Published: 24 July 2020

Following three challenging months of closure, The Tank Museum tentatively re-opened its doors on 4 July.

With a cap of just 500 visitors, less than 1/3 of what would normally be expected during the Summer months, the museum re-opened with a pre-booking system, enhanced cleaning regime and a range of measures to support social distancing.

The large spacious halls of The Tank Museum have seen numbers at capacity most days, with visitors eager to explore the Museum’s latest exhibition World War Two: War Stories.

“We have sought to make our visitors and staff as safe as we reasonably can, whilst attempting to minimise the potential negative impact on the visitor experience,” said Head of Marketing Nik Wyness.

“We are operating in a very different world now – so listening to our visitor’s views on how safe our new measures make them feel is as essential as ensuring they have had the best possible visit.”, he added.

WW2 war stories exhibition
Matilda I and Comet: six years of British tank design.

The Tank Museum has sent post-visit surveys to every visitor – and the feedback so far has been both helpful and comforting.

“We have seen that the vast majority of visitors appreciate the measures we have introduced and others made valuable suggestions on how we can continue improving the way we operate in these conditions,” Nik said.

Visitors have scored the health and safety measures in place with an average of 9/10, and 67% reported that the protocols in place exceeded their expectations.

“We will continue to operate to the latest government, industry or national health body advice – but as this evolves we will also continue to listen to our visitors. We are very grateful to all of them for their support at this challenging time.”

Feedback on the new exhibition, which has transformed the Museum’s World War Two hall has also been encouraging.

World War Two: War Stories tells the story of the Royal Armoured Corps between 1939 to 1945, backed by previously unheard accounts from British veterans.

WW2 war stories exhibition
WW2: War Stories has many examples of tanks, from early to late war.

Every vehicle in the hall was repositioned over the winter of 2019/20 to enable new exhibitions to be built around them. A number are bearing new paint schemes and markings – whilst others are yet to be painted.

The new exhibition was set to have been opened by HRH The Duke of Kent in April, but the plans were shelved when the pandemic hit.

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