Title ID 7261Collection ID876
Title[Amberley Working Museum] [Cinemascope]
Date[ca. 1997]
CollectionB. C. Suter
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionAlbum/Journal
ThemeWorking Life Transport
KeywordsRailways Trains Passenger Vehicles Christmas Children Railway Stations Motor Vehicles Cars Industry Education
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionB. C. Suter
CameraB. C. Suter
NarratorB. C. Suter
MusicMichael Bodkin
FormatColour Sound
Duration10 min. 38 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This Cinemascope film shows highlights of a 'Santa's Fun Day' event filmed at Amberley Museum during this special event day at Christmas, followed by scenes from a motorcycle and car rally, steam vehicle rally and later highlights of shots of the equipment in the Wireless and Communications Open day and an interview with the Museum's director, who explains several of the Electricity exhibits.


Views of the De Witt pit at Amberley Museum open the film. An industrial monorail runs around its edge, explains Mr. Suter, the film's maker and narrator. It is used to take sludge etc. to the drying beds. The skip wagon is shown, fitted with a JAP engine. 'In addition to the normal activities during the year, continues Suter, 'special days are held.' Children greet people dressed in costumes of various 'well known characters'.

A traction engine pulls a cart of visitors, on their way to meet 'Santa' in his grotto and receive a present. Further visitors sit on the top deck of a vintage Southdown bus, displaying advertisements for local brewer "Tamplin's Ales" and "Lea & Sons Fashions". Passengers board the carriages behind the "Polar Bear" Engine, before it pulls out of the station at Amberley on its way to 'North Pole' Station, decorated with coloured lights. Further train loads of passengers reach the station, where a man cooks hot chestnuts.

A man with a grey beard and large glasses, dressed as Father Christmas, speaks to the visitors: 'to each and every one of you a very happy Christmas,' he says.

Scenes filmed at the Motorcycle and Car Rally follow. Motorcycles line up in a carpark. Britannia" traction engine moves past in the background. 'Every available space was taken up by these beautifully kept vehicles,' says Suter. A 1924 American Brooks Steamer, 'an interesting vehicle, there are only two others in existence,' is seen, which uses condensed steam unit rather than a petrol engine. Dancers in red tabards entertain the visitors 'with their delightful dancing'. Scenes filmed at a model steam engine day follow. Crowds and participants assemble at the museum. Men drive large and small model steam lorries and tractors for the crowd, proceeding up the grassy slope to assemble. Children take a ride on a miniature railway. Chalky, the museum cat, enjoys the sun.

Several wireless sets are on display for the Wireless and Communications Open Day. Robert Taylor, the museum's director, gives a talk on early domestic electrical appliances, which are seen in close-ups: ' Michael Faraday showed that if you moved a rod through a coil you could produce an electric current..." Robert turns a hand generator and presents an early carbon filament light, followed by a carbon rod fire. '...another early use of electricity... electricity cables and a combined heater and cooker for domestic use".

One of the workers drives a traction engine through the main yard, followed by shots of him being filmed during an interview for Channel 4 Television (film crew in vision). This film contains some commercial music, but narration and sync sound play throughout.

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