The Daily Mail has an extensive article about a couple who are converting a wartime RAF control tower at the former North Creake Airfield (near Fakenham in Norfolk) into a bed and breakfast for tourists. The control tower had commanded all landings and takeoffs at the former RAF field before becoming offices, a workers’ mess room, flats and finally a home for the last 20 years but Nigel Morter and his wife Claire Nugent plan to preserve it by taking it “back in time.”
Their plan is to offer a bed and breakfast with three en suite rooms with a tea garden in the grounds and seating in the air raid shelter plus everything added after the war (e.g. shingles, the pitched roof, various sheds etc.) will be removed. The guest rooms will include the old signal office and the controller’s rest room while the bathrooms will be in art deco style. The B&B’s lounge, originally the air station’s meteorological and teleprinter room, will be decorated with 1930s furnishings and the modern kitchen will also be replaced by a 1950s-style version complete with metal and Formica fittings. Finally and for a more authentic experience, breakfast menus will be Ministry of Food-style menus while guests will be able to read daily postings of the RAF station’s operational schedules as they were in 1944-45.
Today, the control tower is in an isolated farmland setting fringed by the Holkham Estate but during the war, it was first used as a decoy site by the air force before eventually being turned into a heavy bomber base known as RAF North Creake. In its heyday, the base had the control tower plus three intersecting runways, technical and administration facilities and living quarters for more than 3,000 servicemen and women. The air field was then closed in 1947.
Interestingly enough, Nigel, who works at the London Metropolitan University, is no stranger to aviation as both his grandfather and father had worked for De Havilland with the later working on Mosquitos. The couple hope to have all of the work completed by next summer and say they are “fired up for the whole thing.”