APPRENTICES have been engineering a bright future by looking to the past after fabricating a commemorative tank to mark the end of World War I.

Darlington College apprentices Owen Peddelty and Ryan Beal spent weeks researching the plans for an accurate 1:7 scale model of the armoured vehicle cutting a path through barbed wire on a European battleground.

The nation is preparing to mark the end of the ‘war to end all wars’ 100 years ago this November 11.

Owen, 21 of Darlington, and Ryan, 21, of Evenwood, used their metalwork skills to make the 4ft long tank from 1mm and 2mm sheet steel complete with guns and details such as rivets and reinforced armour.

Motor vehicle students then sprayed the tank milk chocolate brown and art and design colleagues created a poppy surround before the finished installation went on show in Darlington’s Cornmill Centre as part of the commemoration of Armistice Day.

Former Haughton Academy student Ryan is an apprentice with the prestigious Darlington-based E-Type Fabs, which makes the iconic 1960s sports car.

He said: “We did a lot of research and used many skills including cutting the sheet metal, swaging it and recreating rivets with a centre punch. We are really pleased with the result and feel very proud to have done something like this to mark such a momentous occasion.”

Owen, who works for specialist cladding company CA Group at Evenwood, added: “It was certainly something different and I really enjoyed the project to remember all those people who lost their lives in the war.”

Tutor Dave Pengilley added: “They have both done a great job and produced something unique which will now be shared with the community by putting it on public display. The tank has a lot of detail, including tracks, grooves and louvres and looks really good.”

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