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Plans for museum to house Second World War Buffalo landing vehicle and celebrate wartime and agricultural history in Crowland are approved





A group’s hopes of creating a museum to house the iconic Crowland Buffalo – and celebrate the area’s wartime and agricultural history – have taken a significant step forwards.

This week South Holland District Council approved plans for the change of use of agricultural land and barns at Kennulphs Farm, Wrights Drove, Crowland.

And the proposals are already creating interest from as far afield as the United States.

The Buffalo had been buried for more than 70 years
The Buffalo had been buried for more than 70 years

“Now the hard work begins,” said farmer Daniel Abbott, chairman of the Crowland Buffalo Association and for whom finding and restoring the Second World War landing craft has been a labour of love.

The amphibious vehicle – used by the British, US and Canadian armies during wartime – was dispatched to the town to help assist with flooding in 1947, but was carried away by waters and sunk into the ground.

That was until 2021, when Mr Abbott led a team which unearthed the Buffalo after being buried for more than 70 years.

Daniel Abbott with the Crowland Buffalo after it was unearthed
Daniel Abbott with the Crowland Buffalo after it was unearthed

Now plans are moving ahead for a permanent home for the vehicle, which looks set to take pride of place at the museum, which will include a display wall, unisex toilets and office and a school room.

“It’s not just for the Buffalo,” history fanatic Daniel added.

“The Buffalo is the tree trunk but there will be many other branches.

A site map of the proposed museum from the Design and Access Statement
A site map of the proposed museum from the Design and Access Statement

“There’ll be loads about local history and agriculture. The whole museum will focus the World War Two era, going into up to the 1960s and 70s era when my grandfather was farming.”

The Buffalo has been a passion project for three generations of Daniel’s family.

It was his grandfather Norman Manser who encouraged Daniel to begin searching for the Buffalo, while his mum Julia Heys is among the museum’s driving forces.

Drawings of the proposed museum from the Design and Access Statement
Drawings of the proposed museum from the Design and Access Statement

“If it wasn’t for my grandfather we wouldn’t be in this situation we are today, because he pushed me to look for it and we went from there,” Daniel added.

“The Buffalo was a legend we proved to be true.”

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The Buffalo’s story has been sparking the imagination of military and vehicle fans from near an far, with Daniel being invited to visit a museum in France this summer to see how they have housed their landing craft.

Miss Lincolnshire Paige Allen rides the Crowland Buffalo replica
Miss Lincolnshire Paige Allen rides the Crowland Buffalo replica

There has also been interest from people in Florida, where the wartime vehicles were originally manufactured, as well as locally.

Over the past two years the Buffalo has proven popular, already being visited by celebrities Al Murray, Dan Snow and bringing cheer to veterans.

A replica of the vehicle also featured in this year’s Spalding Flower Parade, carrying then-Miss Lincolnshire Paige Allen.

The museum committee will meet next month to progress plans, while donations are still being sought to help back the project.

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“The funds are going towards the restoration and hoping to get the Buffalo in running order again, and of course build the museum for the buffalo,” Daniel added.

“The Buffalo will be far better in a museum building, then we can invite car clubs and the public round to have a look.”

Donations can be made by following the GoFundMe link at www.crowlandbuffalo.org.uk.

Plans submitted to SHDC included alterations to two barns and 10 car parking spaces and a disabled car parking space on site.



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