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Plans for museum to house iconic Second World War vehicle in Crowland submitted





Plans for a museum to house an iconic Second World War vehicle and other memorabilia have been submitted.

The Crowland Buffalo landing craft – which had been buried 9m underground for more than 70 years after attempting to tackle the town’s floods of 1947 – was unearthed in 2021 by volunteers.

A labour of love saw a restoration project return the amphibious vehicle – used by the British, US and Canadian armies during World War Two – to its former glory.

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

Now it is hoped the Buffalo can go on display to the public at Kennulphs Farm in Crowland.

Farmer Daniel Abbott, who spearheaded the project to exhume the amphibious vehicle, described the plans being submitted as a positive step forward.

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“It’s been a long-winded operation, shall we say, but I hope everyone comes together and supports the project,” he said.

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

“The Buffalo is just the tree trunk of the operation and now we have to explore every branch and connect it all together so the public can enjoy the history that we can offer.

The proposed Wright’s Drove museum would be on a 5,625m² site and also exhibit agricultural machinery and artefacts, as well as information about the Crowland flood.

Mr Abbott is hoping for some positive news in a year with many historic connotations.

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

He added: “Next year is the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and also it’s the 80th anniversary of the Buffalo coming out of the factory in Florida.

“We’re at the early stages at the moment but hopefully it can continue and we get the support for it.”

The design and access statement, submitted to South Holland District Council by agent Arc Survey Design Consultants on behalf of applicant Mrs J. Heys, outlined how the Buffalo found itself buried in south Lincolnshire.

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

“The amphibious vehicle was one of 16 deployed to protect the town in March 1947 after floods caused the nearby River Welland to burst its banks,” it read.

“The Buffalo LVT was brought in to provide flood defences around Crowland but as the flood waters were pumped back, five of the 26ft-long machines floated away.

“One was later recovered, two sank in fishing pits and two sank into a hole.”

Miss Lincolnshire Paige Allen rides the Crowland Buffalo replica at the Spalding Flower Parade
Miss Lincolnshire Paige Allen rides the Crowland Buffalo replica at the Spalding Flower Parade

The statement added that initially the museum would be opened on an appointment-only basis.

It added: “To start with, the museum will only be visitable by appointment, on pre-arranged visits and visiting times will be limited to possibly one day per week.

“It is envisaged to organise weekly visits for school children, once a week.

“However, this application does not seek to limit operating hours, as the facilities have the potential to be visitable by more people, more often, as the Museum becomes known.”

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.

Do you support the museum plans? Post your thoughts in the comments below



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