The museum at Armourgeddon
At Armourgeddon HQ we have built up quite a unique collection of military vehicles that we are really proud of and that give great entertainment to the many visitors we get from around the globe.
The museum is housed in 4 buildings opposite the main reception of Armourgeddon and opens out into a spectators viewing area to watch our tank maneuvers from a safe distance (no chance of being splatted by a stray paintball!) We opened just last year at the beginning of our season having decided that there were just too many tanks to be sat in reception! Stuart, owner and founder of Armourgeddon, has a passion for tanks, especially World War II tanks and military machines. He started to buy and restore tanks with his first; the original FV432 in our collection bought in 2003- initially to test the theory that we could modify a tank to fire paintballs. The rest, as they say… is history!
As more people visited us for tank driving and tank paintball experiences, many would talk through their experiences with these incredible machines. Mr. Oldfield was the first of many of our customers to donate memorabilia. Mr. Oldfield drove a Sherman Tank in World War II and when he came to visit us he bought us a photograph of himself in his Sherman and a book registering trips. Our first exhibit now sit at the heart of our museum. The donations did not end there as so many of our visitors bring wonderful additions for us to display amongst the collection. We are lucky to have a corner dedicated to our local village, Husbands Bosworth where we have a number of artifacts from both World Wars and with local historical importance. Arguably our finest on-loan exhibit is our Bell 47 helicopter, which we wrote about in this blog a couple of weeks ago. With a checkered history of service across the pond, our Bell 47 will be 62 on the 15th May this year making her one of the oldest flying helicopters in the world.
In total we have over 50 military machines on display including our beast the M4 105 Sherman, a Ferret, Snow Cat Hagglund, M8 and M3A1 Armoured Scout Cars, an M667 Lance Missile Carrier and so many more. Venturing back outside of the buildings, you will see a pair of Wickham Trolleys. The Wickham Trolley was a railway engineering personnel carrier used on the British Railways as a gang and inspection trolley. Introduced in 1948, over 600 were built up until 1990, 25 of which headed to the Ministry of Defense from 1954 to 1960.
Back inside, we also house a number of guns, decommissioned bombs and a Fire Brigade WWII fire pump. A number of our guns are interactive in their display and are able to be handled and explored. On the subject of guns, we also have a Howitzer artillery gun. The howitzer was invented in Sweden towards the end of the 17th century. Originally intended for use in siege warfare, the shorter trail than other field guns meant a lower level of stability and therefore less gunpowder could be used. Particularly useful for delivering cast-iron shells filled with gunpowder, their range was dependent upon the size of the propellant charge and therefore could be fired at a range of trajectories.
When it comes to fame, a number of our vehicles are not short on their star-studded post-service history. On the small screen, they have appeared on The Gadget Show, National Geographic, Top Gear, 3D Motors TV and The Travel Channel. On the big screen, our Opel Olympia played alongside Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. Our White Half Track and International Half Tracks were featured with Madonna in Evita. The High Speed Tractor was featured in Band of Brothers and our T54 in The Man from U.N.C.L.E due for release in early 2015.
Our Museum is open year round, £5 admission with under 5s accessed free of charge. On many days you will also be able to see some of our vehicles on maneuvers in our tank fields.
For more information, please call on 01858 880239.