Thu, 16 Mar 2017
A NEWBURY resident has written a letter to President Donald Trump on behalf of Greenham Parish Council to ask for help in completing the troubled Greenham Control Tower project.
The former USAF airbase is currently being converted to a cafe and visitor centre, however, the development, which up until now has been managed by the parish council, has been plagued by spiralling costs and delays.
Speaking at a meeting of the parish council last night (Wednesday) former RAF gunner Allan Mercado said he was saddened to see work on converting the iconic Cold War control tower grind to a halt.
In a bid to see the project finished he explained he had written to the Commander in Chief asking for financial backing for the development.
In his ambitious letter, which was read out to councillors at the meeting, Mr Mercado asked the US President to help the council finish the development which has so far cost £700,000.
"The fields of Greenham Common, England are quiet now," wrote the 83-year-old.
"A desolate airbase control tower stands like a sentry, a stark reminder of the airfields that served England and America in the Second World War."
The letter goes on: "The iconic control tower is currently being restored and refurbished to provide a lasting memorial to the extraordinary men and women who were stationed at the base... but work has come to a sudden stop because Greenham Parish Council has run out of funds."
In the correspondence addressed to the White House Mr Mercado, who at one time acted as a liaison between American troops stationed at the base and the wider public, goes on to invite the US Government, the US Army and the US Air Force (USAF) to consider a "financial donation to enable restoration work to resume".
Opened in 1942 the airfield was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War and then USAF during the Cold War.
The control tower itself was built in 1951.
According to Mr Mercado the letter was sent to Mr Trump's office two weeks ago but as yet has had no reply.
Parish councillors thanked Mr Mercado for his contribution to the meeting.
Greenham Parish Council are currently in the process of applying for a £150,000 loan in a bid to see the development finished by the end of this year.