ROUGHAM Tower Museum exists thanks to eight enthusiasts and a post-war housing shortage.
The eight are the committee who look after the airfield control tower-turned museum and the housing shortage was what stopped the it being wrecked after the war.
It was built in 1941-2 to last ‘for the duration’ but when the bombers left in 1945, Mr and Mrs Juby moved in and it remained occupied until Mrs Juby died in 1987. Six years later the tower association was born and, thanks to Rougham Estate owner the late Sir John Agnew, started renovation on the grade II listed building.
Today, with a replica roof glasshouse replacing one removed after the war, it looks much as it did when the USAF 94th Bomb Group’s Flying Fortresses moved out.
But the rooms, and nearby restored Nissen huts, are packed with displays about the men and machines who served on the 250 acre airfield.
Many items were given by veterans, including uniforms which make you realise how small most were.
Among the donors was Rougham’s former intelligence officer Chuck Malcolm who, soon after visiting the museum, sent a box with everything from his dog tags to his medals, plus photos, letters and official papers.
Tower association chairman Clifford Fullam said: “The note with it said ‘if you don’t want it, sell it or burn it.’ The parcel was totally unexpected.”
Chuck’s items have a showcase of their own but at the other end of the scale is a book someone found in a car boot sale and donated because it was stamped as belonging to Rougham’s officers’ mess.
Some items have been dug up on the airfield or locally. They range from machine guns and engines to small desiccant-filled glass plugs which replaced vehicle sparkplugs during shipping to reduce moisture in the engines.
The free museum is open on Sundays from 11am to 4pm from this Sunday, when there will also be a model aircraft display, until Sunday October 28. For more information visit www.rougham.org.uk