This is the log of an at first impossible project, a dream come true, but also of a long and difficult struggle. Only goal: giving back Poelkapelle it's tank on the marketplace, once it's major tourist attraction !
Thanks to the donators, volunteers and cooperating firms !
All the images are copyrighted YpresSalientTanks part of the P1917A !
ing. Vanbeselaere Johan july 2016
The beast waiting to get trackplates and cladding.
Recently original WWI tankpieces were found in St.-Julien by Stijn Butaye of the Pondfarm ( www.depondfarm.be ) At two consecutive occasions he immediately contacted us to verify if from a tank and possbily from which. But that's another story tahn tankbuilding.
But Dirk had the splendid idea to bring this original pieces together with our tankframe. This was a small test to find out if our tankframe was correct, but I did not doubt about this, but always interesting to do.
But also to show the Butaye family what they really have been finding. They were amazed to see the pieces on the huge framework and
seeing what and where these pieces are exactly on such tank.
But for us of YpresSalientTanks it was most of all thrilling to decorate the nowadays framework with original pieces found in our neighbourhood.
It makes us realize more what we are trying to do and gives us the power and motivation to go on.
Not to speak of reading the accounts out of the archives of the tankcommander of which this pieces might be part of, while seeing this
pieces live with our own eyes. Someone said : if they could only speak.
We are sometimes confronted with people not liking we are trying to reconstruct such a tank, by lack of a real one.
Well, you see, we keep on looking for one, but making one is easier, or let's say more chance upon success.
We also are active about tanks in the whole Salient and not a very local organisation about a very local tank, as someone once told.
When Stijn asked about his first found tanktracks, I immediately suspected of which tank this might have been ..., we are
working on different other cases too ! It was David Fletcher himself once stating about the Gorczynskis of the Salient.
But when putting this pieces together : fake and real, new and old, the real, old pieces their meaning was very much more enhanced for everyone attending.
It convinces me that making such a replica is nevertheless another meaningfull way of commemoration.
Someone told me recently seeing our plane-replica and our tank in construction : you are bringing the past to life. He might be very right.
But I do know you can not satisfy everyone and there will be always negative comments.
One advice : do something yourself and let it be more than following forums, twitter, facebook and think twice before you criticize.
Perhaps I should have done it myself also now, but I don't bother anymore. I like what we are doing, incredible friendships are emerging out of it
and in the end the purpose was to put our village Poelkapelle back again on the battlefield touristical map, mostly ignored up to now.
We see subtle changes, but the original purpose is evoluted to much more than that.
Do convince yourself and come over and visit Stijns museum or Poelkapelle. Do however make an appointment before so we can treat you with
a special visit. Not convinced :ask others who have been here. But not everyone now at the same time. Still have a tank to make and take care
you do not get involved ;-)