Tanks at Edwinstowe

Photo:Comet tank

Comet tank

This one is at the Bovingdon Tank Museum in Dorset

School holidays in the 1960s

By Peter Bowler

In the summer holidays of 1960 or 61 I'd be 12 or 13 years old three or four of my friends and myself (we all lived in Mansfield at the time) caught a bus outside the art college on West Gate and went to Edwinstowe, seven old pence (7d) for a half fare return ticket.

A few days before we'd been told there was a disused tank and an armoured car of second war vintage at the side of the road at the junction of the road out of Edwinstowe and the A616 Budby Road opposite Assarts Plantation.

It was good fun playing on them in fact we were there most of the day and when we arrived home I looked in I-Spy Military Vehicles, the tank was an American SPM 10, the armoured car wasn't listed but it was the type seen in films of war in the desert, quite a big one.

"...it was totally intact, we lifted the engine cover and it looked as if anyone good with engines could have got it going".

A couple of weeks later we went again and another tank had been left there this was another American one, a Comet but this one looked as if it was driven there it was totally intact, we lifted the engine cover and it looked as if anyone good with engines could have got it going.

If you lowered yourself through the hatch down into the turret there was a handle and if you turned it the turret rotated, the periscopes worked too, there was also a handle to raise and lower the gun. If you climbed out of the hatch the driver would have used to get in and out when the turret was turning it could have hit you if it was in a certain position but I never knew of anyone being hurt playing on any of them.

Did anyone out there play on them? I'd be interested to know.   If so, please post your memories via the 'Add a Comment' option below.


Click HERE to see original photos of the Edwinstowe tanks

This page was added by Peter Bowler on 09/01/2013.
Comments about this page

Yes, I remember the old tanks on what we called Budby Common.We too would play on them,this was a year or two later,around '66 or '67.Happy days! Nige

By Nige Barton
On 20/02/2013

I'm glad I'm not the only one to remember playing on the old tanks Nige but I'm surprised they were still there in the mid to late 1960s, I hope you had as much fun there as we did. It couldn't happen now think of the health and safety implications, its stopping kids learning by trial and error and being responsible for their own actions, it didn't do us any harm did it?

By Peter Bowler.
On 24/02/2013

You aren't going mad, these tanks were put there for the Army to train with

Budby common was a training ground for REME ie Heavy recovery

hope this helps

By D Scaysbrook
On 21/09/2014

As D.Scaysbrook points out the whole area was an army training ground it wasn't unusual in the 50s early 60s when traveling along the Edwinstowe to Budby road for a tank or or armoured car to to emerge from the forest, cross the main road and disappear into the forest on the other side, all exciting stuff for us kids.

By Peter Bowler
On 24/09/2014

 The Tanks came from Proteus Camp, I remember someone in a Jeep with extended aerial touched the High Voltage wires and I believe was electrocuted!! I remember the one on Budby Common, Welbeck Colliery Village road in the 50s. The Common was ploughed in the 60s I believe!! There is still activity on the Edwinstowe side, the Army Cadets do manoeuvers on certain Weekends I believe!!

By tom Shead
On 29/09/2014

hi iam 67 yrs old and a lifelong warsop resident i remember playing on these tanks they where on budby comm0n i also have a couple of photos they were put there for the army at protius camp to practice recovery on.Kelvi Hawkins.

By kelvin hawkins
On 19/08/2015

I'd really like to see the photos Kelvin can you post them on here?

By Peter Bowler
On 24/08/2015

I have the photos, but there is no option to add images on this page.

My son says they are not tanks but Tank Destroyers a M10 Wolverine to be exact.

By Kelvin Hawkins
On 30/08/2015

iam sorry peter but the comet tank was a totally british design and built it entered service in early 1945.my father served in them and the american general grant in burma with the 25 dragoons.an rtr regiment.i cannot remember there being a comet tank on budby only the m10 i have 3 photos of these taken 1959/1960 with me playing on them.but i cannot seem to beable to get them on this site if you are intersted to see them you could contact me iam in the book.cheers Kelvin Hawkins 31/8/2015

By kelvin hawkins
On 01/09/2015

Thank you for your Comments, Kelvin.  And for offering to upload the images to OurNottinghamshire.  We would be very glad top receive the.  To upload images (and text) you need to Register with OurNotts, which you do by clicking on the link on the left-hand side of the Homepage and then following instructions.  This will take you through the steps of creating a page.  Alternatively, you could email the pictures to us at ournottinghamshire@gmail.com and we will be pleased to upload them for you.  Either way, we hope to hear from you soon!

By Website Administrator
On 01/09/2015

Must have been in the 60s I would walk from my Grandmothers in Welbeck colliery Village to the common to play on the tanks. We would have somebody sat on the gun barrel while we bounced the breech end up and down. Fun watching them fall off! 

By Robert Geeson
On 29/03/2016

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