Top Marks for Museum

A leading international consumer insights consultancy has graded The Tank Museum as the best attraction in England.

BVA BDRC conducts mystery visits for the nation’s leading visitor attractions – and The Tank Museum has come out on top, with its mark of 97.9% being the highest achieved in England in the last year.

The report praised every element of The Tank Museum visitor experience, describing it as “excellent” and the staff “amazing”.

“This score is an indication of the hard work the team have put in over recent years to create an experience that is broader and richer than what most expect from a ‘military museum’.” said Rosanna Dean, Head of Visitor Experience.

“The Tank Museum is a modern, interactive and immersive museum with excellent visitor facilities.  It’s not just about military machines and technology – it’s as much about the personal experiences of the people that served with them.”

On display among this internationally significant collection of tanks are hundreds of smaller objects that tell incredible human stories.

Rosanna said: “There’s the ring given by 26-year-old lieutenant to his wife, mounted with glass from a tank vision prism that was smashed in an explosion and embedded in his face.

“Then, there’s the fragile porcelain doll, given by a girlfriend to one tank commander, that became a unit’s good luck charm – surviving numerous battles completely untouched.

The small china doll named Audrey, tells an astonishing story of survival in WW2.

“A 23-year-old tank commander’s Victoria Cross is displayed by the tank he commanded on the day he lost his life. He was shot numerous times as he selflessly rescued the crew of another tank that had rolled into a shell hole and burst into flames.

wedding ring in gold and glass.
The Henriques ring offers a personal link to the first tank attack in history.

“In another display case, a whip. It was recovered in 1945 from Belsen concentration camp by a tank crewman horrified by all he saw. It’s a reminder of the inhumanity of the Nazi regime that had to be stopped by force at great cost.

“From a more recent conflict, a helmet – pierced by a bullet. This saved the life of a young tank solider who could have fired first but didn’t – because his target was using a child as human shield.

“The museum is equally fascinating, educational, inspiring, and moving.  And it’s huge – with the average visit lasting almost 4hrs,” Rosanna added.

The BVA BDRC mystery shopper report echoes thousands of customer reviews that can be found online. TripAdvisor lists The Tank Museum as the number 1 top attraction in Dorset, with over 5,000 reviews and a 5 Star rating.

The Tank Museum is open through the Easter Holidays, with Tanks in Action displays and new family activities to enjoy its modern exhibitions.

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