A pair of world’s oldest roller skates was unveiled at a British museum today – bizarre and cumbersome boots on wire pram-style wheels. Each of the 100-year-old boot features two five-inch high spoked wheels, placed one behind the other – like modern in-line skates – and skilled users could reach speeds of up to 16mph along smooth surfaces.

They were fastened to the wearer’s legs by straps attached to stilt-like pieces of yellow wood, and weighed more than 40lb each.

The surviving roller skates are part of a new exhibition at Lynn museum, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, after they were donated to the centre. Experts believe the skates were designed after the bicycle craze of the mid-1890s.