How To Build Up Your Own Armed Forces In London
Looking to put together a rag-tag militia, overthrow the Government and set up your own junta? Seeking defensive measures to repel
water cannon attack? Then you'll need to get your hands on some serious military kit. Here's how to piece together your own army, navy and air force from leftover weaponry you'll find lying around London*.
Torrens Street behind Angel tube station holds this 17-tonne surprise. The Abbot gun tank is a promotional vehicle for Tanks-A-Lot, who hire out military vehicles to stag dos, corporates and would-be military dictators. Actually, probably not the last one.
'Stompie' theSoviet T34 tank can be found at the southern end of Page's Walk in Borough. Its gun is supposedly aimed at Southwark Council. The story goes that the local landowner failed to get planning permission for a new development. In retaliation, he applied for new permission, this time to install a 'tank'. The council assumed he meant some kind of water tank and approved the plans. To everyone's surprise, this oft-repainted military tank appeared instead. Sounds a bit fishy to us, but a good story nonetheless.
This MarkIV tank from the First World War is currently mounted on top of Vanguard Self Storage on Western Avenue. It's nicknamed Edwin after the owner's uncle, who died in one of the battles in which the tank was used. If you're looking to capture it for your nascent armed forces, you'll have to hire a bloody big crane to get it down.
This armoured vehicle can also be found at Vanguard. It lacks a gun, though, so not much use.
Yet more military kit lurking in the warehouse at Vanguard. If you're going to acquire this Lightening for your nascent air force, it'll need some work. Actually, it's mostly just a cockpit...but you've got to start somewhere.
We found this little tankster lurking in the back streets of Spitalfields. Cute, but utterly ineffective for a would-be Warlord or Warlady.
Tolworth in the Borough of Kingston harbours its own Harrier Jumpjet, pictured here in Bing Maps. It's located at the 1034 (Surbiton) Squadron Air Cadets base.
Start your own navy by hijacking the famous HMS Belfast, permanently moored near London Bridge. It comes complete with its own waxwork crew, including this Michael McIntyre lookalike, manning the washroom.
Of course, you might also plunder the armouries of many London museums, including the
Imperial War Museum (Lambeth, reopens in July), RAF Museum (Colindale), National Army Museum (Chelsea) and Firepower Royal Artillery Museum (Woolwich, sadly closing soon).
*Disclaimer: nabbing armoured vehicles, engaging in a violent putsch and assembling a military dictatorship would probably count as borderline illegal. Londonist does not condone such behaviour.
All images by M@, except the Limehouse tanks, by Sharon Langridge under Creative Commons licence.
Last Updated 26 June 2014