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Bovington (UK) Tank Museum refurb

Article about: ..now don’t get me wrong….I LOVE BOVINGTON TANK MUSEUM. Bits of it have been closed off for a while whilst they undertake internal work which promised a new look….and, I feared, fewer

  1. #21

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    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    Yes the "whine" of the transmission could be heard long before the Sarri was ever seen and was indeed a comforting sound even if it did mean you might still be there for a while

    The "Pig" aka the Humber 1 Ton (not won ton ) really was a pig by name and nature. For those not familiar it was a recycled 1950s vintage APC that was upgraded several times including extra armour ( not great as stated) but still with the original braking system (or not much better) so they were restricted to 20 mph. If being shot at you might actually run faster.

    I should add that these were used in this incarnation in Northern Ireland!

    Mind you even at 20 mph it was like being inside a base drum beaten by a Tasmanian Devil when it struck and took out a barricade

    The one pictured here is a restored example, note the civilian age related number plate. The "Devil Dogs" here will note the motto painted on the bonnet!

    Attachment 1443374Attachment 1443375

    Some informal names for variants that I recall were; Flying Pig (extending anti-riot barriers), Squirt Pig (water cannon), Felix Pig (ATO) and Turret Pig (with a turret mounted MG in S.Armagh) but I think there were more

    Regards

    Mark

    I can't honestly say that I remember the Pigsonly doing 20mph. Mind you, by the time you probably used them Mark, they were likely to be clapped out from when we had them in 71/72

    We used them extensively in Andersonstown, and believe me, they saved a lot of lives. It was pretty scary when you had mg fire rattling across the bonnet or the sides. A few images of our Pigs at the Bus depot.

    Cheers,
    Steve


    Bovington (UK) Tank Museum refurbBovington (UK) Tank Museum refurbBovington (UK) Tank Museum refurbBovington (UK) Tank Museum refurb

    The coloured picture shows the 'hits' on the windscreen from a Thompson, and the last picture shows the effects of paint bombs during rioting.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  2. #22

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    I can't honestly say that I remember the Pigsonly doing 20mph. Mind you, by the time you probably used them Mark, they were likely to be clapped out from when we had them in 71/72
    Yep, I think that might be the case! The ones we used '77-79 had restricted speed limits marked on the dashboard but "restriction" is official whilst reality is a bit different

    The explanation we were given was that the original braking system was not up to the job following the addition of more armour plate. As I recall the driver and commander side window hatches were quite vulnerable becuase if they were closed up you couldn't see much at all.

    All that said, I would love to own one now

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  3. #23

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    The ones we had were to the original specs. When L/Bdr John Sutton was injured while in the back of one our Pigs in February 1972, the information given out to the press was that the bullets entered through the observation slit in the back door. Two .303 A/P rounds drilled right through the armoured door frame, one of which caught Sutton above the right eye and lodged in the back of his brain. For the next week or so, every time we got hit by gunfire we were expecting it to be A/P. It was after this incident and several later incidents, that the armour was beefed up. As a rule we always patrolled with the back doors wide open and at a sedate pace. It was only when in pursuit or when ramming vehicles and barricades that we gave the Pig some welly!

    Cheers,
    Steve

  4. #24

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    Just love the tank mueum, but we have to remember that space is a premium, with all this social distancing.

    So, I'm sure some exhibits have had to be moved out, to recreate more room for all the changes that's affected all of us.

    Hopefully, we will all return to some normality, and the "missing" tanks will return, as well as the crowds..

  5. #25

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    ...they started shifting stuff pre-lockdown....I HOPE you’re right in that it’s all just a short term Covid thing.....but I suspect that at best, it’s a time-convenient coincidence......hopefully the Tank Factory will pay the price......

    Let’s see......

  6. #26

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    Quote by Composite View Post
    ...they started shifting stuff pre-lockdown....I HOPE you’re right in that it’s all just a short term Covid thing.....but I suspect that at best, it’s a time-convenient coincidence......hopefully the Tank Factory will pay the price......

    Let’s see......
    Honestly, I do not believe it has anything to do with COVID at all. If it were the place would simply be shut. After all it's not as if it is something important like a pub or a McDonalds is it?

    No, just like IWM et al it is the interior designers and artists combined with the same idiots that think it is a good idea to stop small children from playing in the dirt in case they catch a disease (just when their developing immune systems need proving!). Same thing with dumbing down the museums.

    Let the "immune system" of historical learning develop or you will get sick for sure. Oh, by the way , it isn't just military museums that are suffering from "coffee table syndrome", take a look around and let's all start discussion away from here!

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  7. #27

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    Quote by The Devil's Bank View Post
    Just love the tank mueum, but we have to remember that space is a premium, with all this social distancing.

    So, I'm sure some exhibits have had to be moved out, to recreate more room for all the changes that's affected all of us.

    Hopefully, we will all return to some normality, and the "missing" tanks will return, as well as the crowds..
    Good post and I totally agree with you. But there again it might be something to do with "Herman the German", the last time i was at the museum in the mid 70s a member of staff was telling me about his encounter with the ghostly Herman. It was a dark winters evening and the staff member was doing his rounds to make sure all the visitors had left, he saw somebody in a black panzer uniform by Tiger 131 who suddenly disappeared. Me being cynical from the day I was born thought to myself "Who the f**k is this bloke trying to kid?".
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  8. #28

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    I remember the rumours of the Tiger being haunted, but then again, there was talk of ghostly encounters on virtually every camp I was posted to.

  9. #29

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    On the basis of the love affair with 131 it'll be the last tank to leave....so ol' ghosty will have a home for a few more years.....and an increasing space to haunt....and there'll be someone to turn the lights out too......

  10. #30

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    I was there last year and luckily met whole Tiger family and few more beautys!

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