Skip Secrets – Factual and Fun

Skip Secrets – Factual and Fun

03rd January 2019

We recently brought our readers some news on the rising costs of skip hire which is having the effect of decreasing profit margins for builders or causing them to pass on the hike in price to their clients, raising the price of projects of all sorts.  This led to us taking a closer look at one of the construction industry’s most common pieces of equipment – the humble skip. 


We’ve already covered the history of skips, followed by an article describing some of the most surprising things found in skips here in the UK.  Today we’re going to bring you some fun facts about skips, so get yourself a cuppa, sit back and prepare to enjoy a light hearted look at skips.

When skips first started being hired out commercially, they were available in one size only and cost £5 to hire.  Whilst a fiver to hire a skip sounds incredibly cheap, this was quite a burgeoning expense back in the 1960s when the average weekly wage was between £20 and £27 (for men) and was paid in cash in a little brown envelope on a Thursday or Friday. This meant that hiring a skip to clear away household or garden rubbish was limited to the wealthy – each day of skip rental cost an extra 3 shillings and there was a fee of 7 shillings to be paid for those who wanted their unwanted crap to be transported to a dump site.

If you’re wondering why a skip is called a skip, then you have the Late Old English language to thank for that.  The word skip is derived from “skep”, the old English word for a basket.  A skep is now usually used for a traditional beehive woven from willow canes.

A local authority worker in Oxfordshire found a live guinea pig dumped in a landfill skip!  The little creature was wet and frightened but cheered up soon after its rescue and is now happily ensconced in a new home with a retired Inland Revenue worker.

Workers in a recycling yard at Motherwell were surprised to find two plastic urns that had been placed in a skip by a house clearance company.  When inspected more closely, it was found that the urns bore stickers displaying the names of the deceased and the dates of their funerals.  This enabled the family of the urns’ occupants (now deceased, of course) being contacted.  They were naturally upset by the incident but grateful to be reunited with the ashes of their deceased relatives.

As always, they do things with a little more style in Paris where five pieces of modern art worth around £100 million were found in a skip.  The works of art were stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art by a gang of thieves who were caught and wanted to destroy the evidence!  The works of art were destroyed and the thieves sentenced to an appropriate jail terms.

Do you have any stories about weird and wonderful stuff found in skips?  If so, let us know on our Facebook Page or on Twitter, we’d love to hear about it.