polo boot Exhibition shows off outfits from the past
Other pieces he saved include an early Victorian lace parasol, an early 19th century muslin dress and an elaborate Edwardian beaded lace trimmed jacket.
A home made 1930s crushed velvet wedding dress shows off the bride’s tiny waist and the little chiffon dress help illustrate the dramatic change in women’s fashion in the early years of the 20th century.
“We have the very stiff and structured formal bustle skirt which made it very difficult for women to move easily, but this was the fashion at the time.
“Then you have the unstructured and fluid wedding dress with soft natural lines.
“It just shows how women’s lives altered so much over this period.”
Some of the outfits are old fashioned mourning clothes for women.
In the first year of mourning women were supposed to wear very dull materials like crepe with no ornaments.
The museum has on show an outfit which marked the second year of mourning, where silk was allowed to be used along with a little bit of embroidery.
The wedding dress was donated by the museum’s treasurer and was worn by her mother Cynthia Chase at her wedding in August 1939 just before the start of the war.
The exhibition also shows some late 18th/early 19th century sunshine yellow embroidered silk dress material.
It was found rolled around a walking cane in the attic of a house in Tyler’s Green, Cuckfield.
Mrs Malins said: “When we told people we were doing this exhibition, we had a lot of offers of items that had been tucked away.
“Our treasurer has loved seeing her mother’s wedding dress displayed on the mannequin as she says it gives her a better idea of what it looked like instead of simply lying folded up.
Cuckfield Museum in the High Street opened in 1981 and traces the history of the town from its earliest days to more recent times.
The basis of its main collection is derived from the banker and local philanthropist Richard Bevan who was the leading instigator of the building of the Queen’s Hall in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The Bevan family bequeathed to Cuckfield a number of items from Horsgate, the house built for them in 1865.
The museum has full accreditation status which is confirmation it meets national professional standards in key areas of museum management, collection care and public services.
It is an entirely self funded, volunteer run organisation and the accreditation also makes the museum eligible for much needed grants and awards offered by a range of heritage protection bodies.