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The Summer Outing.

Not often would the paths of allotmenting lead to James Bond and his adventures, but on Thursday a coach load of intrepid gardeners left Eddington Lane bound for Amberley Museum, in West Sussex, a thirty six acre site which was once used as the background to a Roger Moore Bond film.

The word ‘museum‘ conveys an image of artefacts in glass cases all housed in dedicated buildings. But Amberley Museum is nothing like that at all. This is an open-air site which, from 1830 to 1960, served as a chalk quarry from which the chalk was quarried and then burnt to produce lime which underpinned much of the industrial and agricultural development along the south coast.

Once lime production ceased, the site was transformed into a museum which has exhibits covering some twenty different subjects such as rural crafts, transport through the ages, electricity from Faraday to modern times, and communications with radio and print which connected the countries of the globe.

There are many original buildings onsite, while others have been either brought here from elsewhere, or have been built to show how they would have been in years past. Many of them house volunteer craftspeople who are producing wood, lead and iron work which all help to bring the museum to life.

There is a narrow gauge railway to carry visitors around the site and a funny old bus doing the same job. The railway carried Roger Moore and Tanya Roberts in a scene from “A view to a Kill”, and the wagon they rode in – which had carried chalk in an earlier life - has pride of place in the transport section of the museum.

We spent a few pleasant hours wandering the large site before heading back towards Herne Bay with a stop-off for a pub buffet meal near Sittingbourne, all organised, as usual, by Margaret and Martin to whom go our thanks for another fine day out which was enjoyed by all who went and who were heard enthusiastically chatting about it the next day at coffee break.

 Thanks M&M – another success story.


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