The Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington has renewed its appeal for help to finish the restoration of a historic World War II control tower, as it announces it’s passed a crucial milestone. Fourteen months ago, the Museum announced that it needed £100,000 to carry out restoration work on the Grade II listed building, which witnessed hundreds of RAF bombers take off on perilous missions over occupied Europe in the war. Some work has taken place to repair the roof and external rendering, along with restoring the metal window frames on the tower, which was only expected to last a decade when it was built in 1942. The original RAF Elvington WWII control tower lies at the center of the Museum and was one of the first buildings to be restored by the Museum’s volunteers.

While work on the exterior of the control tower at Elvington nears completion, more work is needed inside the building. [Photo via Yorkshire Air Museum]

Now the Museum has announced that, although it’s successfully surpassed the £100k target, it needs to continue the campaign to raise more funds to complete the project due to unexpected structural problems.

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“Once the contractors started restoring exterior sections of the building, it was discovered that the scale of work was even greater than had been first thought, with large areas of water ingress wreaking damage over the years. Although contractors, Birch, have worked on two of the four walls, work on the rest of the Tower is not able to start this year. Then we will need to carry out the needed repairs to the interior of the building,” said the Museum’s Chair of Trustees, Rachel Semlyen MBE.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed so generously as this work is vital in ensuring the future of the Tower. But we do need to press on with the appeal, to give us the means to complete the restoration.”

One of the souvenir boxes available from the museum, profits from which go toward the Save Our Tower project. [Photo via Yorkshire Air Museum]

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As part of the fundraising, the Museum is now offering some sections of the original window frames from the Tower. A few of the sections are boxed and come with an image of the 1942 building. These can be bought from the Museum shop for a suggested donation of £50. Other, unboxed pieces are £15 each. The fund has been helped by a recent legacy and donations from two charitable trusts: the Patricia and Donald Shepherd Charitable Trust and the Noel Goddard Terry Charitable Trust.

Fragments of the original window's frames
Fragments of the original window frames are also available from the museum as souvenirs. [Photo via Yorkshire Air Museum]

The Chairman of the Noel Goddard Terry Charitable Trust, Anthony Terry, stressed his family’s strong connections with the RAF: “My father’s younger brother, Kenneth, was a Squadron Leader in the RAF, sadly killed in 1944, and my grandfather’s brother-in-law was Air Marshal Sir John (Jack) Baldwin, who became Deputy Chairman of Terry’s after the war. My grandfather himself was in the Royal Observer Corps during the war, which of course dealt with this country’s air defence. I am certain my grandfather would have been very much in favor of helping to restore this historic control tower. It appears to be a rare example of its type and, surprisingly, remains relatively untouched. I expect my uncle Kenneth would have been familiar with Elvington and may even have flown from there himself.”

Donations to the Save Our Tower appeal can be made online here or in person at the Yorkshire Air Museum. The Museum’s website is

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