'Britain's worst waxwork museum' to close after slump in visitor numbers

The Louis Tussauds House of Wax gained cult popularity when pictures of its exhibits were revealed - as almost all of them were laughable likenesses of famous faces.

A waxwork museum dubbed the 'worst in Britain' is set to finally closed its doors - after becoming an international laughing stock for its hilariously-terrible celeb lookalikes.

The Louis Tussauds House of Wax gained cult popularity when pictures of its exhibits were revealed - as almost all of them featured laughable likenesses of famous faces.

Now the dream is over for bosses of the Great Yarmouth tourist attraction, as a slump in visitor numbers has forced it to close.

It was put on the market after visitor numbers fell, the wax modeller retired and no buyer could be found.

Owners Peter Hays, 85, and his wife Jane, 82, who have run the business in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, for 58 years, have now said the museum must close.

Bizarre: Prince William and Adolf Hitler are two of the stars at the museum (Rex)

They plan to turn the comedy attraction into a private home and have already been granted planning permission by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

In a statement from the couple, assistant development control manager Tim Major told the meeting they "have been unable to find any individual or company" to take it on due to declining income and rising costs.

He added the couple cited "some bad media coverage in recent years which has damaged their reputation".

Over the years thousands of visitors have paid the £5 entrance fee to see more than 150 models which mostly date back to the 1970s and 80s.

David and Victoria Beckham's likenesses aren't much better either (Rex)

Famous faces include a model of Prince William in a casual sweater with a full head of hair, the Queen looking less than regal and an unflattering Prince Charles.

Others include a shadowy-skinned Sean Connery, model Samantha Fox, a barely recognisable Michael Barrymore, actor Rowan Atkinson and the King of Pop Michael Jackson.

The museum, which has been awarded three out of five stars on Trip Advisor, employs three staff and also includes a chamber of horrors and a collection of antique amusement machines.

Cllr Charles Reynolds, from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "From what I understand they were selling it as a going concern.

Deal or no deal? Noel Edmunds' waxwork is mildly terrifying (Rex)"But unfortunately there was no interest.

"This is a bit of a sad occasion, but the publicity it has given the area is quite unbelievable.

"Jane Hays and her husband have been icons within tourism.

"They've seen the best times and sadly some decline has crept up on them."

Mr and Mrs Hays already live in a flat on the first floor and now they have permission to turn the entire building into a home.

The couple may also put up two retail kiosks in front of the waxworks, but they will not be allowed to become hot food takeaways.

The museum was named after the great grandson of Madame Tussaud, the founder of the famous waxworks museum in London in 1835.

Its 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.

"See your gallery of how people looked, how the passionate owners captured them at this time and preserved them for your enjoyment.

"Many wax museum (sic) update their models to keep the realistic to reflect the current looks or styles.

"If you are looking back to the 70s, so (sic) the stars as they were. Nostalgia and memories.

"Show your grand children the stars and leaders during your generation and help us bring the museum to life."

The fate of the waxworks, which have become famous internationally, is not yet known.

The owners tried to sell the models in 2008 but were unable to find any buyers.

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