Farmers and landowners near to RNAS Culdrose are benefiting from recycling after the demolition of an old accommodation block on the base.
The problem of what to do with a giant pile of rubble from the early 1970s, five storey senior rates mess building was easily solved with a little bit of community spirit.
Several farms that surround the Cornish air station put forward bids to take the spoil off the navy’s hands. In total more than 300 lorry loads were given out to those that came forward.
One such farm, Sowanna Farm near Cury Cross, belongs to Derek Gendall, three miles south east of the air station.
Derek has a certain familiarity with the bricks and mortar being delivered to his land. Back in the late 1960s to 70s, when the high rise accommodation was going up, he worked as an electrician on the base. His responsibility was for the wiring of the New Vian block.
“It’s a strange twist to think that all of these bricks and rubble was once a building on the base that I’d worked on,” said Derek.
“Every now and again I pick out strips of electrical wire which more than likely I’d installed all those years ago. It’s recycling on a grand scale”.
Derek has already put the rubble to good use: resurfacing the lanes around his farm which had become badly eroded due to the recent winter weather.
He will also use it to surface the floors of his sheds and barns used to shelter his livestock, the bases of which have also suffered over recent years.
“It’s been a real godsend, good quality hard-core like this is hard to find and the help from RNAS Culdrose has been fantastic,” he added.