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Tanks roll into Coltishall to fill up with petrol

PUBLISHED: 09:20 19 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:20 19 June 2014

Tank Training. Picture: Maurice Gray

Tank Training. Picture: Maurice Gray

Archant

A bustling village came to a halt when an army of tanks rumbled through the main street to the petrol station.

Tank Training. Picture: Maurice GrayTank Training. Picture: Maurice Gray

The small convoy of two ex-military tanks was escorted to Coltishall to top up with fuel and conclude a driver’s road-experience test.

The unusual mission was organised by Tim Dockerty, managing director of Specialist Vehicle Training who had just held a Pilot Driver Training Course at the former RAF Coltishall airbase.

Staff at the filling Station at first thought it was a joke.

David Goodman said: “We thought it was very funny and to see armoured tanks being topped up with petrol was so unusual.

A tank arrives for refuelling at the Coltishall Island Filling Station. Picture: RYAN CARMANA tank arrives for refuelling at the Coltishall Island Filling Station. Picture: RYAN CARMAN

“The fuel bill went into the hundreds for approximately 400 litres, but one good thing we achieved from the tanks’ visit was the traffic was slowed down to 20mph through Coltishall, a speed limit which is often ignored.”

The specialist driver training course included instruction off-road for two days before on-road experience and all five candidates passed DVSA H Licence Tests.

Mr Dockerty, who has established the course during the past 20 years, said: “This pilot scheme at Coltishall was the first of many as we are seeking a permanent base on the former RAF Coltishall complex.

“We have retained our 100pc pass rate and intend to expand our services in Norfolk which will create new employment prospects.”

Mr Dockerty works closely with a major UK Defence Manufacturer and the Health and Safety Services dealing with Emergency Response Training as well as specialist handbooks.

He said: “The candidates we have just trained are Ministry of Defence Engineers but we will train anyone who wants to learn to drive a Specialist Vehicle such as Tracked Vehicles, Road Rollers and other off-road vehicles for work or private use.”

Mr Dockerty’s company has been commissioned to train staff at the Health and Safety Laboratories in the safe use of Heavy Track Laying Vehicles.

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