Mandela Way T-34 Tank

T-34 Tank at Mandela Way. Photo by David Edgar.

T-34 Tank at Mandela Way. Photo by David Edgar.

One of the strangest things you can go see in London is a Soviet T-34-85 tank which was placed on a plot of land next to Mandela Way and¬†Pages Walk. It apparently was placed here by a developer who was annoyed with Southwark Council for not granting him planning permission to build here. They did grant him permission to put a tank here, although it’s not certain if they knew tank meant T-34 rather than septic tank! The turret is turned towards the council offices.

The tank used to be part of the Czech Army and is owned by Richard Gray who’s a property developer who thought it would make a good treat for his then seven year old son. It appeared in 1995 the film Richard III, the same year it was bought by Richard for ¬£7000 from a Kent military salvage dealer. Gray lives nearby and seems to pick losing battles often, he lost quarter of a million by taking his son’s expensive private school to court for expelling him.

The tank gets regular repainting by different artists, both officially and unofficially, and it’s worthwhile going to check it out every so often as it will have a new lick of paint. It’s been painted to look like a taxi cab in the past, and also painted bright pink. The tank made its way into a book called Derelict London.