The extremely rare Second World War tank that was excavated in Denbies vineyard earlier this year has now been removed for renovation.
The English “Covenanter” tank was dug up from beneath the vineyard by WW2 enthusiast Rick Wedlock. Rick approached Denbies last year regarding the possibly of a tank buried on the estate . Following an exploratory dig in January which revealed the top part of the tank, the full excavation took place in May.
The excavation of the tank was part of a new documentary series commissioned by the History Channel which was aired in the autumn.
The tank has been positioned in the vineyard for the past six months with thousands of visitors coming specifically to view this significant piece of WW2 history.
Mr Wedlock will spend the next three years restoring the tank. The tank will return to the estate each year around the anniversary of its excavation to enable the restoration local enthusiasts to view progress. Mr Wedlock anticipates the full restoration to take approximately three years, eventually aiming to drive the fully functioning vehicle back to the Surrey Hills.
‘This has been an extraordinary project and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of interest in the Covenanter. The tank is in surprisingly good conditions with some paint and marking still visible’ commented Chris White, Denbies CEO, ‘in spite of a large hole on one side of the tank, the chalk has proved to be an excellent preservative. We look forward to the tank being fully restored.’