Tank makes tracks as renovation work starts
Noticed anything missing in the town lately?
The armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) usually found on the ‘tank’ roundabout off Templer Way and Chart Road in Ashford has been removed while restoration work is carried out.
The tank, as it is often referred to, is currently being looked after by the 133 Field Company REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) at the nearby Army Reserve Centre, in Sir Henry Brackenbury Road.
Commanding officer Major Phil Linehan said: “The ‘tank’ was removed from the roundabout because I was fed up of looking out of my window at a once great, majestic fighting vehicle that was falling into disrepair.
“I approached Ashford Borough Council (ABC) many times threatening to remove it in the dead of night and to restore it to its former glory.
“It turns out that those threats were not required and after some discussion, the word was given by ABC and at midnight on the very same evening a team descended on the roundabout and six minutes later the AFV was back in military custody.”
The 133 Company are hoping to have the machine fully restored and back in position as the guardian of the Chart Road Roundabout in time for Remembrance Sunday in November.
Although the army are not charging the council for the engi- neering repairs and restoration, ABC have agreed to purchase any items no longer available through military sources.
The tank, which has been located on the centre of the roundabout for many years, served in Germany during the Cold War, then was deployed on Operation Granby during the first Gulf War, and then was sent to Bosnia during the crisis there under the United Nations Banner.
Major Linehan added: “It is hoped that a local school will place a time capsule inside the vehicle when it is replaced on the roundabout with a view to re-opening it in 25 and 50 years time as part of the First World War commemorations.”
The 133 Field Company are recruiting vehicle mechanic and technicians, metal fabricators, gunsmiths, roadside recovery specialists, military chefs and military clerks right now.
No experience is necessary and all training is given. An open evening will be held next Tuesday at 7pm at the Army Reserve Centre, in Sir Henry Brackenbury Road.
ThERE iS WaS…gonE: The armoured fighting vehicle, above, has been moved for renovation
Chloe Wilkes, 17 of Tunbridge Way, who died after taking drugs
Major Phil Linehan from 133 Field Command REME