Secret London: the Russian tank of Bermondsey

That there is an authentic Russian tank parked in a patch of wasteland on a side street off the Old Kent Road is one of those things that is so brilliant it should be mentioned on the news at least once every day. (I felt much the same way about Gordon Brown’s glass eye.  A Prime Minister with a glass eye! How cool was that! What a wasted opportunity.)

The tank is a T34 Russian tank that was possibly used against the Czechs in the Prague Spring uprising of 1968. It arrived in London in 1995 when it was used for the filming of Richard III. The tank was then purchased by Londoner Russell Gray as a sort of giant and very expensive pun after Southwark refused him planning permission to build houses on the site. Gray instead applied for permission to put a tank on the site. They thought he meant water tank, but he didn’t. The tank’s gun is trained on the council office.

How much truth there is to that story is surely irrelevant. It feels right. And when it comes down to it, all that matters is that there is a bloody great Russian tank on the streets of South London and people don’t seem to realise quite how incredible this actually is.

9 responses to “Secret London: the Russian tank of Bermondsey

  1. This is one of those things I’ve been planning to have a look at for some time. Thanks for reminding me.

    I completely agree it should be mentioned in the news every day. Much more exciting than almost every news story that occurred in the last year. Apart from the snow.

  2. I’ve seen this many times and always assumed it was just a safe way to get home from the tube at night…….i thought maybe it was for hire in the hours of darkness

  3. Is this the same one that is on Mandela Way, or a different one?

  4. Something I haven’t seen in my wanderings. Off to have a peek

  5. Not sure about the timing of this highlighting of Russian weaponry. A little insensitive to our partners in the Special Relationship so close to Tanksgiving ……….

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  7. It seams to be a war time production model wich is a quite rare item now days.

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