Amberley Museum - three decades of change

Photos by Dave Parker

Photos from Amberley museum taken from 1987; how many of the places do you still recognise?.




Amberley Museum.

This is the site of the restaurant.


Amberley Museum.

To the left was the boat builder and in front (left), the old cafe, more recently connected to the education centre.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

The old cafe


Amberley Museum.

The cafe decorated for a Santa event at Christmas.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Appropriate weather for the "Santa" event!


Amberley Museum.

This was taken at the top of the hill - the "friends' centre" portacabin now occupies the spot to the left of this shot. Incidentally the portacabin was donated by Seeboard (now EDF Energy) - I actually worked in it at the Portland Road site (Portslade) while the building was being renovated in 1992.


Amberley Museum.

From the top of the bus - the trees to the left are now the location of the restaurant.


Amberley Museum.

The bridge over the railway awaiting repair.


Amberley Museum.

The next four photos show the early work renovating the old railway line to the Kilns - work has progressed steadily and this area looks very different today.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Two views of the site to become Amberley Fire Station!


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

A view of the brick-a-brack in it's early days run then on Sundays by Daphne Parker.


Amberley Museum.

Not so much change in this view.


Amberley Museum.

The railway building nearly complete.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Five shots of the new "TATHS" building (history of tools) under construction.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

A timeless shot of the museum with the Leyland Southdown bus and the new restaurant being constructed to the right.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Another view of the site of the restaurant (from the village green).


Amberley Museum.

The railway originally had two stations at "Amberley" and "Brockham"; this view shows the line being extended at the far end of the site towards what will become "Cragside".


Amberley Museum.

Groundwork being prepared before further track can be laid.


Amberley Museum.

This aerial view is of what will become the railway engine building.


Amberley Museum.

Another aerial view from the "far end"; note the course of the old road before construction of the Telecomms Exhibit which will be build in the foreground area where the trees are.


Amberley Museum.

Seeboard's Milne museum with the "transformer garden"; Cragside railway station now occupies the site to the top of this shot.


Amberley Museum.

The White Pit and re-building the bus garage from Storrington.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

The foreground of this shot is now the restaurant.


Amberley Museum.

The roof of the kilns prior to renovation with a contribution from the lottery fund.


Amberley Museum.

The kilns again prior to renovation.


Amberley Museum.

This view pre-dates the Railway Exhibition building.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Another view of the old Cafe.


Amberley Museum.

The front of the railway exhibition building nearing completion.


Amberley Museum.

Track work continues towards Cragside...


Amberley Museum.

And looking back towards Brockham.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

This is a view of the rear of what is now the railway exhibition.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Approaching Cragside - all we need are the tracks!


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

At Brockham station looking east.


Amberley Museum.

Brockham station on a cold, early Spring day - through the branches you can see the railway exhibition is still to be built.


Amberley Museum.

The woodland walk with a nature exhibit under construction in March 2000.


Amberley Museum.

This is taken in front of what is now the railway exhibition; the bulldozer sits where the new road was cut (the existing road runs from the left of shot). To the left of the bulldozer will be the new BT telecomms building.


Amberley Museum.

Another view of the bushes where the road now runs.


Amberley Museum.

The telecomms building will be built here.


Amberley Museum.

The telecomms building will be to the left and the railway exhibition top right.


Amberley Museum.

Bus day - Maidstone and District bus BKT821C emerges from the sharp turn in the old road that ran beside the engine shed - this is now the turning section of Cragside station.


Amberley Museum.

This is now the approach to Cragside station.


Amberley Museum.

Looking back, the track-laying approaches Cragside.


Amberley Museum.

Another view before the telecomms building.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

This view was taken in front of the Seeboard electricity exhibition. The engine shed is still there but cannot be seen from this point now as the telecomms exhibit stands in the way.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

"Tramocar" passes what will become the Fire Station.


Amberley Museum.

Opening of the engine shed at Brockham.


Amberley Museum.

"Polar Bear" presides at the opening ceremony.


Howard Stenning rides Peter the steam engine at Amberley Museum.

The late and much missed Howard Stenning (then director of the museum) rides on "Peter".


Amberley Museum.

This shot shows construction of the path to the restaurant. This path ends in brick work on the tight turning circle on the bus route; drivers now have a tricky job getting the longer buses round this bend and not all succeed! The bricks were awaiting repair in April 2015.


Amberley Museum.

This is the site of the Fire Station.


Amberley Museum.

Constructing the BT telecomms building.


Amberley Museum.

While building the telecomms building, a new road was required (under construction here).


Amberley Museum.

The engine shed with the old loop road to the right (the loop was driven anti-clockwise then) and the new road to the left (now part of the clockwise loop).


Amberley Museum.

Off-season construction.


Amberley Museum.

The new road and telecomms hall under construction.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

This view of the construction was in front of what would now be the Railway Exhibition.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Not sure why this hole was dug in front of the telephone exchange. Incidentally this exchange still operates the dozens of lines which go to nearly all buildings on the site.


Amberley Museum.

This view is from the public footpath outside the museum and is looking west down the line from Brockham.


Amberley Museum.

Concrete was laid as the foundation of the new restaurant - from memory it remained concrete for a few years while funds were found to complete the building.


Amberley Museum.

By April 2002 the new road and telecomms building were complete.


Amberley Museum.

Still in April 2002 the interior of the telecomms building is being painted.


Amberley Museum.

The interior was designed to look bright and spacious - an artist is seen here painting clouds on the ceiling of the building.


Amberley Museum.

A month later in May 2002 the ex-Storrington garage shell is nearly complete, awaiting its brick work.


Amberley Museum.

Two stalwart volunteers who have seen it all in the past are clearly perplexed by something!


Amberley Museum.

This aerial view shows the "far end" of the museum site with the railway exhibition still to be built.


Amberley Museum.

This is the newly-built railway track approaching Cragside. A new engine shed is being constructed beside the line.


Amberley Museum.

This is a very old shot. The Leyland bus is passing the old TATHS building and the site of the fire station.


Amberley Museum.

This aerial view shows the path of the old road to the right of the engine shed.


Amberley Museum.

The De Wilt kilns before repair.


Amberley Museum.

A general view of the "far end" railway area and "triangle" of track work.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

The Leyland Southdown bus passes to the right of the engine shed. Note the storage cabin on the site of what is now Cragside station.


Amberley Museum.

The telecomms hall nears completion.


Amberley Museum.

The old kilns again in need of some TLC (which will be forthcoming)!


Amberley Museum.

This is the site where the "Fairmile" cafe (on the A27) will be re-located.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

This view of the railway area dates from last century!


Amberley Museum.

A view of the standard gauge track being re-laid (this road was once the track from the kilns to main-line Amberley).


Amberley Museum.

This was the original road building display situated near the current site of the fire station.


Amberley Museum.

Near the pottery.


Amberley Museum.

The fire station is under construction here.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

Four views of the concrete plinth at the site of the new restaurant.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.


Amberley Museum.

This lovely old sign was at the site of where the path is now cut through to the new kiln path. The sign has, I believe, been restored.


Amberley Museum.

This was the old cafe - it looked great with the lovely old enamel signs and had a fantastic atmosphere - and long queues at busy times.


Amberley Museum.

This lovely British scene with the bus just leaving shot to the right.


Amberley Museum.

This shot of the bus approaching the garage is now very different with lots of new building; the old AA sign is not here any longer (probably now part of the road building exhibition in the White Pit).


Amberley Museum.



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©2015 Dave Parker

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