Honourary President: David Fletcher

Friends of the Lincoln Tank are involved in a number of projects, all of which are aimed at raising the profile of the early tanks and Lincoln’s involvement in their development.

Presentation Tanks:

Two Mark IV tanks made their debut at the Lord Mayor’s Show in London in November 1917.  This was the first time the public had seen the new ‘wonder machine’.  The Government decided to build on the huge success of the tanks appearance by using it to raise money and support from the sale of War Bonds  and  War Savings Certificates. 

Six Mark IV male tanks – ‘Egbert’ No 141;  ‘Nelson’ No 130;  ‘Julian’ No 113;  ‘Old Bill’ No 119; ‘Drake’  No 137 and  ‘Iron Rations’  No 142 toured England, Scotland and Wales in 1918 raising millions of pounds through ‘Tank Bank Weeks’.  

At the end of the war it was decided to release tanks to cities and towns throughout England and Wales.  They stood in parks and other open spaces until all, apart from the one at Ashford in Kent, were cut up for scrap in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Tanks were also presented to towns along the Western Front.

The Friends are compiling a data base of photographs and information, and would be delighted to hear from anyone who has photographs or documentation relating to presentation tanks.  If you have any information, please contact us at the following email address – angie@friends-of-the-lincoln-tank.co.uk

Model of William Fosters Factory:

Members of the Friends are undertaking the building of a scale model of the factory. The intention is to show the model at functions and events, both locally and nationally. We would love to hear from anyone who could offer assistance with either expertise, or once again, information on the factory. Any phoyographs of the factory and immediate area would be very much appreciated.

Tank Database:

A database is also being compiled of all the Great War Tanks, their movements and eventual resting place or fate.  Again, if you have any information we would be delighted to hear from you at the above email address.

Replica Tank:

A major project being undertaken by the group is the building of a full size replica of a Mark IV tank.  This is an ongoing project, and we would be pleased to hear from anyone who could offer expertise,  or simple muscle power to help us achieve this dream.   Once this replica is built, we aim to take it around the country to shows, historical events , as well as to towns and cities that displayed the original presentation tanks.  What better way to demonstrate this fine example of Lincoln’s engineering to a new generation?

  

Group members Richard Pullen, Pete May and Chris Gresham recently visited the Tank  Museum and took the opportunity to carry out a few measurements!

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Update 14/6/10

Today they can only be described as a scarcity, the few remaining tanks designed during the Great War are now too delicate to operate, their age has dealt them a cruel blow and now they suffer from metal fatigue of various degrees. Friends of the Lincoln Tank concluded to operate a tank from this period the only option would be to replicate one; but how?

After several trips to Bovington tank museum for research and many painstaking hours of hard work on the PC, drawings where produced for a Mk IV sponson.

A decision was made not to risk a large amount of cash for the construction of a steel sponson but, to validate the design work, one part of the tank, namely the left hand Mk IV sponson would be constructed in a suitable light weight material, for this MDF was chosen.

The MDF structure has been reinforced with a light aluminium framework, rivet details were manufactured by casting the rivet in polyester material the pattern taken from a actual rivet of a Mk IV tank
.
All vision slits and machine gun ports have been designed as per the original, the ball mount for the Lewis gun replicated in glass fibre and is able to function as in the real machine. 
 
For photographs of the Sponson - please see the News page

Archaeological Fieldwork:

The Friends continue to work closely with the Great War Archaeology Group (GWAG), carrying out desk-based research and geophysical surveys of areas in the Lincoln area which were used for testing the Tanks during their development.   Once again, we would be delighted to hear from anyone who has stories or anecdotes about the testing grounds or indeed Wm Foster’s factory itself.  Preliminary investigation is also underway, together with GWAG to locate and excavate a Tank on the Western Front and, more importantly, trace the history of it's crew.

In the absence of any photographic  evidence, a Geophysical Survey was carried out at Wickham Gardens Lincoln on 12 September 2009 to attempt to identify where the Presentation Tank was sited.  Dave and Angie Hibbitt (Grid Nine Geophysics) conducted the survey .....


- supervised closely by John May, Richard Pullen, Robin Wheeldon, and Chris Gresham!



Dave Hibbitt explains the intracies of Geophysics to a frankly unimpressed John May



The assembled Friends use experimental archaeology to demonstrate how a crew of seven (one short we know!) could fit in a space the size of a WW1 tank

A Tank Memorial in Lincoln:

There is currently no permanent memorial to Lincoln’s involvement in the conception and development of the Tank in the City.  The Friends are working in partnership with other interested parties in the City with a view to the placement of such a memorial as close as possible to the site of the factory.  An ideal location would be the roundabout at the junction of Tritton Road and Campus Way.  Please watch this site for further details.

As you can see, the Friends are an active enthusiastic group, and are always happy to hear from like minded people.  We have regular meetings at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life on Burton Road, Lincoln.  Please email angie@friends-of-the-lincoln-tank.co.uk for further details.