Standing Stone Farm, Matfen, Newcastle on Tyne NE20 0RQ
You will be in one of our FV (Fighting Vehicle) 432 Armoured Personnel Carriers – a light (?) 15 ton tank. If we have a large group on the day, we may run two simultaneously – a Mk I and a Mk II – with a third in reserve. Now, that IS fun! Drivers need not hold a Driving Licence but good upper body strength is important for pulling the non power assisted steering levers/brakes. After a short introduction to the 432 and its history (they continue in use in the Army, in specialised roles), you’ll be shown around to understand how it works as the instructor carries out a “First Parade Inspection”. Then, it’s all aboard and he’ll move the APC to the Start Point for driver training. One by one, you’ll take the controls for a short session with the instructor in his vehicle commander’s position. Then you’ll swap with other drivers in the rear crew compartment, when the ride and conditions for an infantryman will be experienced, before returning to the “hot seat” for a longer drive. Normally you’ll be with the vehicle for an hour.
At our farm base you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the largest private collection of military vehicles in the North. These include the huge 4x4 M2 Bridging Ferry, which can swim whilst carrying a 432, Chieftain Main Battle Tank (together with its brother the Armoured Recovery Vehicle) a similar classic Centurion, Saracen 6x6 APC exhibiting ambush damage from its duties in Northern Ireland, RAF Mk9 Fire/Crash/Rescue 6x6 and several other curiosities. The 5 man Hovercraft was used as a prototype or reference for construction of the Bond ‘Die Another Day’ fleet.
Some exhibits (including Bedford 8 tonne 4x4, Stalwart, Foden Gun Tractor, Land Rovers are occasionally available for driving or even just a ride).
Partly for environmental reasons, we use several sites--usually within 40 minutes drive of Newcastle—so please check before setting out.
From time to time special offers are available on driving and riding, for families etc.
Prices: £120 Tank Drive
Tank Rides: Firstly riders are introduced to the vehicle, its history and usage, then climb aboard for the experience. the whole of which usually lasts up to 40 minutes. An adult must accompany those aged 7 – 12 years.
– Access to the crew area is easy: DRIVERS need to be sufficiently agile to climb the outside of the APC, traverse the top and drop down through the driver’s hatch. They also need good upper-body strength in order to operate the non-power assisted steering levers. (The Army recruits 18-35 year olds for a reason!)
– Be aware that the interior, unlike a civilian vehicle, is not user-friendly: you’ll need to brace yourself against sudden movement. An adult must accompany and protect younger persons.
– As with all our activities, you participate at your own risk. Smoking is not permitted near any of our vehicles.
Perfect for larger groups, this team building and leadership exercise revolves around the rescue of a downed pilot. Teams must locate the survivor using orienteering equipment and solve the problem of extraction with a few little twists and turns in between. They need t...More Info