A self-confessed ‘clean freak’ was celebrating today after breaking the world record for having the largest collection – of VACUUM CLEANERS.
James Brown, 33, has been collecting the household machines since he was an eight-year-old, often repairing them after school and in the summer holidays.
This year he set a brand new world record as his astonishing collection hit a whopping 322 different vaccum cleaners – more than twice as many as his nearest rival who owned 160.
In 2010 James, known to the faithful band of fellow enthusiasts as ‘Mr Vacuum Cleaner’, opened Britain’s first ever museum dedicated to the household machines.
After just 12 months he was forced to move to a bigger premises as his collection grew.
His unusual passion grew during his teens, when lovingly restored six cleaners, but come the age of 16 his collection was already past the 50 mark.
He houses his collection in his vacuum repair shop in Heanor, Notts., and, like most of the country’s top museums, he doesn’t charge puzzled punters a penny for entry.
While James has believed for over a year that he had smashed through the 200 mark he had no idea the count would be so high.
But when Guinness World Records judges arrived at his shop he was delighted to find he was over 100 above his estimate.
He said: “I wasn’t really sure how many I had until we counted them but I knew it would be at least 200.
“You end up stuffing them away, so it takes a bit of time to organise them.
“I’ve set a tough target to beat, but there are more collectors out there than you might think.
“Now I can tell everyone but I’ve kept it quiet for so long that it doesn’t seem that exciting. I might put it on my website or on the wall in the shop.
“All I’ve ever wanted is to work with vacuum cleaners – I suppose I’m the ultimate clean freak.
“When I was four and my mum was poorly, I used to help out with her Electrolux 345 Automatic
“When I was eight, my Dad found a little Goblin 800 that had been thrown away. We fixed it and that was my very own vacuum cleaner.
“Then I started collecting them. Next was a Selex and then a Spinney 600.
“I loved the look, the feel, the sound of them. You can’t really explain it to people who don’t have the same enthusiasm. It’s like some people love vintage cars or clocks. For me it was vacuum cleaners.
“There is, simply, nothing better than a Kirby. It is the Rolls-Royce of vacuum cleaners,
“They last forever whereas the average machine lasts five years.
“But they cost thousands and have their own sales network.”