The Watchoffice

R G Carter completed a unique rebuild and refurbishment of a historic WWII Watchoffice in Alconbury.

The primary works included;

  • Nissen Hut – stripping the existing corrugated roof sheeting, reinstating new sheeting and the painting of QW-R graphics, which had been taken from the B-17 bomber plane
  • Crittial window refurbishment – cutting out and welding in new sections of window and installing new glazing
  • Reconditioning and re-framing of the original doors
  • Insulating the external and internal perimeter walls with plaster board, to help improve the energy efficacy of the building
  • Bespoke cooper taps and fittings were made on site, like those used on a previous watchtower refurbishment project at RAF Waterbeach

Operational since 1938, the Watchoffice was used by pilots for accommodation, before the main control tower element was added at a later date. In 1942, RAF Alconbury was passed into the hands of the USAF, under whose almost uninterrupted operation it would remain, until 1995.

The Grade II listed building is very important to the local community and is a memorial to 19 servicemen who lost their lives, when loading munitions onto a B17 Bomber adjacent to the Watchoffice building in WWII.

During the development, the site team held numerous tours for both students from the adjacent iMET Training Centre and ex-forces. The new building serves as a community space and archive area within the larger Alconbury development.


Urban & Civic Alconbury Ltd
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