Crossfire over Trowbridge's park tank plan

This Is Wiltshire: Trowbridge Park Trowbridge Park

Hostilities will resume on Tuesday when Trowbridge Town Council meets to discuss placing a £250,000 replica tank in the town’s park.

The plans are to build a decorative Mark IV Female 222, and have it in position by 2016.

A committee from Trow-bridge’s annual Armed Forces Day will present plans during the meeting taking place at 7pm at the Civic Centre.

Sylvia Wardle, who is giving the presentation, believes the tank befits the commemoration of the First World War centenary because an original Mark IV Female was previously placed in the park.

The proposals drew a mixed response when put before the council’s direct services group last month and a decision to support the project or not was referred to full council.

Mrs Wardle, West Wiltshire Military Vehicle Trust’s secretary, said: “This tank would not be a trophy of war.

“It would be a commemoration of servicemen and civilians who died during the war.

If the replica tank receives backing from the town council, Mrs Wardle will apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund to help finance the project and get quotes to build the vehicle.

Trowbridge Town Cllr Andrew Bryant said: “The town council has a duty to ensure that the park is in the best possible condition to relax and play in.

“ I feel siting a replica tank there would be inappropriate.

“I’m not saying I’d be offering my support to the project going forward, but somewhere like Courtfield House – when the museum has moved there – would be better suited.”

Fellow town councillor Peter Fuller, however, said: “I think we can find somewhere in the park for it. We should not turn our back on what happened in the past and this tank will remind people of what conflict causes.”

The original tank was given to the town to honour its residents who had collected £1m to support the First World War military effort.

It was put in place in 1919 and removed later during the national scrap metal drive for the Second World War effort.

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