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Mandela Way T-34 Tank

The Mandela Way Tank in February 2016

The Mandela Way T-34 Tank, nicknamed Stompie or Stumpie, is a decommissioned Soviet-built T-34-85 battle tank, now permanently located on the corner of Mandela Way and Page's Walk in Bermondsey, London, England.[1][2] It is regularly repainted in a wide variety of colour schemes, often by graffiti artists.


The tank is a former Czech army tank that is said to have taken part in the suppression of the Prague Spring uprising in 1968.[1][2] Later, after decommissioning, it was used as a prop in the making of the 1995 film Richard III in London. On completion of the film, it was bought in 1995 by Russell Gray, who lives locally, for £7,000 as a present for his son. He had previously failed to secure planning permission from Southwark Council to redevelop a vacant plot of land that he owned; and so, in an act of humourous protest, he placed the tank on the site, with its gun turret turned towards the council offices, having allegedly successfully obtained permission for the installation of a "tank" there (assumed by council officials to mean a septic tank).[3][1][2]


The tank is regularly repainted, and its colour scheme changed, often by local graffiti artists. In 2002 it was painted pink by Cubitt Artists and Aleksandra Mir.[4] In April 2017 it was (temporarily) repainted by artist Charlotte Meldon to its authentic military olive drab.


Similar graffitied tanksEdit

There are also T-64 and T-72 tanks that have been graffitied in a hippie manner at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, Kiev, Ukraine.[citation needed]

The Monument to Soviet tank crews was a memorial located in Prague, Czech Republic, made up of an IS-2m tank on a pedestal. In 1991, the artist David Cerny painted the tank pink and hoisted a large middle finger over the turret in protest against the controversial monument. The monument was later removed and the tank is now displayed at Military Museum Lešany, painted pink.


  1. ^ a b c "Stompie: the Mandela Way T-34 Tank". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hoare, Martin (Summer 2019). "Out and about with the hidden histories of Kennington and the Elephant and Castle". The Historian. Historical Association. 142: 42–46.
  3. ^ Mandela Way T-34 Tank, Sean Spurr,, Accessed 5 August 2012
  4. ^ Gibbs, Jonathan (2 November 2003). "Talk of the Town: Pink Tank". The Independent on Sunday. Archived from the original on 4 September 2005.

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