Museum Visits – Lamanva Military Vehicle Museum, Cornwall July 1988

Lamanva Military Vehicle Museum, Lamanva, 3 miles from Falmouth Cornwall

Visited July 1988

The museum was created by the late Charlie Mann, I think in the late 1970′s. Charlie was a real character who I first met on the MVCG – as the MVT was first known as – commemorative tour of military vehicles to Normandy in June 1974, for the 30th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. Charlie had amazed us all with his US Half Track and Bedford QL Trooper with army unit badges showing the map of Cornwall. He was also  the military vehicle advisor to the film A Bridge Too Far, made in 1977 telling the story of the Arnhem landings. Following the film, many of the props used were bought by Charlie and used in his museum. For example, look at the replica Horsa glider fuselage, which visitors can walk through, and also the flat bottom boats that Robert Redford rowed across the Rhine River in the film.

We visited the museum in July 1988 while on holiday in Cornwall and took the photos you see below. Have a close look at the ‘German’ trucks ! These were provided by Charlie for the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Harrison Ford. I seem to remember they were actually based on US GMC CCKW 353 6×6 Trucks !

Sadly Charlie died in I think the late 1980′s and the collection was split up, so there’s no chance to visit the museum. Some say part of the collection was bought by Flambards Experience also in Cornwall. I noticed however that the Scottish Military Vehicle Group list their Dodge WC-51 Weapons Carrier as being ex-Lamanva, so there may be other vehicles from the collection out there somewhere.  I wonder what became of the Horsa glider section ?

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