A fundraising campaign has begun to help with the restoration of a Grade 2 Listed World War Two control tower
The tower at the Yorkshire Air Museum – formerly RAF Elvington – is among the last of its kind still standing but it needs its windows and external rendering replacing. The museum is looking to raise £100,000 towards the cost of the work.
This building was the eyes and ears of operations against Nazi Germany. From behind its windows, RAF personnel watched thousands of Halifax bombers take to the skies. Almost half would not return from their missions. It stands as a living memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of RAF Bomber Command.
The tower is at the centre of the museum, which is also the Allied Air Force Memorial. It was saved from dereliction 40 years ago but now needs further vital restoration to preserve it for the future. The work is being carried out by specialist builders and engineers at a total cost of around £200,000.
Chair of Trustees, and founder of the museum, Rachel Semlyen MBE, said: “In the 1980s we rescued the tower and the site to create a museum and memorial. During lockdown we had a survey of the tower and it was found to be leaking badly. Earlier this year we repaired the roof, the rusted iron balustrade, the gutters and the staircases. But now to complete this specialist restoration work and prevent further decay, we need to find more than £200,000 – of which the museum has only half.”
Yorkshire Air Museum is now launching the Save Our Tower fundraiser, to coincide with the first bombing missions from the former airbase in 1943. The public can donate online or in person at the museum and a serious of special events are planned for 2023.