Shire shells out for collection

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Neil Baker has been collecting shells for more than 40 years.
Camera IconNeil Baker has been collecting shells for more than 40 years. Credit: Picture: Chris Lees, Chris Lees

One of Australia’s largest private collections of shells and natural sea creatures collected over half a century is set to be passed on to Ashburton Shire to become a tourist attraction.

Elderly long-term Onslow residents Neil and Judy Baker have collected shells for more than 60 years, including one-of-a-kind shells along with some estimated to be worth $20,000.

The collection is now becoming burdensome for the couple due to the required care and cleaning resulting in them wishing to pass on the collection, including display cabinets and associated paraphernalia, to the Shire of Ashburton.

The Shire hopes the substantial collection will become a tourist attraction and encourage more people to visit the town.

Shire president Kerry White said she was thrilled the council was able to acquire the collection.

In August, council allocated $200,000 to acquire the collection. The entire shell collection is expected to be transported and displayed in Onslow early next year.

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