Published: 28 August 2020
The Tank Museum has five newly qualified tank drivers.
Three apprentices and two volunteers, all of whom work in the Museum Workshop, undertook their Tracked Vehicle H licence training to enable them to operate vehicles in the Museum’s historic collection.
Running vehicles is an important part of The Tank Museum experience, with events like TANKFEST and Tiger Day attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Apprentice Aaron Cruise said “Driving a tank is nothing like driving a car. You drive and steer using sticks, so the handling is entirely different and the field of vision is incredibly limited.
“It’s very noisy, dusty and it’s not that comfortable – but it is great fun. There’s nothing else like it.”
“I’m over the moon that I passed – and I’m looking forward to taking part in vehicle displays in the future,” he added.
Head of Collections Chris Van Schaardenburgh said: “It requires considerable expertise and skill to master tank driving, and our team has to learn to safely drive a range of different vehicles – some of which can be to 100 years old.
Training drivers properly is essential to ensure our historic vehicles are appropriately handled so we can prolong their running life. I’d like to thank Babcock for providing the training at no cost to The Tank Museum. ”
Aaron’s Apprenticeship is being supported by Tank Museum donors on the micro-donation platform Patreon, which allows fans of the Museum’s YouTube channel to make regular financial contributions in exchange for rewards.
Patreon funding means that Aaron can learn how to maintain, conserve and restore the Museum’s historic collection of vehicles, skills which are fast disappearing.
The Tank Museum Patrons also support a Film Internship, which has given an Arts University Bournemouth graduate the opportunity to work in the Museum’s film department.
Find out more about the Museum’s Patreon here. You can also follow the latest projects from The Tank Museum’s Workshop team with Tank Workshop Diaries on YouTube.