As a not for profit organisation, all income from The Tank Museum is reinvested to continue our efforts to conserve and preserve our unique collections now and for generations to come. This includes donations, legacies, admission tickets, online shop purchases – even cups of tea bought at The Tank Museum restaurant.
Restoration and Conservation
The unique collection held by The Tank Museum requires both active and passive conservation to keep it healthy and happy.
The Tank Museum’s famous restorations are all exceptionally costly. Spare parts for historic vehicles are very rare, and even the tools to fit them sometimes have to be fabricated specially. Find out more on The Tank Museum’s Workshop Diaries and Matilda Diaries series on YouTube where you can watch the Workshop Team doing everything from small-scale maintenance to pain-staking, long-term restorations.
Running historic vehicles also takes considerable care and staff time. Tiger 131 alone takes 200 hours of work for every hour it runs.
From humidity detectors in the Archive and Library to stop First World War documents from deteriorating, to new oil to help preserve the Jagdtiger engine, there is always more we can do to ensure the continuation and protection of such a varied collection.
The Tank Museum opens a new exhibition every April which requires considerable work, not only from our own staff, but also contractors and agencies.
Each exhibition requires designs and development from the Exhibitions Team, extensive graphic and film development, and research from the Archive and Library Team on photographs and artefacts. This is in addition to lots of leg work from the Maintenance and Workshop Teams, including painting the walls and floor, vehicle moves, and construction.
Additional display screens, exhibition cases, mannequins, and interactives have to be purchased in order to best display our collection and engage visitors.
Exhibitions also sometimes require the loan or purchase of additional vehicles into the collection. For example, for the recent WW2: War Stories exhibition, the Museum purchased a Beaverette to represent the state of the British Army at the beginning of the war.
The Museum was also able to purchase the Mark I blueprint due to a generous donation from a Tank Museum supporter.
Apprentices and Interns
Support from Patreon has paid for a film making internship since 2018 and have recently started sponsoring one of the apprentices in the Workshop.
Film Intern Calum has allowed the Museum to increase the output and quality of content produced across YouTube and the exhibitions.
During Aaron’s three year apprenticeship with The Tank Museum Workshop, run through the Heritage Skills Academy at Bicester, he will learn how to look after the Museum’s historic collection of vehicles.
This doesn’t include all the boring stuff – keeping the Museum spick and span, new computers, and everything else that means we tell the story of tanks and the men who served in them the best way we can.