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Museum’s new home for rare electricity collection

A rare historical collection at Amberley Museum tracing the development of electricity in Britain has received a boost from Britain’s biggest electricity distributor.

From Press releases - 11 July 2017 12:00 AM

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UK Power Networks helped fund a reserve storage building for Amberley Museum’s Milne Electrical Collection, in Amberley. The museum houses one of only two accredited collections about electricity in the UK and many of its artefacts are unique.

The Milne Electrical Collection was named after Archie Milne, chairman of UK Power Networks’ predecessor company, Seeboard, between 1974 and 1975. The collection has featured in BBC television programmes such as ‘Shock and Awe’, about the history of electricity and ‘Every Home Should Have One’, showing the development of domestic electrical appliances.

A temporary cabin, which had housed the reserve collection, had fallen into disrepair and with limited storage in the rest of the museum the historical artefacts it contained were at risk of being lost without the new facility which was opened today (July 11) to preserve the items.

Matt Rudling, director of customer services at UK Power Networks, which keeps the lights on in the South East, London and East of England, said: “We were approached for help by a former employee, David Jones, who volunteers at the museum and is passionate about electricity and the role of this rare collection as an educational resource.

“We aim to educate young people about energy efficiency, which is something that this museum does in an exciting way for thousands of visitors every year. That is why we were delighted to help preserve for future generations the reserve storage building for this unique collection.”

Roy Plummer, head of the electricity group at Amberley Museum, said: “I’m relieved that we have finished the project but having this building is only the start of the conservation work. This is our first purpose-built building for conservation and it’s a significant step forward. It is bringing professionalism to the preservation of the artefacts.”

Julia Edge, curator at Amberley Museum, said: “It’s an extraordinary achievement by the volunteers who have researched, designed and built the reserve storage facility. They have achieved an extremely high standard. We are trying to keep the artefacts safe and in a stable environment for future generations.”

The museum welcomes regular school visits where children discover the history of electricity through ‘Candle to Bulb’ talks. Demonstrations include displays of high voltage sparks. Brighton University students visit the museum annually to see the museum’s electrical exhibits in action.

For further information about the museum visit: http://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/