All about the Long Shop
All about the Long Shop Museum
Our museum occupies part of the Richard Garrett & Sons engineering works in Leiston, Suffolk.
Garretts was a family business from 1778 to 1932, after which the company passed into the hands of Beyer Peacock. The works finally closed in 1981. However, the historic core was preserved and opened as a museum in 1984.
Inside the museum
The Long Shop itself was built in 1852-53 and is a very early example of a building designed for assembly-line production. We have the deepest well in Suffolk as well as a variety of historic buildings, including a Grade II-listed water tower.
We have several of Garrett's steam engines, including Consuelo Allen, a road roller rescued from Spain, a very rare Suffolk Punch steam tractor (pictured) and, of course, Sirapite, the works' shunting engine.
As well as steam engines, the works was famous for agricultural implements, and many are on display, including a threshing machine. There's also a living wagon, one of the wonderful caravans used as accommodation by the drivers of the engines when on the road.
A further exhibition tells the history of the Garrett family through family momentoes and models, such as trolley buses, dustcarts and other vehicles not so commonly associated with the firm. And there's a vast collection of other material connected with the business of engineering: patterns, moulds, drawings etc.
Leiston, a town with a strong sense of community, was dominated by the works, and various exhibits tell of the working life of the town in the Garretts' heyday.
One display is devoted to the story of the American 357th Fighter Group, 8th USAAF, which was based at Leiston during the Second World War, and to the dramatic events of 17 June 1917 when a German Zeppelin air ship was shot down at nearby Theberton.
Bringing the story of steam power up to date, we have a display and model of our near neighbour Sizewell B nuclear power station.
There are more pictures and information about some of these exhibits on the What's to see page
If you're thinking of visiting with a school party, please visit our education pages for further information and useful downloads.