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Remembered Today:

WW1 Cardington's airship shed is damaged in storm


Guest Pete Wood
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Guest Pete Wood

I am led to believe that the recent bad weather has ripped more than 50 feet from the side of No1 Shed.

This shed is on the site where many airships were conceived and stored. The building is probably best known as being where the ill-fated R101 was built.

The shed, one of two on the site, is a listed building but, sadly, it has been falling into a sad state for many years.

Perhaps, if someone lives locally, they might take (and post) a picture or two - of one of Britain's most famous (and biggest?) buildings.

You can see just how big this building is by logging onto the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/threecounties/have_fu...n_hangers.shtml

Click on the 360 degree camera and you can see inside the shed. There are a couple of vehicles inside, which will give you an idea of how enormous this place is - and how bad the roof is.

It's a crying shame, and I really do think this site will soon end up like the Brooklands race track.

:(

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Pete

Yep! This is confirmed by an eye-witness account on the forum of airshipsonline.com .

Is Cardington in John Prescotts house-building area? Because if Biggin Hill airfield isn't safe, Cardington won't be.

Adrian

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Its ironic that one of the Cardington hangars is used by the Building Research Establishment for testing full scale structures - this event should at least have added something to their knowledge of wind loading!

These are remarkable structures and I agree that it would be a great loss if they fell victim to the usual delapidate and de-list scam.

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Sad news that. I hope that they are repaired soon and not left to rot and then turned into a housing estate.

I was going over there today to see my parents so I could've had a look, but my plans have changed :(

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Here you can see the Europa could easily fit sideways in these massive structures.

The tiny cars parked by the entrance also allow a scale comparison.

post-25-1106056858.jpg

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During WW1 the entrances were fitted with massive wind breaks to prevent airships being damaged when being moved in and out of the sheds.

Wind has always been a real problem, here is the Europa a few days later after breaking loose from its mast at Cardington.

On the journey from Heathrow, travelling around Bedford on the bypass, I see these massive structures on the skyline and know I am nearly home again.

Cheers from a homesick expat.

post-25-1106057141.jpg

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Clan Dhai,

Don't talk in jest about housing estates !

There is an application going through a public inquiry at the moment for 1,000 houses on the old RAF camp adjoining the sheds. Applicationsalready granted for light industrial uses in and about hangar no 2 and there are other applications in the pipeline for storage on adjoining land. So don't think that what you see in and around the area of the sheds will be anything like the same in 10 years. All in the name of progress, you understand.

I am pretty sure that the sheds will go at some point unless they get some funding from Griff Rhys-Jones. In terms of re-use, they are simply too big, unless, as happened recently, you just happen to want to do some filming for the latest Batman film.

The sheds are open to the public once a year so take the opportunity for photographs while you can.

Despairingly,

David

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Guest Pete Wood

There is, perhaps, a little hope, guys.

If you look in the latest (February) issue of The Automobile (for all pre-1950s cars) magazine, there is a news story about a chap who wants to open a classic car museum.

It doesn't say which shed he is intending to use, though. I've asked the editor if he can find out more.

Fingers crossed.

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Pete - I'm going over to Cople on Sunday (Dad's birthday), I'll see if I can get a picture.

That photo of the downed blimp reminds me of my dad. When Ken heard about the blimp being destroyed by the high winds he went over to Cardington to get a photo (along with a number of other locals). They were disappointed as there was hardly a thing there :lol:.

If that is Bedford HP in the photo then that was one of the worst appliances I've been near. The thing was always in the reapir shop :D

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