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Norton Aerodrome

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Air Vice-Marshall W.E.Theak, Air Officer Commanding 90 Group Inspection, R.A.F. Norton.

Norton Aerodrome was located off Norton Avenue, the site of a former RAF balloon barrage station during WW2. RAF Norton was No.16 Balloon Centre (Barrage Balloons). The centre comprised of three Squadrons: 939 (West Riding), 940 (West Riding) and 941 (West Riding). Each squadron had three flights comprising 8 balloons each. During the 2 world war some form of military detention centre was also on the site.
By the time war broke out, there were 3 squadrons ready for action, No 393 (WEST), No.940(rotherham), and No.941(centrel). 941 was disbanded in April 1940 and staff transferred to the other 2. At full strength there were 72 balloons around Sheffield.

By 1943 the air threat to Sheffield had diminished, and most of the balloons were transferred to the defence of London. On the 1st July 1943 Lightwood was renamed RAF Norton. It was transferred to Signals Command and became No.3 Ground Radio Servicing Squadron, concerned mainly with radar & radio equipment.

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Royal Air Force "At Home" 17th September 1955 The open day was to commemorate the Battle of Britain and raise funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The public were entertained with Air Displays and demonstrations of aircraft equipment.

mid 1950's. Helicopter Rides, Battle of Britain Day, R.A.F. Norton

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This continued until 1965, when under an RAF reorganisation the Squadron was moved to Rutland. RAF Norton officially closed in January 1965.

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Title: Lowering the Flag as the Royal Auxillary Air Force prepare to leave R.A.F. Norton

In the 1970s the old Norton Aerodrome site was owned by the NHS - the plan was to build a third big hospital for Sheffield on the site (Hallamshire and Northern General the two other big 'ones). Presumably that's why they put the ambulance station at Batemoor.

Green Goddess Fire Engines were stored there when there were strikes by Firefighters, and it had various other storage uses.
The state of decay gradually got worse and parts of it got used by gangs of lads on off road trials bikes. It was then taken over as a driver training centre in the 1970s-80s where you could pay to practice driving your car or bike around those huts on their fairly narrow road ways and wider runways - ideal if you were learning to drive and needed some off road practice.In 2015, after tentative plans to use it to treat green waste and for housing, it seems to have returned to being a Driver Training Area.

(Some information from Wikimapia.)



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