An angry customer who parked a tank outside a Wickes store protesting a “poor quality” kitchen has been told the vehicle will be removed.

Paul Gibbons, 63, was unhappy about the retailer’s work on his new £25,000 kitchen at his home last February and has demanded a refund.

He parked the decommissioned tank outside the Wickes store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, in protest on 27 December, and it remains there a month later.

He has vowed not to move the tank until he gets his money back, but Wickes said the vehicle will be taken away within 14 days.

Gibbons claimed his new kitchen had been plagued with issues, including mould under the sink, poorly fitting units with a poor finish, and one heavy drawer almost collapsing on his dog.

He borrowed the 1963 Abbot self-propelled gun tank from a friend who lent it to people who wanted to protest against big companies.

But a sign placed on the tank by Wickes reads: “This vehicle/item has been notified to us as being abandoned and not having valid road tax and will be removed within 14 days of this notice being issued.

“If this vehicle is not abandoned, please contact us at the number below immediately and arrange to remove it from the site.”


It warned that failure to remove the vehicle within 14 days from 23 January will result in it being “sold or destroyed”.

However, Gibbons insists the tank is not moving, saying: “I intend to stay as long as it takes for justice.

“I find it bizarre that Wickes can choose which bits of the law they will obey. The tank is there as a peaceful protest.

“If they wish it to be moved, there is a simple solution – pay me back what they have of mine and my out-of-pocket expenses.

“I am not looking for massive amounts of compensation; I just want to return where I was last year when this debacle started.

“I find it obscene that having money, therefore power, makes them think they are above the law.”

He said he would contact police if Wickes attempted to remove or destroy the vehicle.

A spokeswoman for Wickes told Yahoo News UK: “We arranged a full and independent inspection of Mr Gibbon’s kitchen by the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman. They assessed that two to three days of remedial work would be required to bring the kitchen up to a satisfactory standard, and we have contacted Mr Gibbons to progress this.”

However, she said Wickes had issued Gibbons an exclusion notice preventing him from entering its shop, accusing him of “unacceptable and aggressive behaviour”, and that it had reported him to the police.

She said that “as the tank remains on our premises, we are operating within our legal rights to issue the owner” with a notice under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977, which alerts an owner of items abandoned on private land or property.

She said: “This requires that it is removed from our premises within 14 days, and if it is not, we will have it removed by a specialist company.”