Concern over damage to Ganges mast

CONCERNS have been raised about the state of the famous HMS Ganges mast today.Worried residents of the Shotley Peninsula want action to be taken to prevent the historic monument falling into disrepair.

CONCERNS have been raised about the state of the famous HMS Ganges mast today.

Worried residents of the Shotley Peninsula want action to be taken to prevent the historic monument falling into disrepair.

The mast is part of the former naval training base in Shotley Gate which is now owned by developers Galliard Homes and Haylink who hope to build homes on the site.

Rosie Kirkup, of Pinmill Road in Chelmondiston, said: “I was shocked when I saw how bad the mast looks at the moment.

“It is a listed building which should be looked after but its state of repair was very bad.

“If you stand underneath it you can see the platforms have holes in them and the whole thing is looking ropey - there is no way anyone would want to stand on it!

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“It is so sad that it looks so tatty because it is an important monument.”

Jeremy Peters from Shotley Parish Council said the council too was concerned about the situation and had written to Babergh District Council to ask for something to be done about the grade II listed mast.

Mr Peters added: “We have been concerned about the state of the mast since last summer and approached Babergh to see if something could be done.

“It is a very symbolic part of the heritage of our village and we're very proud of it and to see it in bad repair is such a shame.”

A spokesman for Babergh said: “It is certainly true that some relatively minor repair work is needed on the mast and we have contacted Galliard Homes to this effect.

“Therefore, we do not consider it to be a building-at-risk, although we will be keeping a look out to ensure that there isn't any further deterioration.”

No one was available to comment on behalf of Haylink who is in control of the site.

Are you concerned about the state of a listed building in your community? What are your memories of the HMS Ganges mast? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The mast's history

In 1907 the mast at the HMS Ganges naval training base was erected to help with training at the site.

It was built with the lower foremast from HMS Cordelia and other sections from the mizzen mast of the HMS Agincourt.

Its overall height is 143ft and 10inc.

HMS Ganges was closed as a naval training base in 1976 and in 1988 the mast was restored and in 2000 it was repaired again.

It is a grade II listed building which means it cannot be moved, taken down or altered.

SOURCE: HMS Ganges Association

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