Snap! Not long after I got my current job in a school, I was given what looked like a wooden first aid box. I opened it and revealed a ZX81, 16 RAM pack, ZX printer with paper and the power supply! Even with the school's postcode written on top in yellow paint.
I downloaded Space Invaders, copied it to tape and loaded it - it all works fine. The tape recorder was one of three "TRS-80" branded ones I found in the music room that I quickly removed ;D I also found a bunch of tapes in the music dept. - BBC Master Welcome cassette, some PET stuff, and other stuff I've forgotten!
The most recent thing I found was an Acorn A4000 hiding in a cupboard in the Design and Technology block - that's all working too ;D
I found one of these yesterday. Haven't powered it up yet so I don't know if it runs or not.
Two things: it won't do anything at all without a boot disk (LocoScript or CP/M Plus), and usually the rubber belts running the drive(s) will have perished after this amount of time. Replacements are really cheap from CPC, from memory it's part number AVBELT6. A bit fiddly to replace but worthwhile, I'm sure there are instructions out there on the 'net. I've got a bit of a collection of these machines, I really like them.
I would really like to play with an Amstrad - unfortunately, a real unit probably isn't in my future. Is there an emulator that is recommended?
If it's the PCW you're talking about, then John Elliot's Joyce emulator is probably the only choice, although it's certainly recommended on the basis that it's very good. Searching Google for 'joyce pcw' should give you his site.
You'll need boot disk images which aren't easily downloadable because they're still available somewhere (I think an existing PCW-related company bought out the rights to Locomotive's software catalogue, then renamed themselves Locoscript Software). I've got some disk images for a whole selection of software.
If it's not the CPC you're thinking of then there are a few emulators. Arnold is one, I think there's also CPCEmu and some others. I've not really used those very much because although I've had a few CPC machines, and still have a couple of 464s, I've never really used them for much., so I wasn't too bothered about emulators either.