Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, Cambridgeshire

Oakington is a small village north of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire in England, and belongs to the administrative district of South Cambridgeshire. The parish of Oakington and Westwick covers an area of 883 hectares. At the village crossroads, the east-west road from Histon to Longstanton crosses the north-south road from Cottenham to Dry Drayton. Between Oakington and the nearby hamlet of Westwick runs a disused railway branch line, with a disused station, that is due to be converted to a guided bus track. Next to the track, the 150-year-old bridge over Beck Brook was completely rebuilt in 2006. During the Second World War a Royal Air Force base, RAF Oakington, was constructed at Oakington, and served as a base for Short Stirling bomber forces and reconnaissance planes. In the post war period it as used for flight training, in the last period with Vickers Varsity aircraft; however when the need for training on piston-engined planes reduced, it was converted to a barracks, which in turn closed in 1999. The site was then leased to the Home Office and was converted into Oakington Immigration Reception Centre, an immigration detention centre. The base contracted after the war and much evidence of its former presence is visible in farmland surrounding the current perimeter. Of the three churches there (Anglican, Methodist and Baptist) the Anglican St. Andrews has the largest congregation. The church building has parts dating back to the eleventh century, but was recently restored. Soon a new conference centre will be added as well. Earlier this year, money for the 'New Building' - the name of the new conference center, was finally all raised and the working started. Currently, the foundations have been put in place and the walls have been started on. It is to consist of a kitchen and toilets, and also two meeting rooms. Currently, the Sunday School 'Kings Club' is held in the vicarage, by kind permission of the vicar and his wife. Once the New Building has been built, the Sunday School will meet in there. After each service, refreshments are served, but currently, there is only a small kitchen and a few tables at the back of the church. The kitchen in the New Building will be large enough for refreshments to be served. The barracks and attached airfield are to become the site of a new town called Northstowe. It is planned to become one of England's first five "eco towns", as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on May 2007. In 1909 Messrs Grose & Feary built a monoplane in an attempt to win the Daily Mail prize for £1,000 for the first Briton to fly a circular mile in an all-British aeroplane.