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Grand parade unveils statue dedicated to those who served at the former Nottingham RAF base

26th April 2023
Redrow News - The RAF Air Cadets

A new statue has been unveiled, dedicated to remembering everyone who served at Nottinghamshire’s former RAF base.

The sculpture has been officially revealed at Redrow East Midland’s Newton Garden Village, built on the former RAF Newton Airfield, in a bid to ensure the area’s rich aviation history is never forgotten.

Built as part of the RAF’s ‘Expansion Period’ airfields in the prelude to Second World War, Newton opened in 1940 with Wellington bombers taking part in the ‘Battle of the Atlantic’, before the Polish Air Force moved in from 1941 to 1946. The station was then the headquarters for No12 Group Fighter Command, and the home of the RAF School of Education and the RAF Police Training School. RAF flying activities at the base ceased in 2001.

We acquired the land in 2020 and are transforming the development into a thriving community comprising over 500 new homes, alongside open space, wildflower meadows, woodland, allotments, a cycle path, a footbridge across the A46 to access Bingham more easily and wildlife-rich spaces that are easily accessible for local people.

The artwork is the finale of a 12-year community project by The RAF Newton Memorial Fund by local artist and founding member of the group, Tim O’Brien, who created the initial concept drawing for the statue: a Wellington bomber pilot and his spaniel sitting on a Portland stone base.

Formed in 2011, the RAF Newton Memorial Fund is made up of volunteers who are all connected to 1936 (Newton) Squadron of the RAF cadets, and have taken on the responsibility of ensuring a permanent memorial was created to celebrate the aviation heritage of the village.

The final statue was sculpted by London-based sculptor Tom Nicholls and has been funded by our East Midlands team. The finished work was unveiled at a dedication ceremony, attended by locals, veterans, and cadets. Those who attended watched a parade by cadets from East Midlands Universities’ Air Squadron and 1936 (Newton) Squadron of the RAF Air Cadets, with music provided by the marching band of the RAF Air Cadets.

When asked about the event, Tim O’Brien said: “This magnificent sculpture is the culmination of 12 years hard work by a team of volunteers, which has brought together various sections of the community to remember the aviation heritage of the area. My late grandfather served here in Second World War and my aviation art career started here with the RAF Air Cadets back in the 1980s.”

Ryan O’Sullivan, Sales Director at Redrow East Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to unveil this new statue at Newton Garden Village. We love to support local projects, so we are pleased to be funding the memorial of a World War Two airman with his dog.

“We believe this will bring to life the history of Newton Garden Village and help to commemorate the area’s important aviation background.”

Located just a stone’s throw away from the popular market town of Bingham, with great transport links to Nottingham and nearby Leicester, the development offers the perfect mix of rural and town living, the development is perfect for first-time buyers, growing families and couples alike.

See the statue and find out more about Newton Garden Village.

Media Contacts
Public Relations
WPR, 30 - 40, Calthorpe Rd, Birmingham B15 1TS
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