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Home Control Tower History 2012 Revival Links/Downloads
Home Control Tower History 2012 Revival Links/Downloads
The Control Tower
Atmospheric You Tube Video here  You Tube video here Bournemouth Echo Report here
Atmospheric You Tube Video here  You Tube video here Bournemouth Echo Report here
How the restored tower could appear. Chris Lowe
Flags of the Nations whose squadrons, service men and women have served at RAF Ibsley
Poland, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, RAF, United States of America, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic)

Sembcorp Bournemouth Water (formerly Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water Plc) acquired the control tower at RAF Ibsley when the company bought some lakes at Ibsley for water storage in 1991.  It has since been passed on to Somerley Estates - the original landowner.

The lakes were created as a consequence of extensive gravel extraction in this area of the Avon Valley that started in the late 1940s, and which are now collectively known as the Blashford Lakes.  The airfield was dug out in the early 1970s.  The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust manages the site today.

 

The design of the control tower at RAF Ibsley, a type 518/40 'Watch Office with Meteorological Section', is similar to some 50 others that were built by the Air Ministry during the rapid expansion in airfield construction before and during WW2.  However, this one is believed to be the only example in the country whose floors and balcony were formed entirely from concrete, and survives unaltered.

 

The aim is to create somewhere for people to come and find out about RAF Ibsley and to show them how a WW2 airfield would have operated.  The Trust intends to tell the stories of the people that lived around the airfield, and the impact it had on their lives.  The restoration of the building will be a tribute, from our generation, to the service personnel from Great Britain and around the world that served at Ibsley and, in particular, to those that lost their lives while stationed here.

There are many problems to be overcome - not least the fact that bats are roosted in the structure which at present inhibits any restorative action.