Greenham Control Tower in the middle of Greenham Common is one of seven identical control towers built in the early 1950s, during the Korean War. The other six were located at fighter bases across the country.
Since 1993 when the Greenham Common airbase was decommissioned, the control tower has been disused and as a result is still largely in its original state, retaining more of its original character (unlike the other 5 remaining towers), which has resulted in Grade II listed status.
The Control Tower’s architecture reflects the two key phases of Cold War development at the Greenham Common airbase, being built in 1951 and upgraded in the 1980s.
In the case of the Isle of Man tower (although not one of the 5223a/51 tower types), ARI radar was installed in 1966 with a major upgrade in the early 80s making it into an AR-15, with a new metal desk built to accommodate the larger displays. With the Greenham Tower also being upgraded in the 1980s, with the octagonal surveillance room being added, the asumption is that they would have also installed a metal desk.
What happened to the control desk?
As the Control Tower has been disused since the airbase closed in 1993, its interior was removed. It may be that an aviation enthusiast managed to stop the desk from being scrapped and it is sitting in a garage somewhere?
If anyone knows if it still exists, has worked in the building or has any photographs of the Tower or the desk please contact [email protected]
If the original is unavailable the plan is to build a replica for the surveillance room and so any information would be appreciated.
Any old photographs or memorabilia of Greenham Common that exist, as it has had a varied and interesting history, would also be useful.
The charitable organisation is independent of the Parish Council and has taken over the running of the building. The building will include a visitor centre, toilets and a cafe. A team of volunteers are working hard to restore the Tower back to its former glory, with final preparations being made to open the Control Tower and the history within to the public. Roles include guides, fundraising, cafe volunteers and event organisers, marketing and a groundsperson.
If you are interested and would like to volunteer please contact [email protected].