The Baked Beans Museum of Excellence – Wales’ best kept secret.

Port Talbot boasts Wales’ most unique tourist attraction, the Baked Beans Museum of Excellence, which is set to close its doors later this year.

Captain Beany explained how his dream is to release his own brand of baked beans.

“Password?” came a distorted, muffled voice through the intercom. 

“Ahm… baked beans,” I replied with uncertainty. 

The door buzzed and I entered, climbing two flights of stairs arriving on the landing of apartment number six, suspiciously awaiting what lay behind the door.  

It swung open engulfing me in a wall of orange, almost blinded by the brightness I entered. 

“Hello my boy, how have you bean?” came the voice from the intercom with his hand outstretched to shake mine, forged in this land of sulphur and steel it was Wales’ only caped crusader – Captain Beany.

The museum has attracted over 1,200 visitors since it opened in 2009.

 Since 2009, Barry Kirk, who legally changed his name to Captain Beany, has invited the public to his flat in Port Talbot to experience one of the UK’s most unique attractions, The Baked Beans Museum of Excellence.

“In an alternative world Barry Kirk is living the life, married with a couple of children and the total opposite of what I am now,” he joked.

A typical visit to the museum starts with a chat with the Captain, a tour of his bean-themed flat and his museum of over 450 bean related artefacts. Every guest leaves with a goody bag of Captain Beany keepsakes including fridge magnets and an autograph.

Beany’s origin lies in a bath of baked beans back in September 1986.


The inspiration for the Captain Beany was The Who’s 1967 Album, ‘Sell Out’, which can be seen to the right.

“I decided to wallow in a bath of beans for the best part of 100 hours, I didn’t think I would last 100 seconds, but we raised £1,500 for a special needs charity bus.”

“Imagine if I had a time machine and went back to see myself in that bath, I’d probably give myself a bollocking, because my entire life changed irreversibly after that” he joked.

This was the catalyst for Beany to pursue a lifetime of humanitarian and charity work, which includes body modification, charity stunts and marathon running, all with some relevance to beans.

The most immediately noticeable evidence of this is the Captain’s facial tattoos: a bean brow and an entire hairline of baked beans.

“I came up with this half baked idea of getting a tattoo where people could adopt a bean with their initials on it, we raised about £3,600 for a young girls’ operation,” explained Beany.

The product of his work can be seen in his striking orange living room that feels unchanged since the 80s, decorated top to bottom with trophies, pictures and plaques.

“It’s very humbling when I look at all these awards, it’s something with a purpose in life,” he said. 

The museum is based in the Captain’s flat, located in Sandfields estate, a stone’s throw from Swansea Bay.

“If I can inspire people to be original and live their own life, then that’s enough for me,” he explained. “If everyone was like me, I’m sure it would be a crazy world but everyone would at least be themselves.”

Unfortunately, this museum’s days are numbered.

“I’ve had the museum now for 13 years, and if I keep it for another 13 I’ll be in my 80s,” he explained with a hint of sadness.

“I’ll be downsizing and if I take the bean museum in with me it would be a bit of a tight fit so it’s on eBay for a poultry sum of £5,000.” 

The Baked Beans Museum of Excellence is number one of 14 attractions in Port Talbot on Tripadvisor.

“I’ve no intentions of giving up Captain Beany, I’ve got envisions of myself in the future writing my own book ‘Bean There, Done That, Got the Tattoo’ perhaps”

His most prized possession is his baked bean coffin complete with a Heinz Beans logo which every guest is obliged to take a picture with.

Captain Beany’s museum contains over 450 bean themed artefacts, including his coffin.

“Whenever I do I go, I’ll be going out with a blast,” he joked.

Visits to the museum can be made by appointment only and cost £10.