Photos by Rob Tysall
The Tanks Trucks and Firepower Show brought the crowds out over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Ann Evans went along to enjoy the show.
It was military history brought to life with around 290 tanks and armoured vehicles out on parade with their proud owners – many of whom had personally restored their vehicles bringing them back to full working order.
The Tanks Trucks & Firepower Show held at Dunchurch, Warwickshire, was presented by the Alvis Fighting Vehicle Society, which has the largest collection of post war tanks and fighting vehicles in the UK. Many of these were on display including the Challenger I MBT which the society restored to its full glory over a period of two years; they also have a unique collection of the entire range of restored Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) – CVR(T)s, which were put through their paces over the weekend; and many more military vehicles.
There was so much going on over the 4-day bank holiday, with exciting events in the main arena – which incidentally, is the largest tank demonstration arena in the UK. Amongst the highlights was the Big Guns Display, featuring everything from hand-guns and sniper rifles to deafening 120mm canon fire from a Chieftain tank. Another not to be missed event was the CVR(T) Driving and Pyrotechnic Display where the show’s co-organisers, Andrew Baker and Mick Browning thrilled the crowds by driving CVR(T)s up to 60mph often backwards, sometimes nose to bumper, with massive explosions going off all around them.
There was car crushing – except it was caravan crushing on this occasion, which the tanks made very short work of! The West Midlands Volunteer Fire Fighting Service put on a genuine practice of cutting a man free from his vehicle. In this case it was the show’s commentator, Our Tim, alias Tim Watson who volunteered. There were wheeled and tracked vehicle displays; helicopter landings and take offs, including Andrew Baker flying his Westland Scout XW512 military helicopter.
Visitors could pay for a ride in a tank – an exciting once in a lifetime opportunity which quite a few people took advantage of. Two military Scammell Explorer lorries set about a Vehicle Recovery Exercise with one truck towing the other away – the sheer weight of the towed vehicle causing the leading vehicle to do a wheelie! Meanwhile, the smaller arena had a variety of activities and re-enactments going on, such as a Rolls-Royce Meteor engine demonstrating its power. Usually, these engines would be in the Spitfires and Lancaster bombers, as well as certain tanks.
There were some 20 re-enactment groups representing various regiments such as the Royal Warwickshire Regiment who re-enacted life in the WWI trenches, plus stalls selling surplus military clothing and much more. There was a fun fair and activities to keep the youngsters happy and of course lots of food and drink stalls. Music from the 40s was played over the tannoy system and visitors could get a relaxed, close-up look at the hundreds of tanks, armoured and military vehicles being exhibited as well as being able to talk to their owners.
The show concluded each day with an exciting CVR(T) Firepower Display followed by a parade of all of the military tanks and vehicles that were being exhibited. It was the Alvis Fighting Vehicle Society’s 12th annual show, and another great success. For more information, please go to: https://www.tanks-trucks-and-firepower.co.uk/