Cambridgeshire man parks World War I tank on his drive

Mark 4 World War I tank replica The replica Mark IV World War I tank is currently kept on a driveway

Related Stories

A World War I enthusiast has parked a replica Great War tank on the drive of his Cambridgeshire home.

Tony Cooke, from Cottenham, said the Mark IV "trench buster" is one of only two working replicas in Europe.

The 21ft (6.4m)-long tank was built for a Kenneth Branagh film and bought for £30,000 by a team headed by Dr Cooke.

They hope to make the tank the centrepiece of a £2m National Centre for the Great War in Dry Drayton, if planning permission is granted.

An application to build the centre at Hacker's Fruit Farm has been submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The centre would include a World War I training camp and reconstructed Allied and German trenches, separated by no man's land.

Dr Cooke said: "The Great War seems to have been neglected, especially in education, and we have to somehow get the next generation to understand the sacrifices these soldiers made."

Mark IV World War I tank replica It is hoped the replica will find a new home in nearby Dry Drayton
'Trench buster'

The application is open to public consultation and if passed the plan is to open the centre in time for next year's centenary of World War I.

In the meantime, the tank remains on Dr Cooke's drive.

Its previous owner, Mike Bradley, bought the tank from the set of Kenneth Branagh's film of The Magic Flute.

Dr Cooke said he has so far spent another £5,000 to rebuild the tank's exterior to make it a "faithful reproduction" of the original "trench buster", complete with replica guns.

It is, however, 5ft (1.5m) shorter than the original and 22 tonnes lighter, because its metal frame is clad with wood instead of armour plate.

Dr Cooke said: "They were designed to climb out of shell craters, cross trenches and destroy fixed emplacements, machine guns or field artillery - they were pretty revolutionary in that time."

The other working replica Mark IV tank was built for director Stephen Spielberg's film Warhorse.

It is now at the Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cambridgeshire

Weather

Cambridge

Min. Night 7 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.