Accessibility Statement
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Portland Basin


Portland Basin Museum collects objects relating to the social and industrial history of Tameside. There are currently 16,000 objects in the collection. Only a small percentage can be on display at any one time and the remainder are stored in our off-site stores. For more information about our collection please see the collections page.

Offers to the Museums Collection

Do you have items that you were considering donating to the Museum? If you do please contact the curator to discuss your offer further.

Please do not bring items to the museum without a prior appointment with the curator and please do not send any items through the post.

Please also be aware that no one other than the curator is permitted to take items from members of the public so please do not offer to leave any objects with any member of staff in the Museum.

The Museum is very grateful for all offers of items to the Collection. However, not all items can be accepted, for a variety of reasons. The curator and other members of the curatorial team consider each offer on an individual basis.

There are many issues to consider when an item is offered to the museums collection, the most important of which are that:

  1. The item has a strong connection to the history of Tameside and/or its people.
  2. The item is in a good state of repair.
  3. There are not examples of the item already in the collection.
  4. The offer is being made by an individual with legal title to the item.

Please note that the museum does not collect paper based or archive material. These items can be offered to the Local Studies and Archives Centre on 0161 342 4242.

The decision of the curatorial team is final. However, please do not be offended if an item cannot be accepted. Wherever possible the curator will suggest other potential places of deposit for you to approach.

The curator is not permitted to forward material to other places on your behalf.

We are especially keen to collect objects relating to life in Tameside from the past 50 years. At present, the majority of our collection dates to before 1960. It is important that we collect more recent objects so that the story of life in Tameside between 1960 and the present day can be discovered by future generations.

You may view the Museums and Galleries Service Acquisition and Disposal Policy here.

The Museums Handling Collection

Portland Basin Museum has a handling collection that we use for loan boxes and for on-site education activities. These objects are important because they give people the chance to experience objects close up. The curator may suggest that the item(s) you have offered to the collection would be useful in this way.

What is the difference between the museums permanent collection and the handling collection?

The museums permanent collection is looked after in perpetuity and every reasonable effort is taken to reduce the risk of damage to these objects to ensure that they last as long as possible for future generations.

The museums handling collection is also cared for. However, as these items are used for education and handling purposes these items will deteriorate faster than the museum’s permanent collection. Consequently, in the future these items may become too worn to be of any further use and may be disposed of as seen fit by the curator.


Please be aware that the curator is not permitted to give valuations. To find the current market value of an item auction houses and valuers can be found both in the business directories (Thomson's and Yellow Pages) and also on the Internet.

Financial Donations

There is no charge for visiting the museum or any other service offered, unless otherwise stated.

If you would like to make a financial donation to the Museum to help care for our collections, mount temporary exhibitions, or create educational activities we would be most grateful for any donation that you would care to make.

You can make a donation by placing a donation into the donation box located in the Museum or alternatively by sending a cheque made payable to 'Tameside MBC', along with a covering note explaining your generous gift, to the Business Manager, Portland Basin Museum, Portland Place, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, OL7 0QA.