About the collection at Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre
Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre was one of the first of a BT distributed community of partner museums.
Opened in May 2002, the purpose-built Connected Earth display centre is now a well-established attraction at Amberley and houses the telephone collection and a special collection themed on 'Living and working in the telecommunications age'. In addition to the two vehicles below the theme features the development of the telephone itself, along with the stories of the people involved, particularly the operators and engineers. Phone boxes, switchboards, telephone poles, manholes and other vehicles are also on display, many as working items.
News from Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre
Lineman's motorcycle (c1933) : a neat way to get to work
Back in the 1930s the Post Office were busy installing telephones deeper and deeper into rural Britain. And with all the kit to carry, a bicycle just wouldn't do.
One answer was this motorcycle and sidecar. The sidecar wasn't for anyone to sit in, but held the tools of the trade. A toolbox and spares (and frequently a lunchbox) lay in the top with a ladder folded and nestled into the bottom.
This BSA 595cc bike was used in London for a number of years before being sold. It was bought back by the Post Office in 1979 to be fully restored.
Albion utility van (c1936) : a different sort of cable car
The telecommunications network spread rapidly through the first half of the 20th century and this in part was thanks to the heroic efforts of the men who installed the poles and cables.
The Albion van is a perfect example of the transport used by the men who installed and maintained telegraph and telephone lines. It was a home from home for a four-man team, and housed all the equipment needed for them to complete the job.
This van was registered in 1936 and was used in Gloucestershire, where it would have been used on the lines in both the county town and in the beautiful Cotswold hills.
After 14 years service the van was sold to a farmer who left it in a paddock pretty much untouched for the next 20 years until it was bought back by the Post Office to be restored and preserved.
3D objects from Amberley Museum and Heritage CentrePlace the mouse over the Flash image. Left-click and drag either left or right to rotate the animation.
Telegraph Line Sounder and Galvanometer c 1874, this receiver was able to receive both audible and visual signals.
The classic magneto telephone by Ericsson of Sweden its ornate "skeleton" frame formed part of the hand generator. This model was later adopted by The Post Office as the telephone no 16.
A battery calling telephone from the 1880's incorporating a Blake transmitter and separate call button.
The Higgins telegraph receiver c 1902, sometimes known as the "ticker tape" as used within the Stock Exchange.
WW II telephone operators Gas mask and Steel Helmet. The gas mask has an integral transmitter to allow work to continue while the mask is being worn.
The Ericsson telephone manufacturing company was responsible for creating many of the most attractive, elegant and functional telephones. This is just one example of their range.
The Trimphone, the first luxury model introduced in 1966 had a number of innovative design features, including a hollow handset - when the user spoke into the handset the sound travelled up inside the handset to the transmitter which was housed in the earpiece and the transistorised tone caller which replaced the conventional. The model shown has a clear case, a limited number of these models were produced mainly for exhibition purposes!
Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre
The museum is situated in south-west Sussex mid-way between Arundel and Storrington on the B2139 road. The entrance is in the car park of Amberley railway station, where free car and coach parking is provided for visitors.
The station is on the Arun Valley Line with regular trains from London Victoria and places along the South Coast.