The Louis Tussauds House of Wax in Great Yarmouth, UK is facing closure because its elderly owners can’t find anyone to run it.
Named after the great grandson of Madame Tussaud who founded London’s infamous waxwork museum in 1835, Louis Tussauds is famous for a slightly different reason.
It has been called the ‘world’s worst waxworks museum’ by many and is well known for having models that appear nothing like their subjects. But this anomaly has given it something of a cult status in a ‘so bad, it’s good’ way!
Peter Hayes, 85, and his wife Jane, 82, have run the museum since 1955 – now though they are both at the stage where their health is pushing them to retire and they are struggling to find someone to take the business on.
Jane Hayes said:
“In June this year my husband was taken seriously ill with pneumonia. We don’t want to retire but when your health starts to decline you have to think. It will be a shame as we’ve been here 57 years, and it would be nice to make 60, but we’ve no family interested in taking it on.”
They are seeking planning permission to change the building from a museum to residential use and were also trying to get a rates reduction from Great Yarmouth Borough Council to try and make it a more economically viable business.
The Louis Tussauds Waxworks has more than 150 models, the majority of which date back to the 1970s and 1980s, there is a dodgy Michael Jackson – looking more plastic than he did in his final years, a less than flattering Prince Charles and other rather un-regal looking members of the Royal Family, model Samantha Fox that is oddly disproportionate, a rather overweight looking Gary Linekar and many many more!
The museum also features a chamber of horrors and has a number of antique amusement machines.
It’s cult status means that many visitors have traveled hundreds of miles to see the weird waxworks and visitors on the review site TripAdvisor often leave mocking assessments of the models but seem to really enjoy their visits!
CatvonK who went to the museum in September wrote: “This is well worth the £5 entry fee as its sooooo bad it’s good. Some of the waxworks are unrecognizable and thankfully you are helped out with nameplates. The setting of the building is very dark and moody which really adds to the creepiness of waxworks. The torture chamber section was a bit unnerving as it was so dark and not helped that when you leave, you exit via a very spooky derelict arcade. If you love freaky things, this is superb. I’m so glad we went, it was brilliant fun :)” and there are many other similar reviews on the site!
Mr Hayes admits that many of the models are no longer recognizable – especially to the younger visitors, however he reaffirms that that Museum is a hugely popular attraction and there are not enough like it in the Great Yarmouth area!
He said that in its heyday in the 1960s – there were huge queues to enter the museum and they wandered around in lines that were 4 deep.
The waxworks’ website describes it as “’different from many wax museums, in that it remembers the stars and famous people as they were at their height of fame and influence.”
Source: Daily Mail