For six years I wrote a short history
article in the monthly parish magazine,
The Pelican. One of the articles is
shown in the column opposite.
Articles can be accessed by
clicking on the appropriate title from
the index below.
If anyone has any old photographs or
parish information which they would like
recorded (for present and future
generations to share) then please get in
touch with me.
John Davison (Website Co-ordinator)
In last month’s Acklington History Slot I wrote about
undoubtedly one of the prettiest buildings in the parish
(The Old Vicarage). This month, by way of contrast, I
have chosen to write about possibly the ugliest.
Acklington Gun Tower (a war time concrete pillbox with a
turret on the top) may not be the finest or most
glamorous structure in the world, but never-the-less it
played its part in our history and like so many disused
buildings and structures associated with both world
wars, it is now considered to be of real archaeological
The tower was built during World War II as part of a
small number of anti-aircraft artillery sites around the
perimeter of the then airfield known as RAF Acklington.
The tower still survives, looking much as it always has
done, but of course the gun which was mounted on the top
of the tower has long gone.
If only that tower could reveal its memories and
feelings. This once proud defender of airfield, airmen
and country must have felt totally abandoned when it
witnessed the closure of the airfield. It would look on
in dismay when it saw the prestigious base being
converted into a prison. And then it suffered the
indignity of seeing the runways being savagely ripped up
and the land opencasted for coal…. with all the noise,
dust, grime and vibration that entailed. Then many years
later, when the surrounding landscape was restored to
gentle rolling hills, clumps of woodland and tranquil
agricultural fields, the gun tower must have felt
completely isolated and abandoned. A sorry, lonely,
derelict and forgotten structure with only a few sheep
for company and the occasional stunning sunset over the
Simonside Hills to help raise morale.
Imagine, then, its complete surprise when it was
descended upon by a group of visitors during a weekend
in June. Imagine its pure pleasure and pride when it was
decorated with flags and colourful bunting and became
the centre-piece for a Poppy Party to raise funds for
the Royal British Legion. No longer a tower feeling
worthless and alone but, alas, standing tall and proud
once more. A tower which again felt useful, valued and
loved. A tower with a tale to tell.
Tel: 01670 760609