Historic hangar at Cardington faces an uncertain future

Source: bedfordshire-news.co.uk

Supporters of an historic airship shed say it’s vital the structure is restored as quickly as possible.

Last weekend a hole was spotted at the top of Shed 1 at Cardington, thought to have been caused by strong winds.

And now those who have been campaigning to get the structure – which was built in 1915 and became the most important airship development site in Britain – restored, say it’s more important now than ever.

Cardington Shed 1 damaged by storm

Thirty-four-year-old Trevor Monk who writes a blog about the sheds said: ‘We are all starting to get very worried that if the framework starts to rot after being exposed by the wind, restoration may not be possible.’ He said he hadn’t seen any work taking place but Patrick Tattan, managing director of Fosbern Hangars Ltd which owns the shed, said that workers had been on site for the last few weeks ‘painting and cleaning’.

He said that the damage was caused by the storms at Christmas and then they had to remove part of it to protect workers inside the shed.

Mr. Tattan, who couldn’t say what they were planning on using the shed for, added: “We are going to restore the shed and it will take 18 months to two years.” He said previously they were awaiting planning permission on a housing development on the land before beginning restoration but that because it was taking so long they decided to get started.

Cardington Shed # 1 with damaged panels removed

Mr. Monk, who grew up in Cardington and said the airships used to go right over his house, added: “I have been hooked ever since. We have been wanting the shed to be restored for years now.” The airship site was nationalized in 1919 and became known as the Royal Airship Works.

Shed 2 was ‘moved’ to the site from Norfolk in 1928 But, when the famous R101 airship crashed in France with the loss of 48 lives on its way to India in 1930, the British airship industry collapsed and Cardington became a storage station.

Shed 2 has been leased to Warner Bros and has been used for a number of scenes in the Batman films and Inception as well as by bands rehearsing including Take That, U2 and AC/DC

Source: bedfordshire-news.co.uk

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