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Club News

Birth Of The Tanks

24 February 2016

Two Lincoln experts on the history of the first tanks are bringing their Tank Tour Lecture and Film Show to Sincil Bank to share the story in this 100th anniversary year.

Richard Pullen, Military Historian and Author, whose own grandfather worked on the first tanks at William Foster and Co in Lincoln during WW1, will be joined by Filmmaker Andrew Blow, who discovered local film of the early tanks.

The duo, recently commended by Bovington Tank Museum for their "Birth of the Tanks" DVD, are touring public halls and local societies this winter. 

Their two hour show in the Travis Perkins Suite will take place on Wednesday 2 March 2016 with a 7.30pm start. Tickets cost £5 and are on sale from the main Club Office or from Andrew Blow, Gold Member, Supporters' Trust on 01522 754901. 

The Tank Tour coincides with several anniversaries of the creation of the first tank prototypes and the development of the Mark 1, the first tank to be used in battle in September 1916.

The tour is sponsored by Cartwright Brothers, North Hykeham-based hauliers operating nationally, who have emblazoned a huge image of the new Lincoln Tank Memorial on one of their large trailers.

"This is a local history night," said Andrew, "looking at the engineering and social history and explaining the work of William Tritton, MD of Fosters, and his collaboration with Walter Wilson from the Admiralty’s Landships Committee.

"This is not a shell by shell account from the battlegrounds but we will look at the need for the tank and why it played such a vital role in the allied victory.

"We’ll also tell the story of the munitionettes – the women who helped build the tanks. Recent research has led to the identification of several of them and we’ll be telling the audience about them.

"We’ll also be recalling William Rigby, Fosters Chief Draughtsman, whose engineering drawings were so vital. I had the great good fortune to meet Mr. Rigby in 1979 after the old film was discovered.

"Sincil Bank is a good place to tell this story. The railway line that passed between Fosters foundry and their tank testing ground was of course the same line that passed behind Sincil Bank less than a mile away and was part of the stadium’s story.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that back in Fosters heyday the workers would have been Lincoln City fans. Fans were intensely loyal to their home town team in those days."

Richard Pullen, nationally recognised as an authority on the early tanks, is the author of Landships of Lincoln and Track Prints. He will be showing his collection of rare images of Fosters’ early machines and efforts by rival inventors.

More about the Tank Tour can be seen at the project’s Facebook page:

The bar will be open in the Travis Perkins suite from 7pm. Up to 120 people can be accommodated but early ticket purchase is requested to help the organisers.

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