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.
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 itStephen 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.