Preston Tank Week

Preston Flag Market, January 21st 1918 The Mayor, Alderman Harry Cartmell addresses a crowd of over 20,000 during Preston Tank Week.  'Tank Week' in Preston was 21st to 28th January 1918 - The last week of WW1 The week was a war savings initiative using the tank Egbert to promote public investment in war loans.   One of the largest contributions received that week was 100,000 pounds from Blackburn born mill emperor William Birtwhistle.  The tank went on to Blackburn the following week where Birtwhistle donated a further 116,000 pounds to the effort. He made it quite clear he would not be outdone by Preston! In today's money that's well over 5 million pounds.  William Birtwhistle died in 1936 at Alston Hall, near Longridge

Preston Flag Market, January 21st 1918 The Mayor, Alderman Harry Cartmell addresses a crowd of over 20,000 during Preston Tank Week. 'Tank Week' in Preston was 21st to 28th January 1918 - The last week of WW1 The week was a war savings initiative using the tank Egbert to promote public investment in war loans. One of the largest contributions received that week was 100,000 pounds from Blackburn born mill emperor William Birtwhistle. The tank went on to Blackburn the following week where Birtwhistle donated a further 116,000 pounds to the effort. He made it quite clear he would not be outdone by Preston! In today's money that's well over 5 million pounds. William Birtwhistle died in 1936 at Alston Hall, near Longridge

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The Mayor, Alderman Harry Cartmell addressed a crowd of over 20,000 during Preston Tank Week.

The event was staged from January 21 to 28 1918 - the last week of the First World War - as a savings initiative.

The tank, nicknamed Egbert, was used to promote public investment in war loans.

One of the largest contributions received that week was £100,000 from Blackbur- born mill baron William Birtwhistle.

The tank went on to Blackburn the following week where Birtwhistle donated a further £116,000 to the effort. He made it quite clear he would not be outdone by Preston!

In today’s money that’s well over £5m.

The Lancashire Evening Post of the time reported: “Egbert, the battle-scarred, has arrived and taken up his temporary abode on the historic Market Square of Preston.

“He looks like some huge batrachian, or lizard of the primeval slime - the descendant of the monsters who millions of years ago, in the red sandstone age, roamed the dismal swamp on the solidified remains of which Preston is now super-imposed.

“Only as a type he has got a shorter name than these ‘dragons of the prime’. ‘Tank’ is a much better and more manageable word than ‘plesiosaurus’ in these busy days. The specimen now reposing in the Market Square has been christened Egbert. Why, no-one exactly knows.

“At 8.30 this morning all the juvenile population at least was out to witness Egbert’s progress from the goods station at Christian Road to the Market Square.

“It was noted that he had been somewhat damaged in the wars. He had a great hole rent in his chest, and his carapace in other places was punctured, while all over he seemed to have been considerably battered and scarified.

“He was scribbled all over with the names of people seeking a cheap immortality. He looked murderous and effective with the Hotchkiss guns sticking out from his side.”