‘Flat pack’ tank to roll into resort!

Rolling home:  A First World War tank in Gynn Gardens during the 1920s. Below - Paul Flanagan
Rolling home: A First World War tank in Gynn Gardens during the 1920s. Below - Paul Flanagan

A ‘flat pack’ replica tank is set to be the centrepiece of Armed Forces Day celebrations in Blackpool town centre.

Film actor and stuntman Paul Flanagan, who also turns his hand to building life-size models, is currently creating the mock-up which will go on display in St John’s Square on Saturday.

The 26ft long, 12ft wide replica of a First World War tank is being built out of plywood and timber and will be transported to Blackpool in seven pieces from Paul’s home in Bolton.

Paul, who has appeared in films including Wrath of the Titans and Harry Potter, said: “I have made tanks before but not a First World War One, and I have made theatrical props including space ships and a Tardis.

“This tank will be about the size of a large static caravan, and I am trying to make it as close to the real thing as possible using research from libraries and manuals etc.

“I think it will look pretty good and will give people an idea of what a First World War tank was like.

“It has to be quite lightweight for transportation, and I feel like it is almost a ‘flat pack’ tank because I am making it in seven pieces so it can be loaded onto a truck.”

The tank has been commissioned by Blackpool BID (Business Improvement District) which is holding events between 10am and 4pm in the town centre.

There will also be an inflatable assault course, drills, a mock up of an unexploded bomb site and mock air raid warnings.

Event manager John Mayoh, who is organising the displays on behalf of the BID, said: “It is very expensive to get a real tank at the event because they are mainly based in the south of England and cost a lot of money to transport.

“So we hit upon the idea of a replica, and Paul agreed to make this one for us.

“It is full size and by the time it is painted and sprayed, we think it will look like the real thing.”