Military enthusiast parks WWI tank on driveway

Military enthusiast parks WWI tank on driveway

If you've ever cursed your neighbour's noisy sports car as it wakes you up in the early hours, spare a thought for the residents of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, some of who have found themselves with a WW1 tank on their street.
The vast metal behemoth belongs to 57-year-old military enthusiast Anthony Cooke, who has decided to park it on his driveway while he refurbishes it in time for the centenary of the start of the Great War next year.

The 13-ft wide armoured vehicle is just one of two working replica Mark IV tanks in the whole of Europe, though at 21ft long and with a top speed of just four miles per hour, it is hardly an ideal runabout.

At 6.5-tonnes, the beast is also placing considerable strain on Mr Cooke's driveway, with fresh cracks already appearing in the concrete.

The tank cost £40,000 to buy and re-build and the devoted military buff has spent seven months refurbishing just the exterior.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Cooke said: "People do get a shock when they first see the tank in the middle of a residential estate. But I'm very lucky as my neighbours love it and one little boy even says good night to it each evening.

"It takes up my entire drive and I now have to park my car down the road, but it's worth it as it will look great when it is finished."

The replica tank was originally built for a Kenneth Branagh film titled 'The Magic Flute', with the only other known working replica recently starring in Spielberg's 'War Horse'.

Mr Cooke hopes that his tank will eventually take pride of place in a Great War living history museum he is planning to open in Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire, next year.

"Now the last WW1 soldier has died it has passed from memory to history and we need a way to pass on that knowledge," he said.

"I hope the centre will be somewhere school parties can visit to see how soldiers fought and lived on the Western Front."
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