Historic HMS Ganges naval mast to be restored

HMS Ganges

HMS Ganges - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk landmark on the Shotley Peninsula will be restored to its former glory, it can be revealed.

HMS Ganges

HMS Ganges - Credit: Archant

The listed ceremonial mast at the former HMS Ganges training base will be “renovated and permanently re-erected”, Babergh District Council confirmed.

Developers have been granted permission to build 285 houses, a 60-bedroomed nursing home and retail and leisure facilities at the site. A council spokesman said the work will be carried out during the development. It follows concerns over the “terrible state” of the derelict Suffolk naval training base. It was established in 1865, continued as a training centre during the Second World War and closed in 1976.

Des Pawson MBE, vice chairman of the Ipswich Maritime Trust, said: “I saw it a few months ago and it was in a terrible state.” Jim Gitson, chairman of the Ganges Association, added: “A lot of the Ganges boys would be upset to see it now.”

The council spokesman said: “The planning committee agreed (in March) to grant planning permission subject to a legal agreement for highway and other mitigation measures.

The mast manning ceremony at HMS Ganges with the button boy standing on top.

The mast manning ceremony at HMS Ganges with the button boy standing on top.

“Officers have been engaged in discussions and the legal agreement is now nearing completion. The legal agreement provides that the mast will be renovated and permanently re-erected by the construction of the 113th dwelling on the site thereby safeguarding this important designated historic asset.”

The developers, Haylink, declined to comment.