A Victorian souvenir of Hastings Pier

This is a Victorian souvenir needle case with a charming decorative scene on one side and an illustration of Hastings Pier on the other. The case was produced in Studley near Stratford-on-Avon by the needle manufacturer, Abel Morrall. Needle production in Studley started out as a cottage industry and expanded during the industrial revolution. Morrall's were still in production in the 1960s, producing Aero knitting needles.

The word souvenir in French means ‘remembrance’. Victorians were great collectors, and so most visitors to the seaside would return home with some kind of keepsake. This sparked a huge growth in the production of ‘seaside ware’ or ‘crested ware’, which was the most popular type of souvenir.They were typically small pieces of china, such as eggcups, shoes and animals, depicting memorable scenes from the town visited.

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