Fred Attewill -

World's largest banana museum saved by £30,000 donation

It has been a bit of a drama but the future of the world’s largest banana museum has finally been secured. Thought you’d be relieved.

Banana museum Ken Bannister Banana museum founder Ken Bannister: so you, uh, like bananas, then?

‘Top banana’ Ken Bannister had painstakingly gathered some 17,000 banana-related exhibits but it all went pear-shaped when he was turfed out of his premises in January.

He put the likes of his banana-shaped golf putter and banana tent in storage and thought it was time to split – until fellow fruit loop Fred Garbutt saw his a-peel on eBay and stumped up £30,000 for the collection.

Mr Garbutt runs an off-licence and hopes to drum up business by launching the ‘Intern­ational Banana Museum’ next door (though he will be leaving out the more ‘adult’ exhibits).

Californian Mr Bannister – who started the Guinness World Records-approved collection in 1972 – is confident he has found the best custodian, and hopes for a smoothie transition.

‘When they told me they were going to buy a little Beamer [BMW] and have it painted golden yellow, I thought, “This guy’s really serious. He’s got to be a real banana man”,’ he said.

Mr Garbutt – the ‘big banana’ – has equally ambitious plans. ‘We’re going to add to the collection – we’re going to sell banana-leaf wallpaper and make banana-printed clothes for kids,’ he said.

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