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Churchill Tank on display in the town where it was born

By Linda Stewart

Published 02/10/2015

The refurbished Churchill tank on the seafront at Carrickfergus
The refurbished Churchill tank on the seafront at Carrickfergus
David McCorkell, a trustee of the NI Horse Regimental Association, with Downshire pupils Kyle Bell, Adam McFarland, Alex Montgomery and Bethan White at the unveiling

A restored Churchill Tank has been unveiled at Marine Gardens in Carrickfergus.

The tank - named Carrickfergus after the town in which it was born - has gone on display as reminder of the town's military and industrial links.

It was in service with C Squadron of the North Irish Horse in the Second World War, and the model was thought to have been the most efficient support tank used by the Allies during the conflict.

Harland & Wolff developed the original model of the tank - the famous A20 - in its factory in the town.

The restoration of the vehicle - a Community Heritage Project - was supported by the National Lottery and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for Northern Ireland.

"For a garrison town such as Carrickfergus to have a fully refurbished Churchill Tank on display is a tremendous honour, and I would like to commend all of those who have been involved from the outset," said Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Billy Ashe.

"I was delighted to officially unveil a new permanent interpretative panel in front of the tank, which provides many interesting facts and figures regarding the tank, which has undoubtedly become a popular attraction in Marine Gardens. A further plaque will shortly be erected at the former site of the tank factory on the Woodburn Road, which I welcome."

David McCorkell, representing the North Irish Horse Trustees, added: "It was a pleasure and a privilege for the regiment to work with the local community on this interesting and unique heritage project."

And Jackie Stewart, principal of Downshire School, said: "At the outset of the project, many pupils at the school constructed a life-sized replica of the Churchill Tank. This project opened up a number of opportunities, learning experiences and became a vehicle to motivate pupils to participate in a wide range of activities.

"Much of the work in constructing the replica was carried out as an extra-curricular activity, with pupils working during lunchtimes and after school. Most importantly, the project allowed the pupils to directly engage with their local heritage."

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