Research for the Re-Newall pages began in the Autumn of 2021, and they were last updated in December 2021. If you are aware of any errors, or would like to add further details or personal memories, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Note. Please be aware that we are unable to provide Service Manuals, Operating Instructions, Assembly Drawings or Electrical/Hydraulic/Pneumatic Schematics for any of the machines and instruments manufactured by the Newall Group; we simply do not have access to them. We are unable to help with the repair, refurbishment or operation of any of the products. All the data that we hold is available for free download from the “References” pages that can be found within the relevant sections on the Companies/Divisions tab.
Our knowledge of this company division is rather sketchy and has been pieced together from newspaper reports, various Newall brochures and personal memories/feedback from some of our contributors. On this page we may refer to “the company” but it is unclear whether it became a separate company in its own right, or always remained a division of Newall Engineering.
Whatever its corporate structure, it began life in 1948 as the Used Machine Division (UMD) of the Newall Engineering Company, operating from a very cold and draughty hangar on Conington airfield, about 10 miles south of the Newall Engineering factory in Old Fletton, Peterborough. Its original purpose was to re-precision machine tools of Newall manufacture only.
This airfield (known then as Glatton airfield) had been constructed in 1943 for the American 8th Air Force 457th Bomb Group to launch bombing attacks on Germany during World War II. The airfield ceased military operations and was put into “care and maintenance” in April 1946 and closed as an operational airfield soon after. Much of the old airfield was restored to agriculture, but two runways were retained and became the core of what is now known as Peterborough Business Airport. The following photograph shows a Newall jig borer arriving at the airfield and being off-loaded, ready to be taken into the hangar for refurbishing work to begin.
The division expanded considerably over the next few years, and began rebuilding machines such as grinders, borers and planers from other manufacturers. By 1957, UMD sales had increased ten-fold and a brand new factory was built just off Oundle Road in Peterborough, specifically to house the Used Machine Division, which then vacated the airfield premises. However, sales of new Newall machines were also increasing, such that the original Newall Engineering factory in Old Fletton (the No. 1 factory) could not cope with the increased demand and they soon took over part of the new factory and subsequently elbowed out the Used Machine Division to other premises, and the Oundle Road factory became the Newall Engineering No. 2 factory. With the construction of a new road running along the western side of the factory, it was referred to, rather confusingly, as either the Oundle Road factory or the Shrewsbury Avenue factory. For much more detail on the factories themselves please have a look at our Newall Engineering Factories page. The following images show the general appearance of the new UMD factory on Oundle Road and a view of the jig borer fitting section.
The photo of the jig borer fitting section is taken from a Newall Used Machine Division sales booklet, kindly made available to us by the family of the late Charlie Newman, who was a turner at Newall Engineering. This booklet has been a source of very useful information and we thank them for making us aware of it. You can download it here.
We believe the Used Machine Division occupied the Padholme Road (No. 3) factory for a while, before transferring operations to another airfield (why were they so attracted to airfields?!) at North Luffenham, about 20 miles north-west of Peterborough. The following photo shows the machine shop there. [[with thanks to Ray Morris]]
At the time the above photo was taken, the company was described as the Newall Factored Machine Division. In more recent times it became known as the Re-Newall Division (a nice play on words), or simply as “Re-Newall”.
Peter Garratt got in touch to explain that during his time as an employee at North Luffenham in the early 1970’s, their main work was the remanufacturing of crankshaft grinders for Ford, British Leyland and Skoda, some of which had already seen over 40 years’ use. Some machines were significantly re-designed to suit the new Ford V6 engine blocks instead of the original 4-cylinder in-line engines. There were real tax advantages for customers if they chose to re-use old machines instead of investing in brand new ones, so business was brisk. You can see Peter’s recollections of his time with the company on our Memories page