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Leeds Bradford airport: Calls for WW2 tower to be restored as war memorial

Control tower at Leeds Bradford Airport. Image courtesy of Jean Wood-White.

By Lewis Oldham

Yeadon residents have called for a Second World War control tower at Leeds Bradford Airport to be restored to commemorate those who lost their lives.

Leeds Bradford Airport today covers the land where an Avro factory stood, which was used to build Lancaster bomber aircraft. The runway was used by 609 Squadron during World War Two.

The remains of a control tower still stand at the outskirts of the airport, and there have been calls to restore the building as a mark of respect.

Cllr Colin Campbell for Otley and Yeadon said: “History ignored is history forgotten and I feel it is important that we do not forget the contribution Yeadon and the old Avro works made in WW2.

“Many residents feel there should be some sort of permanent reminder of this and maintaining the old control tower could provide this.”

The industrial estate also built Spitfires during the war, and the factory was covered with fake animals and grass to resemble a field to deter hovering German planes.

Christine Lovedae has been a resident in Yeadon for 40 years and she strongly believes that restoring the tower would act as a fine tribute.

“I would be in favour of restoring the tower. The airport and Avro played a significant part in WW2. Little evidence remains now of those years when the conflict in the air caused the loss of so many lives and even a provincial airfield had a vital part to play.”

During the Second World War, RAF Yeadon was used as a testing area for the Lancaster bomber planes and other aircraft, before they flew out to other centres around the country.

In the time of the war, over 5,000 planes were built and sent out from Yeadon across the country.

Chris Slater is also a Yeadon resident, and is part of today’s 609 Squadron based at RAF Leeming. Mr Slater thinks that restoring the tower would be a deserving tribute for all those who gave their lives to protect our country.

“As a proud serviceman for 609 Squadron and as part of the famous 609 Spitfire Squadron that once flew from my home town, I strongly believe that the tower should be restored into a memorial for our boys that flew from there and a lot didn’t return.”

The Leeds Bradford Airport press office was contacted for comment but did not respond at time of publication.

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