IF YOU were asked to think of the perfect place for a supervillain’s lair, a sleepy Sussex village would be the last place on your mind.

But in the summer of 1984 the tiny hamlet of Amberley became home to Max Zorin, a psychopathic businessman and the product of a Nazi genetic experiment.

Many villagers remember the villain’s blimp passing overhead.

Eventually the mining magnate’s quarry in the town was flooded and destroyed in an explosion, ending his reign of terror.

Except, of course, none of this really happened.

That summer Amberley Museum had been chosen by veteran James Bond director John Glen to become Main Strike Mine in A View To A Kill, Sir Roger Moore’s last outing as 007.

The museum’s chalk pits were the setting for one of the film’s most dramatic scenes as villain-turned-hero May Day sacrifices herself by riding an explosive-laden mine cart out of the quarry.

Stars including Mr Moore and Grace Jones descended on Amberley village while the scenes were filmed.

Meanwhile producer Cubby Broccoli kept things running behind the scenes.

With the museum set to host a Bond-themed weekend on March 28 and 29 to celebrate the film’s 35th anniversary, many residents have reminisced about the filming.

Former pupils of nearby schools recall spotting Zorin’s airship.

“I remember playing netball on the playground at the old Amberley school and seeing the airship flying over,” said Alison Venditto.

“It had what I can only assume was a dummy attached to a rope ladder dangling from the aircraft.”

Sir Roger and Ms Jones were even spotted at the Labour In Vain pub in the nearby village of Westergate.

Other villagers remember being allowed a sneak peek.

“I had the privilege to visit the site when filming was taking place,” said Robert Carver.

“I got some smashing photos of the late Sir Roger Moore and his wife Luisa.

“I gathered all of the press cuttings etc and even the Barry Norman location reports.”

“I was there at one of the very last takes when Bond reaches for a rope to hoist him into a helicopter that cuts to San Francisco Bay,” Sally Clinch said.

“Roger Moore was there, Grace Jones was there but did not see her, and Cubby Broccoli was there too. He waved goodbye.”

Though plenty of action took place outside the mine, the museum’s quarry was too small to film inside.

So much of the drama supposedly inside the mine actually took place in Pinewood Studios 69 miles away.

That included the memorable scene in which Zorin floods the quarry, killing dozens of mine workers.

Stuntman and actor Derek Lyons was one of the unlucky ones.

“One of the assistant directors, Terry Madden, contacted me, he helped me get on all the Bond movies,” he said.

“He asked me if I could swim and I said yes so I got the part.

“I ended up arriving at Pinewood and told I was going to be a stuntman. I’d never been a stuntman.

“It was a way of getting stuntmen for cheap, you’d never get away with it nowadays.

“We ended up going to Pinewood Studios where they had these massive tanks of water you could fit two submarines in.

“So I was in tank with three others and thousands of gallons of water come gushing in.

“We were told to either float on our backs or our fronts. We did that for two weeks.”

Naturally, Derek found ways of coping.

“Of course we’d have showers at the end and a shot of whiskey,” he said.

“But I used to be really cold when I came out.

“Another stuntman told me to pee in my suit to keep myself warm.

“I thought he was joking but then he looked at me and said ‘I’m peeing right now’.”

Though A View To A Kill had a mixed reception upon release, no doubt the residents of Amberley remember it fondly.