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Flower Makers' Museum

58a High Street, Hastings, E Sussex, TN34 3EN

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 16 reviews16 reviews
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Tel+44(0)1424 427793

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From £1.00
Flower Makers' Museum

About

The Shirley Leaf & Petal Company, an extraordinary family business which dates back over 110 years, can be found in Hastings Old Town. Despite its humble surroundings, the company has an extraordinary global reputation as a leading supplier of artificial flower and plant props for film, theatre and television productions.

In the basement of the old pharmacist building, the Flower Makers' Museum displays thousands of original company tools of the trade, machines and fabrics which are still in use to this day. Approximately 10,000 cutting tools and flower irons can be seen reproduced from moulds made from casts of leaves from all around the world.

All the samples on display are company originals, as are the old clocking-on machine, bridal headresses (including an R.A.F. pearl tiara), correspondence from the 1920s, Union Jack apple leaves and spools of raw thread used for bindings. It's here that you'll find out about the company's impressive client list and samples of work dating back through the decades. 

The Shirley Leaf & Petal Company's reputation among costume and set designers is spread worldwide by word of mouth. The owner, diminutive Brenda Wilson, and her staff produced the rose petals for Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator' and the giant wisteria for the set of the Broadway and West End production ‘Frozen the Musical’. Lady Gaga’s costumes and royal outfits such as one worn at a recent royal christening, all bear examples of the team’s work. 

Workshops

In Victorian and Edwardian days, artificial flowers made from velvets, silks and satins adorned the ladies' ball gowns, whilst waxed flowers were used for bridal occasions. 

Now you too can learn from the professional! Brenda is offering workshops to anyone wanting to learn some of her extraordinary skills. Using vintage fabrics and artificial flowers and leaves, learn to make something special for a loved one’s wedding outfit or special occasion. An original gift for a special friend or relative. Workshop prices start at £25 for an hour and a half. Small groups or individuals. Enquire at the shop on 01424 427793.

 

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Museum£1.00 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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    Recent Reviews:

    • AlabamaWhirly1
      Hastings, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Solo travel
      Amazing place
      5 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 29th August 2018
      Go underneath the flower shop and there's a whole world of flower making history! The machine and blocks are really interesting. Read full review
    • Steve D
      Gloucester, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Couples
      Very interesting demonstration
      5 of 5 stars
      Thursday, 25th October 2018
      We had a good demonstration of how the flowers are made. Very interesting and I think that its the only place still making flowers that way. So many shapes to see. Read full review
    • Andrew081
      St Albans, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Solo travel
      Small, interesting shop and museum in the old town
      4 of 5 stars
      Monday, 5th August 2019
      The Flower Makers Museum is situated in a 14th century building in Hastings Old Town. At street level is a small shop making and selling artificial flowers, but in the basement is a museum. Whilst... Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Opening Times

    2019 (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)
    DayTimes
    Monday - Saturday10:00 - 16:00*
    SundayClosed*
    Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

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