The group has began to document all the surviving Great War Tanks that exist world wide, we aim to foster this relationship so that here in Lincoln – “The Birthplace of the Tank” – we can keep track of future conservation plans and this will mean that no tank being British, French or German can be purchased by a private collector without the knowledge of the group and the other museums concerned.
We believe there are buried tanks out there on the old Western Front in France and Belgium, the condition of the tank will be damaged and many parts missing, we believe one of the sites could contain a actual tank made at Fosters of Lincoln, the tank “Flirt” which is on loan from the Tank Museum at Bovington Dorset and is on show at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life was in fact built in Birmingham, the only surviving Foster made tank is the Mark IV Male at the Tank Museum, and the “Medium A” Whippet tanks at Bovington, Brussels, Canada, U.S.A. and South Africa, the group needs to make contact with as many groups who show an interest in recovering a buried tank, this needs significant funding and research, but the benefits for Lincoln as a city would be enormous in tourism potential and the fact that a Lincoln made tank would be returning to its “spiritual home”.
To conclude, the “Presentation Tank” project, we started this in 2004 and of the 265 Towns and City’s we have about 88 places to complete the project, again the funding is expensive because it entails travelling and overnight accommodation and a detailed research of newspapers and council minutes of the period, a publisher is interested in printing our findings, subject to finishing.
The Group does talk to Schools and History Groups around Lincoln so that younger people are made aware of Lincoln’s involvement in the making of the tank; we would like to develop this programme further, year by year.
Two of our members have drawn plans to build a replica of a Lincoln made tank, we believe a Medium A (Whippet) tank would be the most cost effective, all 200 tanks were made in Lincoln, the idea being that once the tank would be made, giving demonstrations at key events in the county would gain us publicity and make money for the Group as well.
You can read more about the group here: http://www.friends-of-the-lincoln-tank.co.uk/index.html