Tanks for the wrong bit of his­tory

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News, Sport And Entertainment Around The Clock -

Icon­fess that I thought I was be­ing provoca­tive when I said to a muchmedalled army man (an of­fi­cer who had served for many years and in many places in de­fence of our coun­try): “It re­ally is time some­one re­moved that wretched tank that sits like a metal toad op­po­site the Prince of Wales pub”. To my sur­prise, the old sol­dier agreed with me. “It should be in a mu­seum,” he said, “and not just left for kids to crawl over.” He also men­tioned an­other wartime relic, an ar­moured troop-car­rier that sits on a round­about at the end of God­in­ton Road, and said that it, too, should be in a mu­seum. It ap­pears that the REME peo­ple who care for th­ese ve­hi­cles agree that they should be re­moved to a more suit­able ac­com­mo­da­tion.

But this is, af­ter all, Ash­ford – a town that in re­cent years could never be held as a model of good taste. A mar­ket town with a his­tory that goes back cen­turies, it had brief fame as a con­struc­tion site for lo­co­mo­tives, which is the only part of its his­tory that the coun­cil can call to mind. If they re­ally had be­lief in the value of that part of the town’s claim to fame, why, in­stead of a cou­ple of sad war-relics, haven’t they re­placed them with lo­co­mo­tives (a cou­ple of Thomas the Tank En­gines, per­haps)?

One chap with imag­i­na­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion is Ed­ward Lock­ett. He is a great be­liever in mir­a­cles and has, for some years now, per­formed the nearmir­a­cle of pre­sent­ing the free Fes­ti­val in the Park. Imag­ine if you will how you would feel if, af­ter a year of try­ing to coax some spon­sor­ship for the event, or­gan­is­ing per­form­ers, ar­rang­ing the cov­ered stage with pro­fes­sional light­ing, press-gang­ing a team of mar­shals, lit­ter-pick­ers, pro­gramme sell­ers, un­cle Tom Cob­ley and all – imag­ine if you then heard that, on the very day of your fes­ti­val, the Cre­ate fes­ti­val, along with Rev­e­la­tion St Mary’s, had or­gan­ised per­for­mances in the town cen­tre.

As it hap­pens, there will only be three singer-song­writ­ers in the town. It would be a great pity if any­thing should hap­pen to con­flict with this week­end’s Fes­ti­val in the Park, which is free but, if I re­mem­ber cor­rectly, will ac­cept con­tri­bu­tions in re­turn for a pro­gramme of events.

‘It should be in a mu­seum, and not just left for kids to crawl over’

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