A Great British Summer

Today’s post is by Louise Antoinette Watson. Louise works with both the Visitor Team and in the Museum Shop at Manchester Museum.

A Great British Summer in the Museum Shop

Ahh Summer… It’s the season that so many of us look forward to – glorious blue skies, barbecues on the beach, balmy evenings relaxing in the garden or maybe pottering in the allotment – and perhaps a Royal wedding and garden party thrown in for good measure!

This is the perfect time of the year to get out and explore and enjoy Great Britain and the great outdoors. And this summer in the Museum Shop we have a fabulous range of Great British products to inspire you to connect with nature, in the home, garden and beyond!

Here is a selection of our summer stock – including some award winning and ethical new arrivals… And remember every purchase from our shop helps to support the museum and keep it thriving for future generations!

The Great British Bee Company

Summer 1

We love bee-related products, and this year we’re pleased to introduce the multi award winning The Great British Bee Company. As the honey bee plays a fundamental role in supporting and shaping our natural environment and ecosystems, a few years ago the company decided that the best way to support our bees was to raise funds for UK honey bee research, with their products using British beeswax and honey blended with ingredients grown in the British countryside.

Summer 2

Collaborating with British seed oil growers, artisan craftspeople, British suppliers manufacturers and other members of the bee farming community, they have produced ethical products with 10% of profits going back to Bee conservation.

Some of our favourites include the hand balms in divine fragrances, such as Citrus: a protective hand balm evoking the scent of an orangery on a summers day. Alternatively, there is English Rose: fragranced with a classical subtle Rose perfume, all packed with their own beeswax and honey.

Summer 3Hard wearing, protective hand balms from the Great British Bee Company, packed with their own beeswax and honey, each with delicate fragrances inspired by nature.

Filberts of Dorset

Continuing with the bee theme, and another recent addition to the Museum Shop is Filberts of Dorset, bee keepers and makers of natural beeswax products.

Filberts has grown from three generations of British farmers. Their handmade, functional and sustainable beeswax products come with a quirky sense of style.

Handmade in batches from 1 to 1000 units on their production premises in Dorset, they make from scratch, starting by gently heating and filtering blocks of beeswax as they come in from the field. All products are 100% natural. Filberts also plant up spare corners of land with bee forage to add value to an apiary site.

Summer 6

Sprinkle your love for the bees with the Bee Garden Kit, comprising of packets of seeds , wooden seed labels a handy pocket pollen colour guide and ideas for a Bee friendly garden. And if you’re feeling crafty, how about learning a new skill and hand rolling your own beeswax candles? Everything you need in their easy to use starter kit.

Lino Print Greetings Card, including two sheets of beeswax with wick for rolling into 2 candles. Right: Bee Garden Kit and Candle Making Starter Kit. All by Filberts of Dorset.

Ready to make your own candles? Watch this tutorial by Filberts and you’ll be on a roll!


Ashortwalk is a product design company based near Truro, Cornwall (A-short-walk from the sea!). They design innovative and manufacture unique, eco, functional products.


At ashortwalk, there is no such thing as waste or litter. Using new raw materials ranging from redundant plant pots and coffee cups to seemingly useless things like car bumpers, plastic bottles and yoghurt pots; they turn them into fantastic and durable products.

“Nothing is truly recycled until it’s reused.”

– Dan Dicker, MD and founder ashortwalk

Encourage the kids to make their own eco-friendly bird feeder, reusing tin cans to create something new, practical and useful.


This simple to use kit provides all the components young people need to design and make their own unique bird feeder. With all the materials made from recycled car tyres and plant pots, they will not just enjoy the thrill of seeing garden birds use their feeder, but gain a hands-on appreciation of how items can be reused and recycled.

Introducing… rCUP

Getting out and about is sometimes thirsty work! The new rCUP is a great way to think about your coffee and the environment… With the same style and function, from the designers at Ashortwalk, every purchase of an rCUP is funding a sustainable solution to global waste. On our planet 500 million cups are made and thrown away every year. This uses 200 million trees and enough energy to power 530,000 homes.

Every one of us throws away 350 paper cups each year on average. By switching to rCUP you save these from landfill and contribute directly to the recycling of the used coffee cups that slip through the net.


The reusable coffee cup has been designed and tested for at least 10 years of daily usage – with free seal replacements for the life of the cup. Plus the whole cup is 100% recyclable along with your other household recycling.

Sting in the Tail

Based in the English Lake District, Sting in the Tail have created a toiletries and gift collection, sourced and manufactured with as many components and products from the UK as possible. Many of the products are designed to be eco friendly, with raw materials from recycled sources.

New Note

Farmers Market Soaps, these premium triple milled vegetable soaps, are made using traditional methods, they smell fabulous and are gentle on the skin.

Ralph’s Children’s Gardening Range is colourful, bright and fun, made with natural forest products. These kits include Sunflower, Carrot or Butterfly Friendly Seeds, Jumbo Label and Ralph the Rabbit Soap. Perfect to occupy those little green fingers. Plant your seeds, mark them, watch them grow and then wash away the dirt with the Ralph Soap!

Gardening can be messy business – Sting in the Tail have thought of everything, including soap in their growing adventure kits! 

The Potting Shed and the Tree House contain all the tools the kids need to go on their own mini beast and gardening adventure! The boxes contain sunflower seeds, bumble bee soap, growing instructions and crayons to colour the box.


And finally in the words of Bob Marley –

“Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.”

So whatever you choose to do, have a fabulous Great British Summer! From all at the Museum Shop.

Louise Antoinette Watson



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