Tank museum set to reopen this Easter

Norfolk Tank Museum is set to reopen on April 12.

The Norfolk Tank Museum offers visitors an insight into the life of a British soldier from the late 19th century. - Credit: Norfolk Tank Museum

Some people collect stamps, others collect coins.

But the chairman of one museum has an eye for tanks.

The Norfolk Tank Museum, located in Station Road at Forncett St Peter, houses a collection of tanks, weapons and militaria from the 20th century and the Cold War period.

And chairman Stephen MacHaye revealed he is excited to reopen on April 12 after experiencing a disruptive two years due to the Covid pandemic.

Armourfest at the Norfolk Tank Museum

The Norfolk Tank Museum houses a collection of tanks, weapons and militaria from the 20th century and the Cold War. - Credit: Archant

He said: "We opened in June last year so we didn't get a full season due to the pandemic.

"We also had to restrict certain things such as not allowing people to climb into the vehicles.

Stephen MacHaye, chairman of Norfolk Tank Museum, has always had a passion for military vehicles.

Stephen MacHaye, chairman of Norfolk Tank Museum, has always had a passion for military vehicles. - Credit: Norfolk Tank Museum

"But we're hoping that once we reopen, things will be more normal again."

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Mr MacHaye, who is a former farmer, launched the museum 10 years ago after wanting to create a place for his passion to come to life.

Norfolk Tank Museum's Armourfest. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Norfolk Tank Museum has a collection of Centurion tanks such as an AVRE, a Mk13 Gun Tank and an ARV. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Now armed with about 40 volunteers on the books, the museum restores military vehicles and actively maintains those that have already been fixed.

Mr MacHaye added: "I'm very passionate about military history and it was an interest that grew naturally over time.

"Today, we have about 25 military vehicles on site."

Indeed, the site possesses a unique collection of Centurion tanks such as an AVRE, a Mk13 Gun Tank and an ARV.

For the majority of the year, these vehicles are on static display but can be seen in action on its purpose-built course at Armourfest, which is taking place this year in August.

Norfolk Tank Museum's Armourfest is returning. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Norfolk Tank Museum's Armourfest is returning. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The attraction offers visitors an insight into the life of a British soldier from the late 19th century.

Mr MacHaye said: "Most of our items that have been donated over the years but we do purchase some militaria too.

"You never know what's going to turn up so we're always open."

The museum, which is a registered charity, is on constant lookout for more people to join the team.

The Norfolk Tank Museum will be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (with the exception of Easter Sunday) and revert back to its pre-pandemic opening hours of 10-5pm.