It was a great shame to hear at the end of last week that the Waxworks in Brading will be closing its doors come January.
Our first visit to ‘Brading The Experience’ was an experience indeed. We were amazed by the fantastic collection of waxworks and historical paraphernalia.
The subtle touches of humour and in some cases downright weirdness secured it a venue we love taking friends to when they visit from the mainland.
Back in 2006, we were lucky enough to catch A Phoenix Too Frequent, the Ad Lib Theatre Co’s version of Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch which was performed in the courtyard of the attraction. It was a great use of the space, proving that tourist attractions can have multiple purposes.
Difficult to sustain
Unfortunately, falling visitor numbers have forced the closure with a reported reduction of half the number of people through their doors in the last seven or eight years.
Sadly, four part-time staff will be made redundant and the others offered positions at the nearby Bugle Inn.
We spoke with Janette Smith, General Manager at the tourist attraction who confirmed that that although use of the site and buildings is currently being reviewed, there is no news on what the plans for the site are yet.
The chamber’s response
Speaking on behalf of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Dean Pascall, general manager said: “We know that Island tourism held up very well this year, so the closure of Brading the Experience is a particularly sad loss.
“Our enquiries show that, just as in any business sector, people are having mixed fortunes. Feedback suggests that many are feeling the pinch because of the credit crunch, and although we are encouraged by signs that the national economy is beginning to pick up again, news of the closure of the waxworks is a reminder that conditions are still very challenging, and that we need to work closely together.
“For our part, we will continue to work with tourism businesses and our partners as we seek to promote the Isle of Wight as the UK’s leading holiday destination, and create the conditions for success.”
Don’t miss your last chance
If it’s been a while since you visited the Waxworks, why not make another visit before it closes?
The attraction will be open as normal everyday until the end of October including a Halloween themed week for half term, but during November and December opening times are limited to weekends only.
They tell us that in the final days before closure (2nd-3rd January 2010) all money received will be donated to the IW Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
If you can’t make it along, here are a few reminders of the wonders it holds.
Click on the images below to see larger versions.
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