TG3919 : The derelict control tower at Ludham airfield

taken 12 years ago, near to Ludham, Norfolk, England

The derelict control tower at Ludham airfield
The derelict control tower at Ludham airfield
This is the larger one of two control towers on the former RAF Ludham and it replaced a smaller watch office for fighter satellite stations, both now derelict. Both buildings were restored in 2000/01 and for a short period housed a museum. Since then they have been left empty but were later sold to a private owner by the local Council. Planning permission has recently been obtained for the conversion into a holiday home, but nothing would seem to have come of these plans and in 2015 the building is in a very sad state of dereliction.

It was built in 1943 to the designs of the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings, as Office for All Commands design, to Drawing No. 343/43. On the ground floor there is a watch office; a duty pilot's rest room; a meteorological office; a switch room, and lavatories to rear. The first floor comprises a control room at the front, with a controller's rest room and a signals office to rear which opens onto a passage with access to stairs. The building is Grade II listed and a typical example of the futility of the idea of listing a building when in fact nothing is being done to preserve it.
RAF Ludham/HMS Flycatcher

Ludham airfield was constructed as a grass surface satellite airfield for RAF Coltishall. Flying commenced in November 1941, with the airfield being used as a forward base for Fighter Command and it was used by a number of RAF squadrons over the following years until the station was closed in 1943 to build three concrete runways, taxiways and hardstandings intended to be used by the US Army Air Forces. They never opted to use the airfield, however, and a skeleton duty crew was then based here to provide emergency recovery facilities for American bombers returning from overseas missions.

In August 1944, the airfield was transferred from RAF No. 12 Group to the Admiralty which had no suitable sites available. In September, Ludham was commissioned as HMS Flycatcher, RNAS. HMS Flycatcher was a ships' name designated for the headquarters and formation station of the Mobile Naval Airfields Organisation which was to assemble and despatch the first five Mobile Naval Air Bases and one Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard at Ludham. As the location did not lend itself to the task of the MNAO, the RAF proposed to exchange it for RAF Middle Wallop. The Admiralty accepted and Ludham was returned to No. 12 Group control.

For a short time the site was used by the 602nd and 603rd squadrons from Coltishall and by the 91st and the 1st squadrons but they all left again in July. No further flying took place and the airfield was put under Care & Maintenance in August 1945. Control passed to No. 60 Group Fighter Command and the accommodation sites were utilised for housing personnel from surrounding RAF establishments. The airfield was closed in April 1946.

See also: Link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Derelict, Disused Defence, Military
This photo is linked from: Articles: · Images shortlisted for POTY, 2012 Automatic Clusters: · Sad State of Dereliction [11] ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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Grid Square
TG3919, 33 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Evelyn Simak   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Sunday, 19 February, 2012   (more nearby)
Sunday, 19 February, 2012
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 3947 1975 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:43.3411N 1:32.6794E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 3950 1972
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
Clickable map
W Go E
Image classification(about): Geograph
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