In the beginning there was a lone surfer. He spent hours surfing the net looking for information about R/C model tanks as he had just built one & was looking for people who also enjoyed this hobby. Unknown to our lone surfer, there were others seeking out information & fellow modellers.
At the 2000 Tank Fest at the Bovington Tank Museum, Carl Greatrix & Dave Taylor met by chance & discovered that they had a common hobby namely R/C model tanks. Carl had built a few & Dave had been buying & selling them for sometime & had a few of his own. Soon our loan surfer (Chris Walker) happened across Carl's website that had just been created & contacted Carl to exchange information.
Thus our three tank modellers discovered each other & an idea was born to see if there was any interest in forming a club along similar lines to the Bay Area Tankers (B.A.T) in the USA. Through Dave's contacts it was arranged for us to have space at the South West Model Expo to be held at the Bovington Tank Museum ! A new player enters stage right, Mark Spencer of Mark-1-Tanks was also going to be there with some of his 1/10, 1/8 & 1/6th models. So it was arranged with the organisers that we would have a continuous display area next to an armoured car track where we could run the 1/16th models.
So the Saturday 30th of September 2000 arrived & the museum was a hive of activity with modellers & exhibitors hustling to get their stands ready for the public by 10:00hrs. Three of our four had arrived & introduced them selves for the first time in person. Many others that we had found via the internet & word of mouth arrived & put their models on display. Our 4th member (Carl ) arrived on Saturday evening having invented a new way to double the mileage between Bristol & Bovington, which involves driving up & down the country until you arrive at Bovington apparently by chance!
Left to right- Mark Spencer, Chris Walker, Dave Harris, John Holland, Dave Taylor, Merv Saffin, Stuart Humphrey, Carl Greatrix
These were the initial members of the UK Tank Club, decked out in the splendid T-Shirt design produced by Carl for the club, thanks Carl.
Apologies for the picture quality, but these were taken with a low quality digital camera, if you have any better pictures I'd be pleased to post them. We have the stand from Mark-1-tanks end, then from the Tank Clubs end. Closer shots of many of the 1/16th models on display with Merv's excellently detailed Stug.
Here we have Carl with a Sherman
Firefly, crossing between the test track & the stand (on right). This was the
first encounter for all of us with the awesome 1/6th Tiger1 & 1/8th Panther.
Stuart brought along his amazing 1/10th scale Aluminium JagdPanther. And finally
we see Dave holding the fort & explaining a few finer points
to an enquiring public.
We had 26 models on display of which over 20 were Radio Controlled & most were run during the weekend. On the strength of support & interest generated from this initial meeting the UK Tank Club was born.