couple on 01375 671874 with details of the piece.