Thorpe Oak Estate Road Names
 
The land was Parkland owned in the 1800’s and early 1900’s by the Thorpe family, a prosperous family from Newark in the trades of malting, flour, coal and wharfingering who developed strong links with the army. We owe to them the wonderful mature trees that are such a feature of the estate.
 
From 1940 to 1969 the area was also part of RAF Winthorpe, which had also given military names to the roads of the Harvey Avenue Estate.
 
The parish council wanted to name the roads on this estate after men of the village who died in the first and Second World War and planes that flew in the 2nd World War. The names chosen were submitted to Kelham and Sherwood district council for approval.
 
The names approved were:
 
Soldiers and Sailors:
 
Bryan Close – named for all the soldiers with this surname, three of whom received Military Medals during WW1:
 
Alfred Bryan M. M (killed in the battle of Pozieres on the Somme, March 1918, aged 26)
Joshua F Bryan M. M (captured a German machine gun)
Walter Leonard Bryan (killed in the battle of Loos, September 1915) (Alfred, Joshua F and Walter Leonard Bryan were brothers)
Ernest Bryan MM (decorated for retrieving a wounded officer from ‘no-mans land’)
Albert Bryan, Cyril Bryan &  Ernest James Bryan
 
Claricoates Drive – named for George Henry Claricoates, lost on 'HMS Good Hope' November 1914, sunk in the first naval engagement of World War 1, at the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile.
 
Henton Close – named for all the soldiers with this surname who fought in WW1:
                           
Albert Henton (Severely wounded in France, discharged 1915)
Alfred Henton (killed in France 11 April 1918)                        
Arthur Henton, David Henton, Harry Henton, John Thomas (4 brothers)  
 Thompson Close – named for Albert Thompson (the only village man killed in WW2, on killed July 1944, aged 26)
 
Young’s Close – named for all the soldiers with this surname who fought in WW1:
 
Charles William Young (died Palestine, November 1917)
Charles Young (killed in France, October 1917 aged 19)
George Richard Young (killed in action at Flanders, September 1917)
 
Follow the link for more information about these brave men see the article in People/20th Century. {insert link}
 
RAF Plane Names:
 
Hampden Close – named after the Handley Page Hampden (twin-engined) bombers used by 455 Squadron (Coastal Command) during 1941-2.
 
Lancaster Road - named after the Lancaster Bombers used by 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit, and "Operation Target Berlin" of 16.1.1943.
 
Stirling Drive – named after the "Short Stirling" 4-engined bombers used from the autumn of 1943 by 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit.
 
Bristol Close – named after the aircraft manufacturer – although no Bristol aircraft were based at Winthorpe, Bristol Blenheims were based at Balderton for a short time in late 1943.
 
Winthorpe Airbase
The airfield was built in the late 30's as a satellite station for Swinderby airfield and opened officially in September 1940.  RAF Winthorpe was attacked in Nov 1940 using parachute landmines for the first time, but although the runway was damaged there were no casualties. We have been told that defenses for the airbase were sited at The Bungalow on Cross Lane. During 1940 to 1959 a variety of RAF activities took place:
 
1940 - 42
Polish bomber squadrons initially used the aerodrome for training. They operated from the grass airfield, flying Fairey Battles and Vickers Wellingtons. In July 1941 the Polish squadrons moved to Hemswell.
 
Next 455 Squadron of Coastal Command arrived with Handley Page Hampden (twin-engined) bombers. In 1942 the airfield was closed to lay concrete runways to accommodate heavy bombers. Because the bearing factory Marles was in the direct line of the airfield, Winfield was not developed as a bomber base.
 
1942 -45
Between 1942 - 45 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit flew Manchesters, Halifaxes and Stirling Bombers for training replacement crews for other RAF bases. A large number of men passed through RAF Winthorpe because the losses at the other bases were so high. Ten Lancaster Bombers were also used, and on the 16.1.1943 Lancaster bombers from Winthorpe took part in "Operation Target Berlin".
 
The "Short Stirling" 4-engined bombers arrived in the autumn of 1943. In late autumn 1943 sixteen Handley Page Halifax bombers arrived but they did not remain very long as they were needed by bomber command.
 
On the 3rd December 1944, the number of personnel stationed at Winthorpe was 1613. In early 1945 Hurricane and Spitfires arrived but only for training purposes.
 
After the war 1945 – 59
When the war finished the aerodrome was passed over to Transport Command on 25th September 1945. 1441 Heavy Transport practised air drops from there.
 
Between 1955 – 59 the RAF Research Establishment took over and the Technical Servicing Manuals for new equipment were written here (before the research Establishment moved on to Swanton Morley). In July 1959 the airbase effectively closed, after which the Site was transferred to Maintenance Command care.
 

The site was used to create a housing estate for RAF Families in the 1950s. The state of the airbase buildings worsened and most were demolished in the late 1960s – the site was sold off in 1969.