Les Oakes and Sons Architectural Reclamation Yard – Cheadle, England - Atlas Obscura

Les Oakes and Sons Architectural Reclamation Yard

Cheadle, England

Inside this reclamation yard is a unique collection of horse-drawn vehicles.  

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This architectural reclamation yard, at Cheadle in Staffordshire, England, sells a fascinating mix of reclaimed materials and antiques. One could spend hours wandering around looking at examples of items from bygone eras.

The building is also modified to showcase examples of products on sale as architectural elements. One of the best examples is a door, from a demolished pub, on the exterior of the building, that leads nowhere.

However, the story of how the late Les Oakes started his business is even more interesting. Born in 1938, Oakes started attending farm auction sales with his grandfather and developed a love for horse-drawn vehicles. While at secondary school, to fund his passion for collecting horse-drawn vehicles, he started buying and selling scrap metal and reclaimed architectural materials. At this time, he had around 70 horse-drawn vehicles.

The business is now carried on by his sons. Some of Oakes’s massive collection of horse-drawn vehicles, around 600 at the time of his death remain at the site. Others were sold at auctions in 2009 and 2011. The quality of his collection was so magnificent that a few vehicles now reside at the Beamish Museum, while another, a 19th-century fire engine, sold for over £27,000.

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