TankFest 2010 – The Sights and Sounds of Bovington’s Tank Museum
I had a Press Pass to this year’s TankFest, June 26-27, at the Bovington Tank Museum, United Kingdom (tankmuseum.org), home of the world’s best collection of tanks and armoured vehicles, and featuring action-packed live displays. TankFest 2010 wowed the visitors to the region’s largest Armed Forces Day event, and the final attendance tally is expected to exceed last year’s 10,000 visitor mark. In addition to seeing the Tank Museum’s armoured monsters “up close and personal,” the full program included special participation by the Royal Armoured Corps and a range of military entertainment such as living history encampments with authentically-uniformed re-enactors, parachute jumps, a host of trade stalls, and exciting activities. My video provides some of the “sights and sounds” visitors were treated to at this outstanding annual event.
One of the special events that took place at TankFest 2010 was a formal presentation by the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United Kingdom of a cheque in the sum of £1.5m to the Tank Museum for extending its facilities. The Museum has recently undertaken some substantial work to remodel the buildings housing its collection and will be using the money to continue this work.This will allow some exhibits that are currently stored outside to be brought inside, and to assist the Museum in being able to tell the complete history of armoured warfare. The cheque was handed over by the Kuwaiti Ambassador to General Sir Roger Wheeler, and HRH The Duke of Kent.The Ambassador and the Duke both spoke warmly of the friendship between Kuwait and the United Kingdom and the Ambassador thanked the UK for its part in liberating the country from Iraqi occupation in 1991. In honour of the donation, the Museum has named its show area “The Kuwait Arena”.
Also present was Major General Arthur Denaro who commanded the first British Tank to cross the Kuwaiti Border during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He attended the ceremony having arrived within the arena aboard his Challenger I tank named “Churchill”, the very same tank he commanded in Kuwait and it is exactly as it appeared in the war, with the same markings (but minus its additional armour which was attached for extra protection during the war).