A CHRISTMAS jumper designed and sold by the Tank Museum has become a surprise hit - with staff struggling to keep up with demand.

Rows of tanks are depicted on the pullovers, which were modelled by museum curator David Willey and film intern Chloe Shipley before being advertised on social media.

Initially museum staff ordered just a few dozen, so were unprepared for what has been described as ‘exceptional’ demand for the seasonal sweaters.

The blue jumpers with snowflakes and tinsel above and below the silhouettes of tanks are selling by the dozen every day.

Staff say men are snapping them up because the design is one they are prepared to wear.

They are also being sold for women and children.

Alex Medhurst, from the museum, explained: "Our in-house team designed them and we had a few made to see how they sold.

"We never anticipated the exceptional demand - something has really struck a chord.

"We think that men are prepared to wear them because the design is not too festive, as you see with a lot of Christmas jumpers.

"Shortly after listing them on our online shop and posting about them on Facebook sales went through the roof.

"We’ve had to quickly order more stock and we are selling hundreds and hundreds both here and abroad.

"When we had to take a photo of the jumper our curator David Willey and film intern Chloe Shipley volunteered.

"So we took pictures of them wearing the jumpers in various poses standing front of our Leopard I tank.

“Quite possibly it’s a combination of the design and our models wearing them that has led to the popularity of the pullovers.”

Tanks depicted in the design are: Centurion, Sherman, T34, Tiger 1 and Churchill.

With over 300 tanks from 26 nations, the Tank Museum holds the finest collection of fighting armour in the world.

These range from the world’s first ever tank, Little Willie, through to the British Army’s current Main Battle Tank, Challenger 2.

Eight exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare spanning more than 100 years.