Tuesday 8 November 2011

My Date with a Big Cat

Regular readers will know I'm a bit of a treadhead and am a big fan of the Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset. I've been there several times and was planning on going to Tankfest in June next year. The main reason I wanted to go was the hope that I would get a chance to see the newly refurbished Tiger I tank moving under its own power.

I've had several opportunities to see this unique vehicle up close and personal but I have never yet seen it moving. Well the refurbishment is complete and the Tank Museum have scheduled a display event in March next year themed around the Tiger. Tiger Day will be on Saturday 31st March 2012 and visitors will get to see the Tiger and several other vehicles strutting their stuff in the arena around midday. However the tank Museum are also offering 100 premium tickets for an extra special experience and as its my birthday just two weeks later my lovely wife has ordered a ticket for me.

Tiger Day - Premium Ticket Holder Itinery
Breakfast with an introduction to Tiger Day from Museum Curator, David Willey.
Lecture: Saving The Tiger with Curator David Willey, Workshop Manager Mike Hayton and members of the restoration team.
Up Close with the Panzers a guided tour with the museums in-house experts. This is a chance to get even closer to the Tiger, Panzer III, Panzer IV and Panther.
Lunch with members of the restoration team.
Tiger Tank In Action The highlight of the day. Tiger 131 will make its return into the arena along with its Axis and Allied contemporaries; including Matilda II, Panzer III, T-34 and Sherman. Premium Ticket holders get to view the display in a reserved enclosure in the spectators area.
Lecture: Hitler’s Pet - Development and Capture of Tiger 131 Tank Museum Historian David Fletcher, Assistant Librarian Stuart Wheeler and Curator David Willey, will discuss the development of the Tiger tank, examining the capture and evaluation of Tiger 131.
Afternoon Tea: A final opportunity to meet and put questions to David Willey, David Fletcher and Mike Hayton, the authors of Tiger Tank, Owners Workshop Manual, published by Haynes.
Plus: All participants will be given a special Tiger Day goody bag which will include; a signed copy of the Haynes Tiger Manual, A Tiger Tank Model, A Tiger Tank T-Shirt, and a 1 year pass to The Tank Museum.

Frankly the Premium Tickets are an absolute bargain and I just hope we bought early enough to snap up one of the 100 available. My Brother-in-Law, Ray, will also be coming along so we can nerd-out to our hearts content at one of our favourite museums. To say I'm excited at the prospect is a massive understatement.


  1. I am quite jealous! You Brits have all the best events on your side of the Atlantic. Enjoy your day out, and don't forget to take lots of video for those of us in the colonies!

  2. Sounds fantastic Lee. I think you and Ray will have a very enjoyable day of it.

  3. ..I'm just glad to see someone else using the term 'nerd-out' :) sounds like an awesome day out!

  4. And I'm so glad to have heard the term finally! Seriously, it sounds like indeed a great pre-birthday special, will look forward to hearing more.

  5. My Birthday is two weeks before do you think your wife will pay for me as well?

    No? oh well. Have a great day and look forward to the report


  6. Must be a great day. Don't forget to take pictures or better a video of all the stuff in action.

  7. Hein - Well it just so happens that my lovely and generous wife has also bought me a new camera (the Olympus SZ 30MR) for Christmas. It's a compact camera on steroids and makes my old compact look like a toy. 16mp, 24x optical zoom and able to shoot HD Video and take pictures simultaneously... Guess what I'll be taking to Bovington!

  8. Brilliant, sounds like another trip to Bovington then... :)
    Saw the Tiger moving about back at Tankfest '08, when I was down on a course (we get in for free ;)) and saw probably the best WW2 re-enactment ever - great stuff!

  9. Congrats. I have seen quite a few videos from Bovington and wish I could get there myself.

  10. Great to see it in action. Hopefully we might get some decent WWII movies made now where they use the real thing for the Jerry Panzers :-)
    Forgive the blog link, but its something thats vexed me for a while!

  11. AWESOME!
    That's all I can say really.

  12. Scott - Totally agree about war films twisting history until it’s unrecognizable. I've no problem with fictional stories set in a historical setting, but I do take a dim view of films supposedly "based on real events" that change history entirely. It used to be said that “history is written by the victor”, but it seems that the history is actually written by the country with the biggest film industry. Sorry America, but Hollywood has a LOT to answer for. With the money and resources they have at their disposal they have absolutely no excuse for playing fast and loose with the facts. U571 and Windtalkers being two prime examples amongst many... sigh.

  13. Oh Wow...now that is a great day out. I am officially extremely jealous.

  14. Lucky, very lucky guy indeed! I'd love to have an experience like that

  15. So envious Lee - enjoy your nerdgasm!


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