Replica Tank makes tracks to The Ripon Inn this April

A recently re-opened pub with rooms in Ripon will kick off the countdown to the city’s 80th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings this April, when The Ripon Inn will host the first display of a life-size model tank created by Ripon Community Poppy Project with  help from Ripon Men’s Shed and Jennyruth Workshops.

Arriving on April 30, a life-size model of a Churchill AVRE tank, one of Hobart’s funnies, measuring 24 feet long, 9 feet wide and more than 7 feet high, will be taking up residence at The Inn Collection Group’s property on Park Road for two weeks as the clock continues to tick down to the 80th anniversary of D-Day.


Ripon Tank 1
Drone 5
Ripon Tank 2

Using materials kindly provided by MKM Building Supplies, volunteers from the men's shed and Jennyruth Workshop have built the replica’s frame, whilst the army of knitters have cast hundreds of thousands of stitches to create the 1850 eight inch squares that make up its outer covering, each square taking 3 hours each to make.

Thousands of hours have gone into the project, which has been completed at the city’s Claro Barracks, with a hangar made available by 21 Engineer Regiment.

With transportation being provided free of charge by Ripon Farm Services, the giant replica will be moved in sections to several locations in the city following its visit to The Ripon Inn and will culminate on June 6 at Ripon Cathedral where it will serve as a focal point at an 80th Anniversary Concert.

Originally formed in 2017 to commemorate the end of World War One, The Ripon Community Poppy Project has developed into a thriving community group with up to 30 members attending its Monday “Knit and Natter” group at Hazel House in the city. Ripon Community Poppy Project also receives help from many sections of the local business community without which non of this work would be possible.

By way of thanks for choosing the gardens at The Ripon Inn to be the first host of the replica tank, £1,250 has been donated from its Give INN Back fund between the Poppy Project and veterans charity Help for Heroes.

Commenting on the tank’s impending arrival, general manager of The Ripon Inn Dan Chrisp said: “We’re looking forward to being the first place in Ripon for the public to get up close and see the incredible work that the  Poppy Project have brought to fruition with the help of groups, businesses and individuals from the local community.

“With such a big outdoor space at the inn when we were asked if we would like to be a host, it was an easy thing to say yes to and I’m sure the tank is going to be an impressive sight once it is in place.

“The D-Day commemorations are going to be a huge focus for Ripon this year and I’m thrilled that the inn can play a small part in the build up.”