Let Off Some Steam
Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Amberley Museum founded in 1978, is dedicated to preserving the industrial heritage of the South East. Often referred to as multiple museums in one, the Museum has over twenty exhibition areas covering everything from vintage vehicles to communications, electrical goods to traditional crafts. You can also ride on a narrow-gauge railway, admire historic buses and go on a journey of discovery on a nature trail. The museum also hosts a year-round programme of regular events, this month sees a full calendar of events for the whole family to get involved in and enjoy.
Steam Show – 2 – 3 July 2022
This year Amberley Museum are hosting their first Steam Show, celebrating all things steam! You’ll have to keep your wits about you, as the power of steam propel steam rollers and engines around the 36-acre grounds of the museum.
There will be over forty, indoor and outdoor, exhibit areas to discover including rural crafts and an extensive exhibition on the history of communication with interactive displays. You can also ride around the site on a vintage bus or train and hop on board the passenger train, hauled by the 1905 Bagnall steam locomotive ‘Polar Bear’.
Classic Car Show – 17 July 2022
Now in its 21st year, the Classic Car show returns once again, to Amberley. Expect a showcase of over 100 classic cars, built between 1955 and 1993. It is one of the highlights of the year for the museum, giving visitors the opportunity to admire beautifully kept classics, and talk to their owners who are always enthusiastic to share the love for their cars. ‘Polar Bear’ makes a return appearance to this special day if you previously missed the opportunity to take a ride on the narrow-gauge steam locomotive.
Rail Gala – 23 – 24 July 2022
The annual summer showcase of all things rail, including a special return of the locomotive ‘Peter’, is one not to be missed. There will be a variety of trains running throughout the day and a model railway exhibition that visitors young and old can admire.
MCR21 BBC Television Broadcast Unit – ©Andrew Peakin
Golden Age of Television
In addition to these regular events a unique glimpse into television history will be recreated at Amberley Museum this July. From the 1930s until the 1980s, Britain led the world in developing television technology and the BBC’s design of the mobile control room was an important advance, taking programming out of the studio and enabling the broadcast of major national and sporting events to viewers across the UK and overseas.
MCR21 (mobile control room 21) was one of ten outside broadcast units designed by and built for the BBC during the 1960s and covered events such as the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, England’s football World Cup victory at Wembley in 1966, and the investiture of HRH the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle in 1969.
Once sold for scrap but discovered and restored by expert enthusiasts under the banner of the Broadcast Television Technology Trust, MCR21 is the oldest and most complete outside broadcast van in existence and has been chosen by the BBC in its centenary year as one of the ‘100 objects that made the BBC.’
MCR21 BBC Television Broadcast Unit – ©Nick Gilbey
From Wednesday, 6th July to Sunday, 17th July, visitors to Amberley Museum can experience the atmosphere and operation of early programme-making inside MCR21, as a specially created jazz show recording shows pictures from four cameras on the monitors and the director calls the shots.
Tickets must be pre-booked online for all events, see website for more details.