Since my last visit, probably over twenty years ago then with my young family, a lot has been added. This time I arrived with my friend by train, taking advantage of the 2-for-1 admission offer for train ticket holders, so we paid only £10 for the two of us (seniors) which included the Gift Aid donation. [Check with train operators for this offer - voucher required]. The Museum entrance is just a minute's walk from Amberley train station.
The Museum comprises many exhibitions and historical collections which are museums in themselves, and those new to me included the Roadmakers' (paviors) museum, the "Connected Earth" telecommunications hall, the Narrow-Gauge railway exhibition, and the Electricity Hall. Like other visitors, I looked to see which electrical appliances in the museum are identical to ones which I still use in my house - my coffee percolating jug was one. And it's obvious why Sussex has so many rough and pot-holed roads: the proper repair equipment such as the tar-boiler and the road-rollers (steam and diesel machines) have been consigned to the museum. The Sussex roadman's wooden caravan containing a woodburning stove is there, once pulled by a steam traction engine or steamroller. I saw the modern equivalent elsewhere in Sussex recently - it's called a Welfare Unit in big letters on the side of an expensive new white van.
We also visited other museums within the Museum, and had a train ride to the far end of the site. An old Bristol VR double-deck bus was offering slow-speed trips round the site, whilst a splendid fleet of ancient Southdown buses was on view in "Storrington Bus Garage". A revisit is essential if we want to see the many things which we did not have time for.
The ladies' loo opposite "Connected Earth" was in a disgusting condition, possibly not cleaned for weeks or perhaps longer as evidenced by staining. We reported this to Reception.
The gift shop was adequate and sensibly stocked. As another charitable rural attraction not far away had just had a burglary involving the loss of high-value goods, it seems sensible to stick to basics such as guide books, cheap toys, pictures and postcards etc. in this kind of setting. I bought a small reproduction Southern Railway poster for framing.
I noticed that there are plenty of things to interest children of all ages, not least a properly-designed fenced woodland play area.
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