Unit History: RAF Newton
RAF Newton was a Royal Air Force station, 7 miles east of Nottingham, England. It was used briefly as a bomber base and then as a flying training school during World War II.
Built on the site of a pre-war civil airfield, Newton was assigned to No 1 Group in June 1940, when Nos 103 and 150 squadrons returned from France. These squadrons were re-equipped with Vickers Wellingtons in October 1940 but moved on to more suitable bomber airfields in July 1941.
Newton then became a training base, and for the next five years No. 16 (Polish) Service Flying Training School provided basic and advanced training for Polish airmen serving with the RAF, using RAF Tollerton as a satellite landing ground.
The station became the headquarters of No 12 Group, Fighter Command from 1946 until 1958, when Technical Training Command took over the station for electronic fitters courses.
Later the station became the home of the RAF School of Education, who moved from RAF Upwood in 1972, and the RAF Police Training School, who moved from RAF Debden in 1973 bringing their gate guardian - a Hawker Hunter F1, WT694 (now at Caernarfon Air World) - with them. Both of these units transferred to RAF Halton in the 1990s.
The station had also became the home of the newly-formed Nottingham University College Air Squadron in 1941, providing newly-trained pilots for the RAF. During the 1960s Newton was home to Air Experience Flights of Chipmunk aircraft which were used by local squadrons of the Air Training Corps. The East Midlands University Air Squadron continued flying at Newton, with Bulldog aircraft, until moving its flying activities to RAF Cranwell in 2001. In the latter years, civilian-operated Slingsby Fireflies were also based at Newton for basic military training on behalf of RAF Cranwell.
Today the site is a private industrial estate and the buildings are being converted into offices and storage space. The old control tower still stands and is being renovated into offices; the grass airfield has reverted to agriculture.
The abandoned houses on the base were used to film scenes from the film This is England. It has also been used for the BBC series Robot Wars.