Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Online collections prove an invaluable resource!

Although Wakefield Museum is closed at the moment while the collections are packed up for removal, customers can still see over 20,000 things from the collections on Wakefield Council’s website. 

One recent enquirer wanted to know whether Wakefield and Pontefract received any of the World War I tanks which were given to towns that contributed money to the war effort. On the Museum’s online catalogue,  there are photographs showing tanks received both at Wakefield and Pontefract.  There are several of the Pontefract tank, showing it being paraded through the town on arrival, installed at Pontefract Castle and then later being taken away on a low loader when a local councillor saved it from being scrapped in 1934. 

Arrival of a World War I tank in Pontefract.  Tanks are recorded as arriving in Yorkshire in July/August 1919
Newspaper cutting of the installation of a World War I tank after the Armistice. A substantial concrete pad had to be made for this tank and the pad survives under the grass slopes which were reinstated in 1984-5 to cover the exposed foundations of the castle keep

Tank, from World War I, on display at Pontefract Castle.
 1919 - 1930 

Newspaper cutting showing preparations for the removal of the tank from the castle to Nevison's Leap.
26 September 1934
The tank was eventually cut up for salvage during World War II
To see more objects and photographs from the collections click here.

If you have any further information on the Wakefield and Pontefract tanks, we'd love to hear from you!  Please email, or leave a comment below.  

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