Rotherham pensioner says tanks for the memories

Bold age adventurer, Peter Foster, has ticked another item off his bucket list. And he’d love to see other mature people embrace the freedom that old age brings to try new things.

With previous exploits doing a wing walk, taking on the world’s longest zip wire, and riding a penny farthing, 83-year-old Peter, from Rotherham is no stranger to adventure.

In September, he got to suit up and mount up to drive a WWII army tank under battle conditions. Off he went with daughter, Carrie, to a former bombing range in Leicestershire for an exhilarating day.

“I saw it advertised and thought, ‘I could do that.’ It triggered something in me. My family tell me I’m crackers but they always back my ideas,” Peter says.

The tank driving taster saw Peter climb into a 17.5 tonne turreted tank that was formerly used for transporting British Army infantry through battlefield.

“I have complete and utter admiration for tank soldiers. I only did three months in the catering corps as it was getting to the end of National Service. The tank is smelly, noisy and extremely hot with the lid down. You’re thrown all over, the accelerator is the size of an A4 piece of paper, and there is only one gear – it’s either fast or stop.”

Peter’s motto has always been that life is for living. But in recent years, his wife of almost 60-years, Wendy, has developed dementia and needs full-time care.

“You’ve got to find things to do to keep lifting the spirits as life has to go on.”

He now wants to encourage other older adults to look at what they want to accomplish with the rest of their life.

You’re never too old to set a new challenge. Maybe you’d like to take up star gazing or bird watching. You might want to restore a classic car, get your first aid qualification, or enter your artwork into a competition. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon or be a contestant on a gameshow. Or even just learn to dance, play an instrument or join a hobby club.

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like wrestling crocodiles or something expensive such as travelling the world. Peter is inspired by what he reads in Aroundtown Magazine; from the last edition, he booked on three of the free Heritage Open Day tours and learnt something new at each one.

There is so much to see and do and it’s about time we all got out there to do it.