MGM 2008 - From Fine China To Tank Rides - TopLots Kick Off

By Caroline Lewis | 16 May 2008
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Photo of a tank

Fancy a ride in a Panzer? © The Tank Museum, Bovington

Museum and gallery experiences of the like you will never forget are now being auctioned off on eBay's TopLots.

With all the proceeds going to participating museums and galleries, you can feel good about indulging when you bid for that ride in a Panzer at Bovington Tank Museum or a day of VIP treatment in a historic house.

Here are just a few picks to whet your appetite before you go off and click your way to eBay…

The aforementioned Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset, is offering a lot that will be a dream for some: a ride in the commander's seat of a Panzer III. There are two 'VIP Tankfest 2008' packages in the bidding war, and you could also choose to have ride in an interwar Vickers medium tank.

The two lots will be available in 10-day auctions running from May 15 (for the Vickers medium) and May 26 (for The Panzer III).

Photo of a female blacksmith at work with sparks flying from the anvil

Novice or seasoned metalworker, Kew Bridge's blacksmith will tailor your day on the workshop to your level if you win this lot. © Kew Bridge Steam Museum

You wouldn't want to ride a tank into the Coalport China Museum (although thinking about it, it would be a rather surreal museum experience). The museum, at Ironbridge in Shropshire, is offering something much more refined – a day of 'Understanding Ceramics'.

It doesn't mean the china cups will listen to you sympathetically, but that the highest bidder will be able to go behind the scenes and learn about china from the experts.

The day will begin with a specialist tour, led by the curator, around the historic factory buildings and plenty of getting up close to some magnificent ceramic treasures. Then VIP visitors will be able to try out historic ceramic techniques like making bone china roses and slip casting.

Photo of a group of people on board a ship

A winner last year on board HMS Cavalier, with her husband, for whom the day was a 50th birthday present. © Historic Dockyard Chatham

Historic Royal Palaces have got some crackers up for grabs, too. How about a personal tour of the Crown Jewels, or attacking the Tower of London with Dan Snow?

If attacking metal is more your thing, you'll be putting some money on the offer from Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Brentford, for a day in the blacksmith's workshop.

The Roald Dahl Museum, Buckinghamshire, has a fun experience on offer – an exclusive birthday party at the Museum.

The Historic Dockyard at Chatham has a couple of lots to remember, too. You could bid on a lunch for a lucky seven people in the ward room on board HMS Cavalier, hosted by the dockyard's chairman, Admiral Sir Ian Garnett KCB. Or you might prefer spending a ghostly evening for 15 people in Commissioner's House, where you could encounter the 'Grey Lady' while you sup on a buffet and mulled wine.

Pretty unusual eBay items, eh? To find out more and see all the lots, go to

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