Fylde Tank Week February 1918



A hundred years ago on Feb 18, towards the end of WW1, the time-honoured tank, ‘Julian’, was paraded down Talbot Rd from the railway goods yard on New Rd, to its position in Talbot Square. The occasion marked the beginning of ’Fylde Tank Week’, in which the boast was to raise £1m for the war effort from the towns and villages of the Fylde. Julian’s fame and fortune had preceded it, having already been responsible for the collection of £30m to date from all the places it had been stationed. It had been waiting for a week in the goods yard since delivery, having been transported down from Dundee where it had previously been sited after its stint in Aberdeen.

The purpose of distributing these, new, safe and exciting war machines around the country, was to invite people and institutions, citizens of a war weary nation, to buy their war bonds and certificates when visiting them, and hence they were described as ‘tank banks’. The event was part of a nationwide effort to acquire funds for the continuing War effort. Tanks, costing £5,000 each, would be the great mechanical saviours of the War, keeping men safe while rolling over enemy obstacles without effort, and bringing an early end to the War.

But if it wasn’t for the insistence of Councillor Albert Lyndsay Parkinson, mayor of the largest town in the Fylde, Blackpool, there would not have been a tank bank in the Fylde at all. The Controller of War Savings had thought that the Fylde was too insignificant a place to have a tank of its own, and those who wanted to buy war bonds would have to travel to Egbert the tank at Preston, the nearest town to be provided with one.

It was a time when Blackpool was still a prosperous town, and innovation was easily achieved by forward thinking and the reinvestment of profits with the same entrepreneurial spirit that had created the profits. So things had to be done the Blackpool way. Mayor Parkinson, the required entrepreneur and motivator of the event, had already achieved success less than a decade earlier in establishing the first ever air show in Britain at Squires Gate. As the managing director of the international construction firm, Messrs J Parkinson and Co., which began modestly as a joinery business in the shed of his father’s house, and grew to represent £2m of Government War work on the books, he boasted with pride for the town he represented, that £1m could be easily be collected by the Fylde towns, and the fact that (he reminded the Controller of War Savings) Blackpool had contributed £1.5m to the last War (Boer War).

The success of the recent, civic trip down to London for just this purpose, was realised on the 21st January, when the town clerk Mr D L Harbottle had received confirmation from the Controller of the National War Savings Committee that Blackpool would be furbished with the tank Julian, which had achieved such success in London, and would be touring the North. Preparations in Blackpool had begun immediately from that date.

Like any of the towns or cities which the tanks would visit, Blackpool was expected to give the event the best of publicity, and to make the arrangements with banks and stockbrokers (who would receive a commission) for the expected deposit of funds. The costs of booths and advertising would be absorbed by the War Savings Committee. A week before the projected date, Mr G R Masheder, the Committee’s representative would visit to arrange for the siting of the tank and the nature of the opening ceremony, and any other, relevant detail. Staff would be provided by the Post Office and the Bank of England, so all the town had to do was concentrate upon the publicity.

Promotion and showmanship had never been a problem for Blackpool. Indeed, its reputation and its success had thrived on it. It was its very lifeblood. It provided good profits and wealth for those who had money to put into it and wages and subsistence for those who hadn’t. But in this War, the town wasn’t just a Funland, where easy money could be made while ignoring the fighting which was taking place in faraway places. With up to 20,000 soldiers in the town for training, including 10,000 RAMC, after many medical units had been moved up from Aldershot, Blackpool and the Fylde were no stranger to the military. From late 1915, Blackpool was also home to some 2,500 and more rank and file injured servicemen who were at the Kings Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital at Squires Gate and adding to that total were the injured officers who were placed in the hotels of the Fylde Coast.

The War-weary populations of any town, city or village were now probably willing, without a feeling of undue obligation to donate, sometimes from their meagre incomes, and sometimes from their increased incomes if involved in munitions work, in a final effort to end the War. The Americans, for which Blackpool was their first home, and whose servicemen were now billeted in the town, had declared War on the side of the Allies nearly nine months ago, but had only been deployed in the field for a few months since, and they had now given fresh hope with men and munitions streaming into France. Perhaps with one last, collective push, the war could be finally over, and normal lives could resume.

The tank week would consist of the opening ceremony, when the tank would arrive in a highly decorated Talbot Square, festooned with banners and bunting, and even a little bit of illumination. Speakers would orate and encourage the patriotic fervour daily from the top of the tank. Music, as was the custom in Blackpool events, would be provided by both the RAMC band and the band of the Kings Lancashire Military Hospital at specified times throughout each day. The tank, guarded day and night by the Volunteers, proved a great interest to the American officers billeted in the town. Medal ceremonies as a feature of the week, and usually held on the beach, would also be arranged to take place from the top of the tank.

On the Monday, the opening ceremony started at 10.30am when the mayor and entourage left the Town Hall in Talbot Square and proceeded to the railway goods yard, to meet up with the tank. Julian the tank then trundled from the railway sidings on New Road (now renamed Talbot Rd. as an extension eastwards of it), onto Talbot Rd itself, and then turned into Abingdon Street and Church Street and, after turning onto the Promenade, then reached Talbot Square by the Town Hall. Julian was given a royal welcome. It was an exhibitionist affair. The£1m had to be reached. The streets were lined with troops and civilian crowds overflowing to the curbs of the footpaths, and an equally excited crowd met it when it entered the Square. Though engaged for the first time at Cambrai in 1916, a tank was still a curious phenomenon, unseen in the ‘flesh’ by most civilians. It would have been a first viewing for most of the excited onlookers. But, at first, the crowds were silent in awe at watching, the noisy, dirty and cumbersome machine lumber its way forward. It could be excused for all its awkwardness and ugliness though, because it was nevertheless going to win the war, and when the crowd was able to cheer, it cheered loudly and wholeheartedly and with great patriotic fervour and belief.

The procession was headed by Chief Constable Pringle on a white mare, leading a contingent of mounted police. Behind him was a detachment of RAMC, generously represented in the town as their training headquarters, and their popular and well known band played within the ranks. Then came the Blackpool and district Motor Volunteer Corps on foot, led by Lt. Prestwich and, after them, the representatives of Blackpool’s ‘D’ Company of the 13th LVR, daily guardians of the tank, followed by a group of special constables.

Immediately behind these came Julian under armed escort and, behind Julian, the man responsible for bringing the tank here, Mayor Alderman Parkinson, perhaps with the short straw as he took the full blast of the petrol exhausts as he proudly walked forward. Accompanying him were the Town Clerk, Mr D L Harbottle and the Rev Little of St John’s, along with the civic the heads of the Fylde districts. Then came representatives of the military. General Sir Pitcairn-Campbell, Chief of the Wester Command, and staff, and representatives of the Military Hospital at Squires Gate, Surgeon General Sutton and Major Archibald Stoddart Walker, poet and physician who, along with Col Netterville-Barron, commander of the Hospital, were able to observe the human destruction of war, and who would intimate or directly berate the lack of Government desire to look after the injured men and widows after the War, with a fair distribution of pension payments. And behind them the procession extended further with a collection of ex aldermen and council officials from all the Fylde districts.

As Julian arrived in the Square from the Promenade, to the background of North Pier and open-top tramcars, it demonstrated its capabilities by driving over an obstacle of sandbags and tangled wire, constructed there for that purpose. Its nose rose in the air at the peak of its manoeuvre and then dropped, flagged forward by an officer. Two drivers could be seen through the open portholes at the front, like the eyes of a monster giving its victim no chance. Julian then reversed up to the water fountain (now no longer there) to take up its demarcated position for the week and, as it came to a halt, the six crew members alighted and the large crowd engulfed it, to the tune of the RAMC band playing the National Anthem. It would remain here for the week and, for the convenience of those who, throughout the week, would speak from the tank top, or climb up to receive their medal awards, a set of wooden steps was later positioned next to it.


There is coverage of this event by British Pathe news in the link below. The footage is described as being in ‘a Northern town’ and the evidence suggests Blackpool.


On Feb 25th 1918, the Cambridge Picture House on Mill Road in the town included, in its drama film shows, with their accompanying orchestral music, Pathe Gazette news items, ’as up to date as usual’, one of which newsreels was of ‘the famous Julian tank at Blackpool.’

From now on, the race was on to achieve the target, and the friendly rivalry between the various district Councils began. Fleetwood, the only town of the Fylde that could claim any industry of note, at first didn’t want to take part. However, knowing that Blackpool would always collect the highest amount because of its size, it always hoped for a good second place, and ultimately it didn’t disappoint. Kirkham’s funding was irregular since, with a proximity to Preston, the townsfolk had already contributed to Egbert, the tank at Preston.

Once Julian had been settled in its position in Talbot Square, it was time for the speeches. The Mayor, having climbed the wooden stairs placed next to it to reach the top of the tank, was the first to speak, and he praised the idea of the tank bank. Julian, in its tour of the country had already raised over £30m in the various towns and cities in which it had been placed. Last year Blackpool had raised £1,666.000 for the War Loan, and he hoped for a similar amount this time. Where the ‘boys’ in the trenches were spending their lives, he urged the gathered company to spend their cash to acquire a War Bond which, at 4-6% return was a good investment. He then invested £100,000 on behalf of the Council and £10,000 from his own building company (Messrs J Parkinson and Co.). John Bickerstaffe then put in £25,000 on behalf of the Blackpool Tower Company of which he was a director, and then £2,000 from his own pocket, and there were other investments of £20,000, (Halifax Building Society), £10,000 (Winter Gardens) and £5,000 (Mr W Bradley, of Mythop Hall, farmer, JP and member of the Fylde Board of Guardians). Investment of certificates, at the lower price range, at the North Pier Arcade was brisk where the Postmaster, Mr Worthington, and staff, were busy with many customers. One of the first investors at the Tank was four year old John Tetlow of Westcliff Drive, Layton.

Not only was Julian the tank stationed in Talbot Square for a week, but a tramcar named Albert, was taken along the coast, dressed up to represent the tank. This tramcar was affectionately called ‘Albert’ after the popular Mayor. His birth name being Albert Lyndsay, he was known as ‘Alby’ when he was a winger for Blackpool South Shore football team – (and good enough to be wanted by Aston Villa and others, to sign professional forms, but advised away from it by his mother.) This model tank caused a great deal of interest as expected, and was inspected by General Sir William Pitcairn Campbell, General Officer Commanding Western Command, and Surgeon General Sutton of the Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital, Squires Gate. They were accompanied by their respective staffs. Draw tickets for War Bonds were sold from the tank.

Good natured competition was already evident between St Annes and Fleetwood from the speeches at the top of the tank, and this produced a wave of laughter through the crowd. Blackpool would be the first, but who would collect the second highest amount? There were speeches by the various civic heads and the vicar of St John’s Church in Blackpool, the Rev Little. It was a day of heavy rain, but the rain did not deter the schoolchildren attending on their half day off from school. To the tune of the military band playing, and all day speeches, the school children of the town were taken to the tank to have their certificates stamped. Palatine contributed £1,000, Revoe £400, Christ Church £320, Claremont £170 and Ashburton Rd £62. Though Devonshire Rd School was present, no figures have been printed for some reason.

Fleetwood with an independent air had, with the agreement of the Local Controller of War Bonds, constructed its own model tank to tour the inland Fylde towns and villages. Its construction was the work of a Mr Clarke and the painting and camouflaging by Messrs Preston and sons. Posters and handbills were spread about the town to give the event as much publicity as possible. Fleetwood was proud of its status as the ‘commercial capital’ of the Fylde and wanted to live up to its name.

As with the introduction of Julian in Blackpool there was a host of dignitaries, military, naval and civilian, to launch the Fleetwood ‘tank bank’ in South London Street of the town. Councillor Atkinson, leader of the Council, introduced Mayor Parkinson of Blackpool. With both praise and exhortation, he hoped that Fleetwood could collect £160,000. The town had already raised £750,000 in bonds to date as well as providing 4,000 men for the fighting. Mayor Parkinson sought the approbation of the Fleetwood crowd by reminiscing of his enjoyable days playing football in the town, and mentioned a few personal names. Dr Houghton, head of Rossall School, Mr Leigh of St Annes and Rev Bailey of the Fleetwood War Savings Committee also made speeches.

When the speeches were over, it was time for the gathered crowd to invest their money. The first person to attend the ‘tank’ was Audrey Walker who invested the £5.00 sent by the War Office as wages for her brother who had been listed as missing at the Front for quite some time.

The following day, Tuesday, Fleetwood made more money than Blackpool, £55,415 as opposed to £32.045, and they were well pleased – the 15s 6d (77½p) certificates proved to be most popular, but the largest contribution was £300 from the Chaucer Rd school.

Tuesday was also made a day of celebration for the presentation of war medals at Blackpool. Presenting the medals was General Sir Pitcairn Campbell, veteran soldier, with his staff, in the company of Surgeon General Sutton and staff, and the tirelessly ubiquitous and loquacious Rev Little, vicar of St John’s.

The British Pathe news reel consists of the following;-


In the middle background can be seen the ranks of convalescent soldiers, identified by their white shirts. The ties would be red and the suit beneath the khaki overcoats, suitable for the cold February day, would be blue. An ill-fitting blue, since there was no bespoke tailoring for the rank and file. You got what you were given. They are standing, so they must be reasonably fit, and very probably reaching the end of their 6 weeks convalescence which was the projected time period for keeping a man in convalescence before he should be fit enough to go back to his regiment. They would have marched there from the King’s Lancashire Military Hospital at Squires Gate, a few miles away to the south. Any convalescing officer would probably have less far to walk from one of the more plush hotels commandeered by the military during the War. Those on top of the tank included Sir William Pitcairn Campbell presenting the medals, Surgeon General Sutton, the Mayor Albert Parkinson, town clerk Mr D L Harbottle, and the Rev Little of St John’s.

Most of the men who received medals that day were RAMC. Those that belonged to other regiments, and who would be the men in the film mounting the tank, since none appear to be RAMC, are; Private T Kitley, 15th Batt Hampshire; Corporal A Rawlings RE; Corporal A Robinson KOYLI; Bdr W Wood RFA; Dr F Green RFA; Dr F Gibey RFA; Gunner Ashton RFA; Gunner K Dent RFA; and Private J Bloomfield DII. In his speech, the General regretted that three DCM’s could not be presented because the men were not fit enough to attend. A man in a wheelchair is evident in the foreground, fit enough, no doubt, only because he could be pushed there.

On Wednesday, the mobile Fleetwood ‘tank’ toured the districts of Over Wyre which included Hambleton, Stalmine, Preesall, Pilling and Knott End. It was an early morning start, the first halt being at Stakepool, where the children of the Catholic school made the first purchases of the day. The rain fell heavily but no spirits were dampened. At Pilling, where business was very brisk, the chairman of the Parish Council, Mr Corless at first put in £25 on behalf of the parish. There were speeches at each stop, and the vicar, Rev T Pearson appealed to the parishioners to do their bit by investing. Preesall was next where the village had invested £1,000, the total then amounting to £2,800. There were many calls off the beaten track to houses in quiet country lanes where the residents kept their invested amounts secret for some reticent reason. Stalmine and then Hambleton were next, where there was a steady flow of investors who raised £4,000. It was hoped that the Saturday total would be near to £10,000.

Later in in the morning of Wednesday, offices were opened in both St Annes and Lytham. The mayor and town clerk of Blackpool and entourage proceeded to St Annes on the tram ‘tank’ Albert. St Annes shops, offices and schools were closed for the ceremony, which took place in Ashton gardens after a procession from the Town Hall. The procession was serenaded by the band of the Military Hospital, and included the civic heads of many of the districts that made up the Fylde. The subscriptions were opened with an investment of £5,650 and three cheques for £1,000 each from St Annes Urban Council, and a later contribution of £5,000 from the Halifax Building Society.

By Friday, there were two days to go. Investments had been steady and the amount invested growing, but the achievement of the £1m could not be left to luck. Mayor Parkinson took out a full page spread in the local press appealing to the patriotism of the townsfolk, ‘Blackpool Must Take Her Full Responsibility’. Money was essential at this sensitive stage of the War in the drive for victory.

Gaztte News Friday 22/2/1918

The caption reads;-

‘The Mayor as the Showman; ‘Walk up, walk up, ladies and gentlemen and see the greatest living wonder that has ever visited the Fylde, ‘Julian,’ the great Tankbank in his wonderful act of chewing the quids. ‘Julian’ has already swallowed millions in Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland, but the Blackpool air has given him a bigger appetite than ever and Blackpool never starved a visitor yet. Walk up and be in time!’ ’

The RAMC training battalions of which there were 8 (of a thousand men each, and based at Squires Gate, sometimes living under canvas at Squires Gate or Weeton, and sometimes billeted in the town), continued a friendly rivalry during the week as to which battalion would come in first place for the amount invested. No doubt some men sacrificed their beer and entertainment and the occasionally available female, (or sometimes not, since ‘disorderly houses ’ were occasionally staked out and raided). The honour of the highest amount raised went to the 5th Training Battalion in raising £785.

The activity at Talbot Square continued with speeches made at the tank by Mr J Worden, and his son, Harold Worden (solicitor of Birley Street, Conservative member for Brunswick Ward, and to be Lyndsay Parkinson’s agent during his successful Blackpool Parliamentary campaign the following year.

Saturday, the day of reckoning, started fine and continued to be so. Enthusiasm was high for the realisation of the £1m but, by the end of the day it was getting a little nervy since £259,945 still needed to be raised. Councillor Parkinson’s claim at the War Loans Department in London on his visit, that Blackpool and its Fylde neighbours could raise as much as their larger neighbours, and should qualify for a tank bank of their own rather than using the one scheduled for Preston, was beginning to look under threat. He contacted many of his business associates who all promised to fill up the shortfall if that would be necessary.

The day started early in the Square and business was brisk, both the RAMC band and the Convalescent Hospital band played to the enthusiastic crowds which ebbed and flowed in numbers all day. Later on, at 1pm, two aeroplanes arrived overhead and entertained the crowds by their skillful flying in the strong winds. Rev Little had been busy in and around the towns in encouraging the townsfolk to invest, and today he claimed that he wouldn’t be able to preach his sermon the following day of Sunday because his voice was becoming so hoarse. But the investments kept coming in; £5,000 more from an un-named alderman. Councillor Bean, creator of the Pleasure Beach put in £2,000 personally and another £5,000 on behalf of his company. There were investments of £2,000 and £3,000 and five of £1,000 each and, by the end of the day, the tank on Talbot Rd had collected £127,045.

More monies came in from individuals and groups. Peter Yates, a friend of Mayor Parkinson travelled ‘all the way to Blackpool’ to invest his £10,000, interest free, for the extent of the War. A Riley invested (£1,000), G. Shotter (£550) and Harold Worden, a further £1,000. J Fielding and Sons, local builders, invested a further £5,000, making £10,000 in all. The Clifton Hotel contributed £2,000 and a similar amount was deposited by the Railway Hotel. The Imperial Hydro, a luxury haven for the officers of the military, added another £5,000 and the Norbreck Hydro £2,000. All the hotels made money during the War, though wanted the military out of the way quickly after the armistice since better rates could be achieved from visitors. The Licensed Victuallers’ Association chipped in with £500. C&S Brewery stumped up £10,000 and John Magee (of the brewery company, a JP in Blackpool, and a quiet benefactor who would eventually buy and grant as a gift, the two lions which now stand by the steps in Stanley Park) £5,000. The Blackpool special police £4,700 and Mr Ambrose Shepherd (landowner at Out Rawcliffe and an address in the somewhat exclusivity of Raikes Rd Blackpool), £3,000. Mr JP Dixon of Marton Mount, of philanthropic tendencies, and member of the finance committee of the Military Hospital. He would give free Xmas meals to the convalescents after the armistice, £2,000. Elementary schoolchildren had created bonds to a value of £6,855 12s 6d (12s 6d = 65p) and the secondary school students, £4,258. Arnold House added another £2,735. In a simple, patriotic gesture, an un-named man and his sister from Freckleton brought in a bag which, when opened, contained £600 in coins which they had been collecting.

And there was a medal presentation that afternoon. The Military Medal was presented to Sergeant S Egan, RFA, of Swainson Street (a street once in the town centre but absorbed into the new development of the town). The RFA were familiar to the Fylde, based and training in St Annes, and a regular feature on the roads and in the fields with their horse-drawn field guns. Sergeant Egan had been injured in action when, in holding his field gun position against heavy and accurate shelling which killed several of his gun crew and blew the gun out of its standing, he was eventually blown out himself and ended up in a crater where he lay for two hours, no doubt to be pulled out by the RAMC stretcher bearers, largely trained in Blackpool, who continued their work in such conditions, day and night, without being armed themselves, saving countless lives. Sergeant Egan had already been injured on the Somme, and earlier at Loos. He had had an arm amputated, and would no doubt at one time have been convalescing and rehabilitating at the renowned Military Hospital at Squires Gate. The mayor presented him with the medal. The loudest cheers from the crowd were for those who had been injured. The injured men were celebrities for a moment but, like the few moments that a war widow would be a celebrity, in appreciation of her loss, there was more often than not a barren and financially restricted future ahead of them in which they would too soon be forgotten. It was ephemeral celebrity status, and at such a terrible cost.

The investments kept coming in. The excitement of those wanting to achieve the £1m was growing. The end was in site, but could the dream be reached? Pearl Assurance Co. came in with £10,000 and Councillor Potter £1,000, Jenkinson’s Ltd., £1,000, a Miss Kettlewell £1,000 and the executors of R Banks £1,000 and those of Sir George Pragnell, London resident, businessman and much involved in Red Cross work, £5,200 and Lady Pragnell herself £5,000, and Blackpool Special Police, £3,000. That afternoon, Mr Caulkeld honorary treasurer of Victoria Hospital received a check for £1,000 from a Mrs E Lees of Middleton Junction, to be invested in War Bonds to endow a cot to be named ‘John William and Emma Lees bed’ in memory of the many good times and benefits Mr and Mrs Lees had received from visiting Blackpool. By 4pm the total had reached £900,000.

In the last two days the Fylde district had collected; £433,043. Fleetwood, which proudly claimed to be the most patriotic town in the land in terms of the numbers of men sent into the Forces per size of population, had collected £175,653 and hoped to reach £200,000 in total. Speeches of encouragement and exhortation continued to flow from the speakers at the ‘tank’ positioned in London Street. St Annes had stumped £66,862; Lytham £40,903; Thornton £12,794; Poulton £8,843 and Kirkham, with unfinished accounts, £1,100.

By 2pm at Fleetwood’s London Street, ‘tank,’ investments had reached £200,000 and with further investments including one of £10,000 from the Prudential Insurance Co, it was expected to reach about £230,000. Trawler owners Messrs Taylor and Tomlinson stumped up £15,000 and Walter Olney, steam trawler owner of Thornton, and with a business in Grimsby, £7,500. (On the death of Walter some years later, his wife, as managing director of Reliance Trawlers was believed to be the only female trawler owner in the world at the time). Eventually £250,000 was achieved. It was a proud moment for the town and the delight was celebrated loudly in the streets and the National Anthem could be heard echoing through the town.

By 7pm it was known in Blackpool that the £1m had not only been reached but surpassed. But the investments kept coming in. The War had to be stopped. There was a patriotic fervour, though unknown to the patriots who were investing their money, the population of the major antagonist of the Kaiser’s Germany, was a demoralised, starving nation of people who were as war weary as they were. The banks, and the tank office on North Pier had at times been overwhelmed, but the staff worked hard and with great speed and efficiency. They didn’t close till 8pm when the final amount was reckoned up quickly and, when this amount was announced, Talbot Square became a scene of great entertainment and enjoyment. The good intentions of Councillor Parkinson’s business friends did not need to be realised. His claim for Blackpool and the Fylde had been justified. The Fylde was not ‘the little, insignificant district’ that those in London, perhaps innocently, considered it to be. The amount collected had reached £1,104,394 and the total collected for the day was £364,276.


Blackpool and the Fylde had surpassed Egbert the tank at Preston and Blackburn, Preston realising £1,069,611 and Blackburn £1,102,290, and even Cardiff which had reached £1,020,000. Blackpool was a rich town but the only industry in the Fylde apart from tourism, was in Fleetwood with its population of +15,000.

In its £250,000, Fleetwood itself had exceeded by nearly £100,000 the original amount aimed for. In its war effort, it had provided personnel for services and munitions, money and trawlers in generous amounts. But the tanks weren’t the only means of soliciting for War funding via the distribution of redeemable bonds. Fleetwood itself, along with other Lancashire towns, entertained the ‘aeroplane bank’ later in the year, and stationed once more on South London St. In the capital London, homing pigeons were to be used from a military pigeon post in Trafalgar Square. Here, on receipt of an application for a bond, a soldier would visit the address of the prospective depositor with a bird from one of the several baskets, and attach the written application or cheque to the pigeon’s leg, and the pigeon would return to Trafalgar Square. This was in March of the same year and, while this was underway, Julian the tank, having left Blackpool, was scheduled to tour the East End of the capital to continue its record breaking performance.

Julian had come down from Dundee to Blackpool, and, having been in London’s East End, it then toured the Midlands and S Wales before returning to Glasgow. In Wales there were two tanks called Julian. There was the real thing and a mobile replica, the ’Junior Julian’ which could tour the more inaccessible places up the valleys, a bit like the Fleetwood one. Perhaps the success of the Fylde’s innovative replicas had inspired the authorities in S Wales to do something similar. There were two tanks that toured the North of England, Nelson and Egbert. Egbert was in the Lancashire towns including Preston and Blackburn. It seems that Councillor Parkinson had found a slot in Julian’s activities between Scotland and London to bring it to Blackpool, or perhaps he had convinced the War Savings Committee to find a slot that could be exploited. Such is the power of persuasion of the confident and determined.

Julian at Aberdeen before moving on to Dundee and then Blackpool. These three pictures of the tank are from the Aberdeen Weekly Journal Feb 1st 1918. (Aberdeen reached over £2.5 million).






Lancashire Daily Post of the relevant days (Feb 12-18 1918)  British Newspapers accessed via Findmypast.

Aberdeen News January 1918

Gazette News via microfiche at Blackpool Central Library.

My own Blackpool WW1 research @ cmronline.co.uk

Family History Research of Mrs J Scott for some personal detail.