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Bovington (UK) Tank Museum refurb

Article about: 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


    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



    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.


    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.

    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


    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


    "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


    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!


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