THE HAYWARD COLLECTION
By bringing forward the shop-front facade opposite the
Tailor's shop, a second shop interior was formed, which became the
re-creation of the Abbots Bromley Puppet Museum and now houses around
200 puppets chosen from the Douglas Hayward Collection.
A selection of Douglas' own marionettes, made between 1950 and the 1970s,
are displayed in the front window
of the shop, as they were at Abbots Bromley.
Inside are fine examples
of the work of mainly British leading puppet-makers including Waldo Lanchester, Ken Barnard, Fred Tickner, Eric Bramall,
Christine Glanville and
many more. The puppets date from around 1800 to the present day.
Whilst most of the figures on display are marionettes,
there are also examples of glove, rod and shadow figures, with an
extensive collection of glove puppets by Lester Bidston filling the upper
display cases and Wallace Peat's Wessex Puppets (1930s) and the
Hertfordshire Puppeteers (1920s), well represented.
Shugborough Mansion House
The Staffordshire County Museum at Shugborough is open
from 11 am to 5 pm, every day except Tuesdays from Mid-March to the end of October.
In 1975, after many years as a touring puppet player, Douglas
Hayward established a permanent Marionette Theatre in the main High
Street of the Staffordshire village of Abbots Bromley. The
building housed a modest permanent exhibition of puppets along the side
wall of the 50-seat auditorium. Marionette shows were staged in the
theatre on a one night per week basis for the next 8 years.
The theatre was also a popular and frequent venue for
Meetings, Exhibitions and Festivals of the British Puppet & Model
Theatre Guild, both Regionally and Nationally.
Lanchester's Dutch Boy & Girl
During this time, the exhibition aspect of the building
began to grow, until, when Douglas decided to retire from performing,
the exhibition had become so large, that in 1983, it was now able to take over
the whole building, including an additional two rooms at the back, to form a
For another 10 years the building enjoyed a new
lease of life as a Museum, attracting 1700 visitors per year and
a popular Staffordshire Tourist Attraction.
In 1993, the opportunity presented itself to
re-locate the exhibition in its entirety to the Staffordshire County
Museum, which is part of the Shugborough Estate, at Milford, just South
of Stafford. For two years, the puppet collection was displayed in
two rooms on the First Floor of the Museum, which is housed in the
former Servants Quarters of the Shugborough Mansion House, a National
On the Ground Floor of the Museum was a small
decorated as a street scene with re-created shop fronts. Two of
these shop fronts were merely facades and the third housed a re-creation
of a former Tailor's shop from Abbots Bromley.
Staffordshire County Museum, part of the Shugborough Estate, is located
at Milford Common,
on the A513 between Stafford and Lichfield. Post Code: ST17
0XB. Tel: 01889 881 388.
One Admission Charge covers car parking and entrance to the Museum,
Mansion House (National Trust), Farm and Gardens.