Sunday the 7th of August
Way back in 2010 BSHG discovered that a DD Valentine tank the same as to those used at Burton was restored and in full working order. It did not take us long to hatch a plan to bring it to the village and contact was soon made with the owner, a Mr John Pearson of Wolverhampton. John told us that not only was his Valentine the only one of its kind in working order in the world but that he was 99% certain it had spent most, if not all of its military life at Burton. That was the icing on the cake as they say and a date for its return was quickly set.
Word had spread far and wide and many other WWII military vehicles and re-enactors attended to celebrate the event along with the local press and BBC's Look North.
August 7th 2011 turned out to be one of the most memorable and unique days the village has ever seen and almost 500 locals turned out to see the 1943 MK IX DD Valentine make its return to the village for the first time in 67 years. Many commented on what a wonderful site it was to see all these old vehicles. Many even reporting feeling quite emotional the first time they saw the tank rumble into view.
Highlights included a vehicle parade of 15 travel up the Stather Hill and along the high street lead by the Tank where more crowds had gathered to watch the vehicles go by.
The main highlight though was to getting the tank back on the Tank Ramp.
No mean feat as the only access now is via the
Alpine path built by BSHG down the steep hillside.
But owner John Pearson soon put our minds at rest with the words
It's a Tank, it will go anywhere!
And thanks to the expert driving of his son Colin, it did!
BSHG worked extremely hard to organize the event and raise funds to bring the Tank back to Burton Upon Stather but the moment it set tracks on the ramp once again it was all worth it.
BSHG would like to thank everyone that helped us with our Tank Day and in particular John & Colin Pearson, Tank owners, experts and two of the nicest chaps we could hope to meet.