Determination of terminally ill lady sees ‘Alicia’s Steps’ installed at Norfolk Tank Museum

MDEP-14-09-2016-036 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps Stephen MacHaye (Right) ANL-160914-203838005
MDEP-14-09-2016-036 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps Stephen MacHaye (Right) ANL-160914-203838005

The determination of a terminally-ill woman has ensured young and old will get to experience some of the battle vehicles on offer at the Norfolk Tank Museum.

Alicia Elliott, 77, from North Walsham, was on hand on Friday to officially unveil Alicia’s Steps, which give visitors to the museum in Forncett St Peter close access to the Chieftain and Centurion main battle tanks.

MDEP-14-09-2016-034 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps Stephen MacHaye (Right) ANL-160914-203731005

MDEP-14-09-2016-034 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps Stephen MacHaye (Right) ANL-160914-203731005

Suffering from inoperable cancer, the new addition follows months of hard work and fund-raising and will remain as one of her legacies.

The steps carry the inscription: ‘In memory of a beautiful and kind lady who never gave up her own battle, Love and Laughter XXX. Forever in our Hearts.’

Stephen MacHaye, chairman of the museum, explained the idea came from her visit to the attraction earlier this year.

“Alicia visited the museum in February, 2016, to begin her ‘bucket list’, top of which was a lifelong ambition to ride in a tank,” he said. “She did so with aplomb, but she discovered that getting into the vehicle was not a simple task, particularly for those with physical impairments.

We were all so moved by her enthusiasm and determination to fulfil her dream of getting in the tank and actually driving it

Stephen MacHaye, chairman, Norfolk Tank Museum

“We were all so moved by her enthusiasm and determination to fulfil her dream of getting in the tank and actually driving it.

“With the physical assistance of three of our staff we ensured she got her wish.

“On that day Alicia realised the benefits of access to these incredible machines for everyone, but particularly for former servicemen and women, for whom revisiting the vehicles they have previously operated in can be part of a healing process, such as in post-traumatic stress cases.”

Also engraved on the steps is a ‘Love butterfly’, will be there for people to touch, to remember someone they have lost.

MDEP-14-09-2016-033 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps Stephen MacHaye (Left) ANL-160914-203647005

MDEP-14-09-2016-033 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps Stephen MacHaye (Left) ANL-160914-203647005

MDEP-14-09-2016-038 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps ANL-160914-203946005

MDEP-14-09-2016-038 Norfolk Tank Museum Alicia's Steps ANL-160914-203946005