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
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.