Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Bovingdon Tank Museum

Nearly 50 years ago my Dad took this photo of me on a Sherman Tank at the Bovingdon Tank Museum. I loved the place though I do think my poor Mum must have been bored stiff.  Come Christmas 2012 I bought my son (& Me) a Ticket for Tiger Day which was in Late March the next year.  It was a day I will remember for a long time

On getting to the Museum you first see the gate guardian 

then a tank from I remember from my childhood, a Centurion tank, I had a couple these as model dinky toys I used to play with.

One of the Geman Tanks on display

Think this one if a General Grant 
 A Sherman Firefly one of the few tanks to be able to take on a Tiger

This tank was never used  in anger because it was built by the British army after the war using the captured factory equipment.

This is the beast we came to see, the Tiger and we were allowed all over it. After a good look round we went to a lecture about it and how the tank came about to be captured. That was more luck than anything. A Shell got stuck between the turret and body stopping it rotating so it got abandoned. The British army just drove it off. 

We went off to lunch which we had sat on the same table as the guest of honour Murry Walker (yep Mr F1 himself) turned out he was a tank commander in WWII and he commanded a Sherman Firefly so they gave him a ride in one

This tank is original but the engine is more modern as they could not get a replacement. It uses a Rover V8

One of the British Tanks
 WWII Matilda tank in Desert colours

A Russian T34 

Murry waving from his Sherman

The Tiger making it's way round
 How about that bearing down on you

Love this one, it's called Spud, one of my nicknames

The Centurion 

 A childhood favorite

This is a modern on a German Leopard in Canadian colors
The reason for the dust was because they had just fired the gun, and dam noisy it was too

After the arena visit we had a walk round the workshops as say a newly restored WWII German Anti Tank Gun
and were told about some of the munitions used

Here is the Matilda tank again

and me sat in it.

The Sherman tank Murry was in, I did get to go in it as well

Spud the Comet MkI

The spartan driving seat in a T34

A Valentine Mk1 in Desert colors

The  Leopard tank


and the inside, I was sat beside this guy

After the tour of the workshop wer went back for tea then it was time to go home. The ticket you get enables you to go back as much as you liked and I returned with my son later in the year, this time I found a Sherman to get my photo with.

More info on the Tank Museum hit the link you can also see more of the photos I took on Flickr
and the second visit I made here


  1. Looks like you fulfilled some childhood dreams there Bill.

  2. That's a place that has long been on the list. Looks like you had a really special day - great photos. Did your dad mention that the Shermans were nicknamed 'Ronsons' because of their tendency to burst into flames?!

    1. No butthen he was on reserved occupation as a nurse but I have heard that name somewhere else. Very cramped inside. If you get the chance to go then do so it's well worth it.

  3. Gotta love the Russian logic that went into the T34: Pile all the armour in the front, lightening the vehicle overall and making it faster than anything else on the field, and also virtually invulnerable to attack from ahead. Of course, it also leaves the back so lightly protected you can practically penetrate it with a rifle, but hey -- with all that speed and strength in front, you don't do much retreating.

    I love the way the Russians think. (Since I don't have to make any of their schemes work.)

    Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit

  4. WOW!! a tank museum. I had no idea there were so many. I checked out the link. Now I need to visit this museum.

  5. A very interesting and unique museum.

  6. I'm reminded of the tanks in our War Museum. I'm planning on getting some photography done in there on Remembrance Day.

  7. Hi Bill, Wow, what a great post! Sure enjoyed all the photos. The only time I've come close is when I visited the big war ships here for our summer festival. I know this post was over a year ago but it came up first thing on Google+ ... I guess the message is that I should go back over your archives. You take great pictures!

    1. Thanks John, it was a place I have wanted to visit since the time I went with my Dad. The second time I took my son and we returned aagain a few months later. It's a place I really like to visit because of mt mechanical background.

  8. Wow! These were interesting photos!

  9. So nice you could bring your son to this place of history that you have liked for so long. Your pictures inspire me to make a trip to Latrun, where our Armored Corps museum is. It has been decades since we took our kids there; I should go and see what's new (or old).
    The tanks were so much smaller back in WW2 days.