Tanking it in Northamptonshire
As a County Ambassador to Northamptonshire I do frequently get invited to events around the county, some are quite interesting (maybe) and we get reports on all sorts of economic doom and gloom and others are about highlighting what the county has to offer. On Tuesday 7th September I was invited to an event held at Tanks-a-Lot and the brief was “wear some old clothes, wellies, and you will get to drive a tank”… now how Cool is that!
Well what can I say beyond Wow! This venue is absolutely amazing, it’s a real Boys Toyz fest. We all arrived at the venue and the weather had been pee’ing down all day so the ground was sodden and they weren’t kidding about needing to wear wellies. I’d only just had the car cleaned too! We were led into the back room to get dressed into our combat suits, which is well cool in itself. Once ready were had tea and biscuits, but I passed on that because I’d found a much more interesting room … the armoury!
Now I have been told not to post this photo on Facebook, but I think posting it here on my blog should be Ok I hope! Atleast the authorities will be able to see the picture in the context it is meant *gulp*
The armoury was well cool from a very much “big kid” perspective, I got to play with Rocket Launchers, Machine Guns and Sniper Rifles. They are all disabled, naturally, but acting the fool was encouraged. Then as other guests arrived I stopped playing and we sat down for a brief on what the venue has to offer, and it offers a lot. Did you know you can hire a Limosine Tank? Imagine turning up for an event in your own tank!
The venue also provide unique team development and leadership training days in association with Unlimited Potential, who you can also follow on Twitter through @unltdpotential. Should your company wish to know more about running a training, team or leadership event with a difference I’d encourage you to speak to these guys, seeing what they can offer I was truly impressed. Anyway, on with the event…
Once the event presentation was complete we were on to meet the tanks, and boy don’t they have a lot of tanks. We were asked what tank we would like to drive, and out of the wide selection available I choose the Russian. It seemed the most manly, and I was told it was the fastest and had teh biggest gun. Things that are important to a big kid :o). We then boarded the british tracked people transporter and headed off un the back feeling like we really were being transported to war. When we arrived I managed to catch a photo of my Russian tank being driven into view, and I was the first to head off.
The driving experience was fantastic, but what the highlight of the afternoon … for everyone else … was as my tank approached a lake the instructor advised me to slow down. Now I’m a bit of a devil, I thought I had slowed down enough, it seemed like we were going slow, but as we entered what can only be described as a lake the front of the tank (with me driving it) went almost entirely under water until it kicked back out and water flowed over the tank, over my head, and poured into the driving well. I was soaked to the skin! It was hilarious, amazing fun, and despite being soaked that made the day.
Whilst everyone else had a go I spent some time chatting with the owner and this is clearly someone with a passion for what he does. What he doesn’t know about military vehicles really isn’t worth knowing. He also had some great stories about some of the events they have held, some of the tanks they have sold to enthusiasts, and some of the hires they have done. Just look at some of the photo’s and video’s on their website to see for yourself.
After the tank driving it was back to the barracks, some food and oggling at the radio controlled tanks (some big enough to pull a landrover), lots of excellent boys toys, and to find out how to book our company fun day out for next year.
A highly recommended venue, great