Lincolnshire racer Guy Martin’s latest programme: Guy Martin’s WWI Tank, will be aired this weekend, with his home county getting a special mention.
The programme, which will air on Channel 4 on Sunday, November 19 at 8pm looks into the history of WWI tanks, which have strong roots in Lincoln.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the first time tanks were successfully used in battle.
As previously reported, a run of Guy’s own hand built tank was due to be filmed on Lincoln High Street during Remembrance Day, however due to health and safety reasons, filming was moved to Cambrai – where tanks were first used on the battlefields.
Guy Martin said in an interview with Channel 4: “On November 20, it’ll be the 100th anniversary of the first time that tanks were actually successfully used in a battle.
“They’d been tried before, but they’d never really made a difference until the Battle of Cambrai.
“I’m a bit embarrassed about how little I know about the First World War, I didn’t even know that tanks were used in it. So I wanted to make the tank because I had such a gap in my knowledge, and I wanted to learn more, and also because of the 100th anniversary.
“Also, I’m a Grimsby lad, and the tanks were created in the next town up from me, in Lincoln. That’s where it all started, and no-one knows that story.
“When I first looked at this challenge, I thought ‘This is a big ask. We’re not going to see this happen.’
“JCB were the main reason this was able to happen. They built the main part of the tank, and then the lads at the Norfolk Tank Museum put all the engine together and everything.
“You think ‘It was designed and built 100 years ago – that should be easy to replicate with modern machine techniques and modern manufacturing techniques.’ – But obviously not!
“It took a bit of getting round all the issues involved.
“We didn’t get very far in the tank the first time – we might have got 100 yards – before it pulled its bearing out of the chassis.
“To try and get that back in again was a massive job.
“It takes two of us to drive it – a throttleman, which is me, and a steersman, which is Stephen, who runs the Norfolk Tank Museum.
Guy Martin’s WWI Tank will be aired on Sunday, November 19 at 8pm on Channel 4.