Three apprentices and two volunteers from The Tank Museum workshop recently completed their Tracked Vehicle H Licence training which allows them to operate historic vehicles.
Running vehicles is an important part of The Tank Museum experience, with events like Tankfest and Tiger Day attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Apprentice Aaron Cruise said he had enjoyed the training and that driving a tank was nothing like driving a car. “You drive and steer using sticks, so the handling is entirely different and the field of vision is incredibly limited. It’s very noisy, dusty and it’s not that comfortable – but it is great fun. There’s nothing else like it.
“I’m over the moon that I passed – and I’m looking forward to taking part in vehicle displays in the future.”
Head of collections Chris Van Schaardenburgh said it took considerable expertise and skill to master tank driving. “Our team has to learn to safely drive a range of different vehicles – some of which can be to 100 years old. Training drivers properly is essential to ensure our historic vehicles are appropriately handled so we can prolong their running life. I’d like to thank Babcock for providing the training at no cost to The Tank Museum.”
Aaron’s apprenticeship is being supported by Tank Museum donors on the micro-donation platform Patreon, which allows fans of the Museum’s YouTube channel to make regular financial contributions in exchange for rewards.
Patreon funding allows apprentices like Aaron to learn how to maintain, conserve and restore the museum’s historic collection of vehicles.
The Tank Museum Patrons also support a film internship, which has given an Arts University Bournemouth graduate the opportunity to work in the museum’s film department.
You can find out more here.