Vandals damage historic Martlesham Heath Control Tower

Posts supporting the balcony of the Martlesham Control Tower Museum have been damaged by vandals Picture: IAN LISSEMAN

Posts supporting the balcony of the Martlesham Control Tower Museum have been damaged by vandals Picture: IAN LISSEMAN - Credit: IAN LISSEMAN

A historic former RAF control tower near Ipswich has been damaged after being targeted by vandals.

The former RAF Martlesham Heath Control Tower Picture: ARCHANT

The former RAF Martlesham Heath Control Tower Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Martlesham Heath Control Tower, off Deben Avenue, was damaged at some point between Saturday and Sunday – with supporting posts holding up its balcony being pulled away, leaving the over 70-year-old structure vulnerable.

The path around the tower has now been closed off over safety concerns.

A statement by Martlesham Heath Householders Ltd, which owns the tower, said the incident is “not a victimless crime” and said it will arrange for a builder to carry out repairs as soon as possible.

Ian Lisseman, manager of the charity-run museum which occupies the tower, said it has been the victim of a number of incidents in recent months.


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Mr Lisseman said: “Some people just seem to think it is fun to have a go at damaging property.

“Unfortunately we have had some incidents of people using the canopy of the tower to take drugs, then they get a bit whats-it and climb over the walls or throw stones at windows.

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“Those metal posts were put there 20 years ago as even back then there were fears about how structurally sound the concrete could be – they’ve gone and shaken them until the bolts have fallen out.”

Mr Lisseman, 76, said he has volunteered at the tower for more than 30 years and remains passionate about keeping the rich history of the base alive.

He added however it is “incredibly aggravating” that people see the need to damage an important piece of local history.

Mr Lisseman said: “It is a very, very interesting base and we are lucky to have so much support from members of the public.

“It is just incredibly aggravating that there are people around here who think it is funny to mess around with history and the people who are trying to keep it sacred.”

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said the force was called on Sunday afternoon.

The spokeswoman added anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area, or who has any information regarding the incident, should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting reference 37/69237/20.

Originally opening in 1917, RAF Martlesham Heath was once home to flying ace Sir Douglas Bader and was the site of “The Flying Prince” Alexander Obolensky’s death in 1940.

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