Opening over the winter for the first time has proved to be a successful experiment for Amberley Museum and attention now turns to the events programme for 2020. As well as the traditional industrial and transport-themed weekends and school holiday family activities, there are some new fixtures on the events calendar to thrill both existing and new visitors, including Steampunk, a Sculpture Trail and a weekend devoted to James Bond.
Following a successful taster event last November, Steampunk returns to Amberley on 14th & 15 June. The Museum’s industrial and transport backdrop is a natural fit for steampunk, which celebrates the future from a Victorian perspective, with clock-work and steam-powered machinery playing a big part. Steampunkers will be attending in their finery – ladies in wonderful Victorian burlesque dresses and gentlemen in goggle-shod top hats and all manner of costumes to become retro-industrial businessmen, Victorian sci-fi characters or military veterans. The event promises to be quite an experience for those new to the genre, but photography is welcome and there will be trade stands for visitors to acquire their very own outfits and steampunk memorabilia. Musical entertainment is planned throughout the weekend, including a cabaret on Saturday night, with acts including The Captain of the Lost Waves, Sheriff Ants Trepaneur and Mr Alexander’s Travelling Show already confirmed. Look out for advance tickets on the Amberley Museum website from March.
In mid-March the Museum will open another ground-breaking event – a Sculpture Trail. Running from 14 March until 28 June, over 40 exhibits from both established and up and coming contemporary artists will be displayed across the 36 acre site. The juxtaposition of these against the backdrop of historic industrial buildings will be exciting – if not challenging – to see.
For something completely different, another major new event is on the weekend of March 28-29 and will highlight the Museum’s role in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill, the last involving Sir Roger Moore. The scenes leading to the blowing up of May Day were filmed at the entrance of a quarry tunnel near Brockham Station at the Museum, which appeared as Mainstrike Mine in the film. The James Bond Weekend – Shaken not Stirred will include a showing of A View to a Kill, together with archive footage of the filming at Amberley, a display of Aston Martin cars with a cavalcade at 2pm each day, a Q and A with Bond experts from the official 007 Magazine group and a codebreaker trail for youngsters. Two musical acts will perform Bond themes over the weekend – ‘Vintage Candy’, a Sussex based duo and ‘Sarah Sussex Violinist’ will be coming along to provide some exciting violin interpretations of Bond and other cinematic theme music.
Museum staff and volunteers will stage a humorous re-enactment of film scenes at Amberley involving Zorin and his workers, James Bond and Stacey Sutton. The original Zorin train engine and trucks will be running in and out of the mine entrance. It is hoped that visitors will come dressed as Bond or co-stars and win spot prizes for best dressed – with younger aspiring spies or actors taking part. The event will co-incidentally precede the release at the beginning of April of the 25th Bond film No Time to Die.
All events (apart from the evening Steampunk cabaret on 14 June) are included in normal admission prices. Gift-aided tickets are £15 for adults, £13 for concessions and £8 for children aged 4-15 (under 5s free). Family tickets start at £31. Amberley Museum is open 10am until 4.30pm Wednesdays to Sundays with last entry one hour before closing. The Limeburners Café serves a variety of sandwiches and snacks with hot food at lunchtime.