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The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset.


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#1 Firefly

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 08:52

As Moderator of the forum i must 'plug' this place...........

The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, houses the worlds largest collection of Tanks and armoured fighting vehicles. The Museum is only ?10 to enter, and to become a lifelong 'friend' of the museum is very reasonably priced too. This is NOT like a big city museum. There aren't security guards or cctv, you can just explore in peace for hours. The museum is home to the world's only working Tiger I, which i had the honour to see during it's first public outing at 'Tankfest 2004'
The surroundings could not be better suited. You will regularly see Challenger II's live-firing nearby on the Bovington training ground (which is about 100 yards from the main road into Lulworth, ear-spilitingly awesome to watch!!!!!)
Accomodation is cheap (a good B&B is ?40 per-night), and there are some lovely country pubs. As you may have guessed, i am a regular visitor.

Doors open at 1000 and close at 1700. Well worth a visit..........
www.tankmuseum.co.uk for full details........

#2 Biscuit Brown

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 17:05

I must admit , I've never been. What's there ,in the way of Armour? Are there any other armoured vehicles there?

#3 Firefly

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 00:19

Just got back form my latest trip down there. They've changed it round a bit but it's as good as ever.

In terms of armour, they focus on tanks but have a good range of armoured cars. The WWII British armour is pretty comprehensive as you would expect, with just about every tank you can think of.

It's the smaller displays tucked away in corners that make it so good. There's many personal diaries, letters etc which have been donated by families of men who fought. Every time i go i discover something i missed the previous time....

I can't think of a more relaxed museum. No security guards or hordes of tourists, just a nice quiet atmosphere.

When i visited there was an Italian guy, very old and could hardly walk. The museum staff were assisting his family in lifting him onto one of the Italian tanks, a Carro Armato i think. The emotion in his face had to be seen, it meant so much to him, he had obviously crewed one in the war. The tank was in great nick, one careful owner, never used.... tongue.gif

#4 Craig

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 17:07

Is that the Tank with one forward gear and twelve reverse gears? biggrin.gif
In Spike Milligans book " Mussolini his part in my downfall " There is great passage when over a Thousand Italian soldiers try to surrender to his Colonel and the Colonal is seen waving his arms at them saying "Shoo" much to there confusion. Great books by the way.

#5 John

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 21:13

I must admit, I cannot think of a decent Italian Tank or general equipment. Can't fault the bravery of the professional soldiers ,though. animal

#6 Firefly

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 22:06

The website now has a facility where they will update you by e-mail of any news involving either the website or the museum. You just send them a blank e-mail via the link provided on the site.....

#7 Firefly

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 10:14

An update.......I visited the Museum again on my days off. They have been granted ?8.5 million by the Lottery to totally re-build the Museum. I have mixed feelings about this, and can't help feeling that it is in danger of being turned into some 'inter-active' tourist attraction, with hordes of brats screaming round the place mad.gif

On the plus side, the larger bulidings mean that the reserve collection can be cleaned up and put on display. At the moment they're just too pushed for space......

#8 Nick

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 15:54

I hope it doesnt turn into one of them !

I visited the Naval Museum at Greenwhich a couple of weeks ago. Very dissapointing, far too much interactive activities, far too many school children running around pushing buttons and not enough exhibits !

Not a patch on the Royal Navy museum at Portsmouth which is excellent !

#9 Craig

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 17:42

Just returned from Bovington and it looks like wub.gif its going all child friendly flame The good points are that you can now sit in the Panzer 3 and when I was there the back was missing from the Cupola of the King Tiger. I looked and it is brilliant in there. I would have got a photo but I was told to " Bugger off That " Fair enough

#10 John

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 18:40

I'm envious. was the 'bog off' by chance given by a certain northern moody redhead? smile.gif

#11 Firefly

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 00:10

I'm gutted Foo!

That blank plate has been on the Konig every time i've been, and i've never understood why. They should have removed it long ago to let us have a look! tongue.gif

Funny you should mention the Panzer III. I sat in that last time i was there. Even though the entire side of the tank is cut away, it felt so cramped in there. The barrel literally recoils to about two inches from your chest, not something i would feel comforatble with! The slits in the cupola make you realize why commanders risked travelling around with the hatch open....

#12 Craig

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 17:35

Firefly,
I couldnt believe how cramped it was. Can you imagine everytime it was fired the Commander must have ben thinking " If that doesn't stop Im going to be squashed "
The King Tiger was incredible the seats are still in there and there was still German plates inside. The girlfriens was ecstatic asI told her what was in thee NOT wink.gif




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