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About this eventAmberley Museum and Heritage Centre lies in a splendid rural location a few miles from Arundel in West Sussex and our return visit sees us recreating the halcyon days of vintage transport in the South of England using some of the stunning vehicles from the Museumís extensive and historic collection. We will have an array of road vehicles from the late 1920s and 1930s (which would have been on the road into the 1940s) accompanied by appropriately dressed re-enactors to complement the periods we are portraying. We also hope to have the railway locomotive Polar Bear in steam and working during the afternoon, and the first appearance on one of our charters of the replica Tramocar, the original vehicle on which it is exactly modelled dating from 1924.
We have a number of vehicles available from the Museum collection. These include a superb 1930 TD1 double decker bus UF 6473 which was purchased by Southdown Motor Services and used in the Worthing area of Sussex. Southdown sold the TD1 out of service as early as 1938, after which it was used as an office and storage unit for a transport contractor based in Ayrshire. Despite being Ďmodifiedí in the interests of providing more office space, the basic condition of 6473 remained sound and the bus was saved for preservation and returned to the immaculate condition in which it appears today. We will also feature UF 6805, a Tilling-Stevens B10 A2 express bus which also entered service with Southdown in 1930. The beautiful little Southdown Leyland Cub ECD 524 of 1937 with Park Royal bodywork should also be in action; after withdrawal in 1954, this nineteen seater was used to transport scenery for a theatre company which ensured its eventual survival for preservation. We hope to have the Museumís 1930-built Morris 10 light van which appropriately also carries Southdown green livery, plus one or two other vintage vehicles joining us for the day. Although not confirmed yet, we hope to use the Museumís splendid vintage fire engine from the 1920s provided it is operational at the time of our visit.
The replica Tramocar has not previously featured on one of our events so will be totally new for this visit. The Tramocars were based on Freighter vehicles built by Shelvoke and Drewry of Letchworth, mostly used as refuse collection vehicles with over 2000 manufactured in total. The Tramocars were the brainchild of businessman Bill Gates (not the computer entrepreneur) who lived in Worthing and who initially had two vehicles built for passenger use, primarily with easy access for the elderly in mind. They worked in and around Worthing between 1924 and 1942 and were latterly operated by Southdown Motor Services, who purchased Tramocar Limited from Bill Gates in 1938. As more modern buses including Leyland Tigers were introduced, the Tramocars were phased out until the last were withdrawn in 1942, though a number saw further use elsewhere. There were fifteen Tramocars in total and, though none survived into preservation, the replica is a faithful representation of how the vehicles would have looked when in active service. It is built on an original chassis, originally from a Cornish dustcart in Truro, and carries the registration number of the very first Tramocar to enter service.
On the Railway, the distinctive Bagnall-built steam locomotive Polar Bear of 1905 vintage is expected to be in action. Built in 1905, Polar Bear worked on the Groudle Glen Railway in the Isle of Man which closed in 1962. The loco passed to Brockham Museum Trust in 1967 and was part of the collection that was transferred in full to Amberley Museum in 1982. Polar Bear has been a regular performer at the Museum since 1983.
The Autumnal tints should be beginning to appear around the site to add an additional touch of colour to the scenes. We have had some excellent events here in previous years and we hope you will wish to join us for our first post-pandemic return to Amberley on what promises to be another busy and enjoyable adventure.
Timings are 09:30-17:00.
- Spare batteries
- Camera protection - rain covers etc
- All levels welcome
- Sturdy outdoor shoes
- Warm clothing
- Wet weather gear