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  1. until
    Spring Edition 16th-17th February Over two days, see a wide range of models and buy your own!The Tank Museum will be inviting exhibitors from across the UK to exhibit their models throughout the Museum. Miniature, Remote Control and Scale models will all be in attendance. Annual Passes are valid for this event.Find out more here https://www.tankmuseum.org/whats-on/events/bovevt66485 C19_03_SW_Model_Show_60x40.pdf
  2. Check out Matilda Diaries - a series of videos chronicling the ongoing restoration of our Matilda II. Throughout the course of this series we aim to cover some of the questions and challenges involved with the project overall as well as the nitty gritty of dismantling and reassembling a 70 year old vehicle.
  3. Check out Matilda Diaries - a series of videos chronicling the ongoing restoration of our Matilda II. Throughout the course of this series we aim to cover some of the questions and challenges involved with the project overall as well as the nitty gritty of dismantling and reassembling a 70 year old vehicle.
  4. May Half Term Victory in Europe 23rd May 2015 - 31st May 2015 This May half-term, to coincide with the 70th Anniversary of VE-Day (Victory in Europe), the Tank Museum will be offering themed talks and activities related to the stories of the Allied victories across Europe. The Tank Museum will also be hosting a 1940's garden party where you can take part in creating flags, bunting and other crafts for the occasion. In addition to the stories, there will be an opportunity to climb in one of our Main Battle Tanks, try on our replica uniforms and take part in fun-filled family activity trails. Learn about the history of the tank and take a trip around the museum on one of our many free guided tours and activities offered by our dedicated Museum team. The Tank Museum’s newest exhibition Tank Factory is now open. Explore the issues around who builds tanks and why they look the way they do and what makes a good and bad tank. ‘Tanks In Action’ will take place every weekday at 1.00pm. See our vehicles thunder into action and watch in awe as they demonstrate their firing capabilities. Complete with live expert commentary, you will discover how tanks work, their sounds and smells and what their uses are on the battlefield. Tracked Vehicle Rides will take place every day from 11.00am – 4.15pm, in our specially converted M548 tracked vehicle (£4pp). Converted in-house to hold 16 people at one time, our M548 is the perfect vehicle for the whole family to jump on board together! Our extended collection of vehicles will be open to view in the Vehicle Conservation Centre following the conclusion of our ‘Tanks In Action’ displays. It will be open 1.30pm – 4.30pm every day during the holidays for the opportunity to view the museum’s reserve collection from our viewing platform. Your admission ticket includes a FREE annual pass and entitles the holder to return to the museum free of charge as many times as you like during the year! (Excluding Tiger Day, Tankfest, and Warfare Through the Ages; our Special Event Days). Don't Miss... Tanks in Action - weekdays at 1.00pm! Craft Activities Face Painting - every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from Diamond Faces Tank Museum Modellers - See their static model displays and get tips on how to create your own model, Monday-Friday. Vehicle Rides all week - just £4 per person! Normal admission charges apply and annual passes are valid for this event.
  5. *For a limited time, the Museum is running an eBay auction to win one of two places on this experience.* Are you a Tiger 131 fan? Want to get closer to this vehicle than ever before? Then this is the experience for you. You will get an insight into the preparation involved in getting Tiger 131 ready for its appearance at this years Tiger Day. The experience includes a ride in Tiger 131 and assisting in the health check required to get this vehicle up and running. This is your chance to get up close and personal with the Tiger! Raffle tickets are just £5 for your chance to win this incredible experience. Buy your Tiger 131 Workshop Experience Raffle tickets here. Details Date: Wednesday 29th April 2015 Location: Museum (Tank Story Hall) & Workshops Time: Arrival at 8.30am – Full day experience, expect to be finished around 4.00pm. Age & Height Limit: Must be 17 or over, and at least 1.4m (4.6ft) tall Please note this experience is hands on - expect to get dirty! Coveralls will be provided, though please wear suitable clothing underneath and steel toe cap shoes. The Tank Museum will provide coveralls and Personal Protective Equipment. Programme 8.30am - Tea / Coffee in the Museum Restaurant meet Workshop Manager & Tiger Tank Team. Health and Safety Brief. 9.00am - Head to Tiger 131 in Tank Story Hall, Workshop Manager gives a short talk on the vehicle. 9.30am - Commence pre start safety checks: Includes, installing batteries, lifting engine decks, checking oil levels, turning the engine over using the inertia starter, checking fuel levels, etc. 11.00am - Start the engine, more checks, warm up period, Tiger drives to workshop, your chance to ride in the vehicle. 12.00pm - Lunch in Museum Restaurant with Tiger Tank Team. 1.00pm - Return to the workshop, tour of workshop. 1.30pm - Commence short service. Includes Cleaning oil spill, drivers compartment, clean turret floor, general grease to manual, check final drive levels, check all track pins, clean outer hull etc. 3.00pm - Tea and cakes with workshop staff. 3.30pm - Look at history of Tiger 131 photos in Workshop Manager’s office followed by any questions. 4.00pm - Free time to look around museum and visit the Tank Museum shop. Health & Safety Person must be over 17 years of age. At least 1.4m (4ft 6’’). Must be able to climb on vehicles unaided. Fit and able to enter the vehicle through a cramped hatchway. Has no allergy to oil, grease, fuel vapour, antifreeze odour. Is not afraid of heights ( a lot of standing on the vehicle). This experience is not suitable for people who are claustrophobic. No cameras allowed on or inside the vehicle. Any photos taken on the day, are for personal use only. No spectators. There are two places available for this experience, one will be allocated to the raffle winner and the other to the winner of the eBay auction. Please Note: When buying raffle tickets, customers will not receive a hard copy of their tickets. Instead they will be sent an email and reference number confirming their purchase. All proceeds go to The Tank Museum's Endowment Fund. Raffle Terms and Conditions Online ticket sales will close a midnight on 13th April. Winner must be available on 29th April 2015 to claim their prize from The Tank Museum. Travel to the Museum will be at the winners’ expense. This date is not transferable. Prizes are only transferable at the discretion of The Tank Museum. Health and Safety conditions as listed above. Height restriction: the winner must be over 1.4m. By entering the draw, you are consenting to receive communications from The Tank Museum. Standard terms and conditions apply. Promoted by Richard Smith, The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG. Registered with Purbeck District Council in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005.
  6. Royal Patron to cut the ribbon with WW2 factory worker on 26th March Bovington, Dorset- March 2015: The Tank Museum announced today that its new exhibition, which explores the design and manufacture of British armoured vehicles from 1916 to the present, will be opened by Tank Museum Patron, HRH the Duke of Kent alongside Mavis Jones, a factory worker during the Second World War. ‘Tank Factory’ forms part of the continuing transformation, of the nearly 70 year old Museum. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the exhibition will tell the often overlooked story of the men and women who built these complex war machines and how the demands of factory life affected the workforce and wider society. The display will also showcase an impressive line-up of vehicles and through a series of themed bays, cover a variety of topics including Materials, Armour and Weapons and Testing. The exhibition covers issues around who builds tanks and why they look the way they do, what makes a good and bad tank and, via a touchscreen interactive, the public have the chance to design their own armoured vehicle. ‘Tank Factory’ is housed in one of the older museum buildings – a perfect backdrop as it is in fact an old factory building – re-erected at the site in the 1998. The main centrepiece is a production line of Centurion tanks, arguably the best tank Britain ever made. The story of Mavis Jones, who will be opening the exhibition alongside the Duke of Kent, is one of the personal stories featured in the exhibition. Mavis joined Newton Chambers in Sheffield, a tank factory, at the age of 16 as a tracer in the drawing office. She met her husband, Lieutenant Eddie Jones while he was training nearby for D-Day and they were engaged in three weeks. Curator David Willey says, “We hope this exhibition brings a new story and perspective into the museum displays; how such amazing machines are designed and made and of course tell the story of the people who put them together – often with great pride and satisfaction in their work.”
  7. Warfare Through the Ages from Medieval to the Present Day 19th September 2015 - 20th September 2015 See the history of warfare in action from Medieval to Modern Day with living history encampments, drills, weaponry displays, firearms evolution and period battles. Medieval, Napoleonic, First World War, English and American Civil War, are just some of the periods in history you'll see brought to life by skilled re-enactors. There will also be TWO arena displays each day, showcasing some of the finest Tank Museum vehicles. See our First World War battle re-enactment as well as a demonstration of Second World War and Cold War tanks.
  8. This Half Term immerse yourself in the world of modern warfare. Meet the British Army and learn more about their equipment, day to day work and training in a series of free talks and tours plus “hands on experience”, with The Rifles. Our Tanks in Action arena displays will take place every weekday, where you'll have the chance to see the evolution of modern warfare, from the beginnings of the tank to the present day. Throughout Half Term, Children Go Free - terms and conditions apply. Details to be announced soon. Don't miss... • Face to Face with the Enemy – a talk from The Rifles on their experiences in Afghanistan. • Tanks in Action – Monday to Friday, 2pm. • Professional Face Painting from Diamond Faces – Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. • Tank Museum Modellers – Monday - Friday Plus talks, tours, craft activities and trails. Normal admission charges apply, and annual passes are valid for this event.
  9. Above: (Left to Right) David Ayer, Logan Lerman, Brad Pitt and Jon Bernthal.Brad Pitt visited The Tank Museum, at the end of August, with his co-stars Logan Lerman and Jon Bernthal and writer-director David Ayer to promote the release of the upcoming film Fury. Pitt also reunited with two of his larger co-stars: the hero Sherman tank that would play the role of Fury, and Bovington’s world-renowned Tiger 131. The Tank Museum was first involved with Fury when writer-director David Ayer reached out to the museum seeking out expertise, crew and vehicles. One of Ayer’s mandates for the production was that it would be told in a way that would be as historically accurate as possible. Later, the stars of Fury came to the Museum to learn first-hand about the history of tank warfare, whilst being given a tour around the impressive display of vehicles in the Museum’s collection. They also took the time to visit the ranges at Lulworth, to see the modern British Army tanks in action. Original Second World War vehicles were at the top of the list for Ayer and it was agreed that the Museum would loan its Sherman tank as the main ‘hero’ tank for the duration of the filming. After much discussion, the Museum agreed to loan its world-renowned Tiger 131 tank as well for a two week trip to the film set. Museum staff crewed these vehicles and remained on set with a recovery tank in case there were any breakdowns. This was the first time that the Tiger 131 had left Bovington since 1953 and, most importantly, the first time since 1946 that an original Tiger I tank has appeared in a major film production. The Sherman tank takes centre stage as ‘Fury’, the home of the American tank crew, which will come face-to-face with the fearsome Tiger as the crew find themselves behind German lines at the end of the Second World War. David Willey, Curator at The Tank Museum, “With our unrivalled collection, our contacts and staff we were an obvious choice for the filmmakers to consult. We hear how well the British film industry is doing and, having seen those skills at work on the set, it was fantastic to realise that the collection here is part of that success. After witnessing the care and attention that has gone in to making this war film, we really look forward to seeing the end results.”
  10. Seventy years to the day after Polish and British Forces fought side by side at the Falaise Pocket in Normandy, The Tank Museum, and the Land Forces Museum, Poland made an historic swap of two Cold War era tanks, which thirty years ago would have faced each other on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. The Chieftain was the backbone of the British Royal Armoured Corps for nearly thirty years after its introduction in 1966. Its 120mm gun was considered the best of its kind in the world and its 120 mm armour made it a tremendously powerful weapons system. The T72 was introduced into the forces of the Former Soviet Union five years later in 1971, the T72M being manufactured in Poland. It was a formidable opponent, lighter than the Chieftain but with equally powerful armament. The Chieftain Mark 11 has been gifted to the Land Forces Museum, Bydgoszcz, today where it will go on display to the public. In exchange the Tank Museum has received the T72 tank, which will form part of their active operational fleet. Visitors will now be able to see this impressive machine roaring round The Tank Museum arena during Tanks in Action display and at the Museum’s biggest event of the year, Tankfest. Richard Smith, The Tank Museum Director, “We are delighted to have been given this fine example of a T72 (left); it will make an excellent addition to our tank displays and our collections, helping us complete our record of the Cold War.” Mr Mirosław Giętkowski, Director of the Land Forces Museum in Bydgoszcz, “We are grateful to The Tank Museum in Bovington for the Chieftain tank. It will be the first of a new collection of NATO military vehicles. This exchange is one of the first in Poland and I hope that it will initiate a wider international cooperation between museums of a military profile."
  11. One of the hardest things for a soldier to bear was the separation from loved ones; this was especially true for the families left behind. With an ocean between them, lucky charms, letters and reminders of home were sent to soldiers; whilst letters and keepsakes were sent to families. Popular items that were used for this purpose were the ‘WW1 silks’ and the ‘sweetheart brooches’. Many soldiers carried lucky charms from home, one such person was Captain Patrick O’Dowd, who had enlisted in 1914 into the Tank Corps. His particular lucky charm was a teddy (right), this would have been kept or carried near him whilst fighting in France. Whilst there is little known about the history of the bear, it is possible that the bear could have been a token from his wife Ruth. This was common practice among soldier’s sweethearts, as it would serve as a reminder of home. The embroidered postcards (below) that originated in France around 1900; became popular during the First World War and are known as WW1 silks. The silk was made by hand by French and Belgian refugees and then sent on to factories, where it would be cut and mounted onto card. A flap could be added which would allow a small printed card to be inserted inside. WW1 Silks became wildly popular with the British and American soldiers on duty. This is the reason why most of the silks that were produced, included patriotic imagery, such as British and American flags or symbols. It is estimated that around 10 million of these handmade cards were produced. The popularity for these cards declined after the war and are not found after 1923. Whilst these cards were reintroduced in 1930, they were completely machine made and never regained the popularity that the silks had enjoyed in the First World War. The sweetheart brooches (left) were given by soldiers to their loved ones, before they were sent off to fight in France. These badges could take the form of regimental badges, tanks, aircraft or wings. These badges became increasingly popular which led to their mass production. Hundreds of designs were made with a variety of materials, ranging from base metal to platinum. This meant that even the poorest soldier could afford to give a keepsake to his sweetheart. These tokens were used as a way for loved ones to show support for their men’s regiment; and was a visual example of the thoughts between the civilian population and the soldiers on the front. Keepsakes were used in a variety of ways: for good luck, relationships and encouraged further patriotism within the civilian population. However, the most important thing that these tokens were used for, was to remember and believe that those soldiers would return home to their families.
  12. The whole museum will be taken over by model clubs and traders! Our own Tank Museum Volunteer Modellers will be displaying some of their military models and will be more than happy to share their modelling tips. Model groups attending who have completed an application form, will be applicable for 6 complimentary passes, additional passes will be charged at group rate (please contact the events team in advance). Model club members pay group rate on production of a valid membership card. Normal admission charges apply, and annual passes are valid for this event.
  13. Above: US Troops and Landing Craft, Weymouth Harbour "...the southern portion of England became one vast camp, dump and airfield" General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Forces on D-Day. Dorset's location on the south coast meant that it played a key role in the D-Day invasion. British, American and French soldiers were stationed in the county with large American camps at Poole. The American and Canadian soldiers were an object of curiosity, particularly to the female population. Elsie Ross a fifteen year old paper girl in Bournemouth in 1944, recalls: “…..."Hey girl! Over here!" A voice straight out of the movies stopped me in my tracks. Never mind not speaking to strange men they didn't come much stranger than this. Six foot four, black and shining as ebony and a white smile like a crocodile...” The American Rangers, given the job of capturing the German guns at Pointe-du-Hoc, trained on the cliffs at Burton Bradstock near Bridport. On the day of the invasion itself the American forces that captured Omaha beach set off from Poole and Weymouth. (Left: US Troops prior to embarkation, Weymouth Esplanade) Glider planes carrying Tetrarch tanks were launched from Tarrant Rushton near Wimborne. These tanks aided paratroopers in capturing important points behind enemy lines diverting German forces away from defending the beaches. Find out more from David Fletcher's article - Airborne in Normandy. (Right: A Hamilcar Glider at Tarrant Rushton) Operation Smash Mounting a huge operation on the scale of D-Day required months of planning and practice runs. On April 4th 1944, Exercise Smash was held at Studland Bay with DD Valentine tanks. Shortly after launching, the weather changed and the waves grew bigger. As a result, six tanks sank with the loss of six crew members. Although tragic this was a valuable lesson. The tanks were not seaworthy in rough weather and so on D-Day, the DD tanks were launched in shallow water. (Left: A DD tank, Studland Bay) You can see a Sherman DD tank with original canvas screen on display in the Museum’s Tank Story Hall. The British army also held a large-scale invasion exercise, somewhere along the South Coast, when infantry and armoured troops made practice landings under cover of huge air umbrella. The photograph (Right) shows troops wading ashore under fake enemy opposition.
  14. “I hope you will receive these few lines as I don’t expect anyone will come to take me away,… you will always have the consolation that I died quite happy doing my duty." During the First World War commemorations on the 4th August at The Tank Museum, Corporal Duesbury’s story of courage and suffering touched the hearts of many. On 13th September 1916, John Duesbury, of the 2nd Sherwoods, was part of an attack in the prelude to the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. After a heavy bombardment from the Germans he was severely injured and trapped in a shell hole. 'I am writing a few lines severely wounded. We have done well our battalion, advanced about ¾ of a mile. I am laid in a shell hole with two wounds in my hip and through my back. I cannot move or crawl. I have been here 24 hours and never seen a living soul. I hope you will receive these few lines as I don’t expect anyone will come to take me away, but you know I have done my duty out here for 1 year and 8 months and you will always have the consolation that I died quite happy doing my duty.' 'Must give my best of love to all the cousins who have been so kind to me the time I have been out here. And the best of love to Mother and Harry and all at home.' Over four thousand people gathered at The Tank Museum to remember those who had fallen, including Corporal Duesbury who has no known grave. A First World War battle re-enactment showed the type of warfare that men like John Duesbury would have encountered, including the Museum’s replica Mark IV tank, after which the crowd fell silent for a Remembrance Service led by the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset and an army chaplain. Richard Smith, Director of The Tank Museum says, "The 4th August marked the start of four years of commemorations, when we as a Museum and as a nation will be looking back and ensuring that the actions of men and women, who lives were changed forever by the War, will be honoured." (Right: Challenger II and Mark IV, old and new stand side-by-side)
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