A tank on Church Street

Amongst some photos recently sent to the curator was this slightly blurred image of a military tank travelling along Church Street.

A tank on Church Street in the 1930s

A tank on Church Street in the 1930s

The sender of this image wasn’t sure when it was taken and suggested that the tracked vehicle was a Bren gun carrier.

Our curator sent a copy of the photo to the tank museum in Bovington who responded with the following.

The tank in question is a Vickers Light Tank probably a Mark VI – it’s difficult with the quality of the image to be specific on the exact mark of Light Tank though. The Light Tank Mark VI entered service in 1936 so mid-late 1930s would be the right time frame.

The tank is just rounding the corner onto White Street. The shop window on the left is now that of Saint Arbuck’s, the locally run coffee shop.

It looks as though it was, or had recently been, a part of Mr Walton’s empire when the photo was taken.

It looks as though the house on the corner of Church Street and Parsonage Lane (on the right) had already been demolished. The first building we see, with its rectangular sign looking to be suspended in mid-air in this photo, is the old Volunteer Arms.

It’s a delightful snap of how life was in the village and reminds us of the military presence – not just during war-time.



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3 Responses to “A tank on Church Street”

  1. Janice Feltham (nee Quick) Says:

    Just a thought back in the 1950’s when i lived in 2 parsonage lane which was the first house. when the army were doing exercises on the plain they use to come down fast from lavington hill and go straight a cross the cross roads down parsonage lane and 9 out of 10 times would take our door step off and the mod had to replace it.As kids we use to sit on the wall and watch.

  2. Norman merritt Says:

    Just caught the picture of the tank. It is indeed a vickers light tank
    Mark VIB
    As Janice has mentioned a lot of damage was caused by tanks during the war years and after in west lavington as you round the corner by the church if you look at the stone base on the piers leading up the steps to the church you can still see the grooves
    In the stonework caused by the tracks of an American Sherman
    Tank convoy during w w 11
    And at shrewton has any one noticed that railway track is used
    Instead of kerbs as they travel through the village
    This was again wartime and the large volume of military vehicles
    Was causing chaos to the banks and footways

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