Historical places, airship, Bedfordshire local history, airships, national heritage sites, historic preservation, attractions in the UK, heritage sites in the UK, historical monuments, historical landmarks, tourist attractions in the UK, places in UK to visit, tourist in England, historical tourism, R101 and R100 airships.

Shortstown Heritage

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RAF Cardington1

For more about RAF Cardington visit the RAF section in this website for background information or visit our sister site www.rafcardingtoncamp.co.uk for more in-depth research.

In later years from 1950 onwards new houses were built in Shortstown to accommodate RAF staff. The station became a recruiting centre for young men called up for National Service. In 1966 The Balloon Unit moved away and civilians mostly remained on the site taking over the Gas Plant. RAF Cardington finally closed in 2000.

However this is not the end of Shortstowns story - the station has since been demolished and new homes have replaced the old buildings but Sheds 1 and 2 still remain and The Shorts Building has been restored and is now a children’s centre on the ground floor and apartments on the first floor. In recent years Shed no 1 was the home to the Airlander and locals were often treated to the sight of the ship on trial runs around the locality. And of course who can forget the arrival in 2013 of One Direction who completed a video in Shed No 1 – a real treat for local fans!

Both sheds are now home to the film industry which opens up a new chapter not only for Shortstown but also for Bedford. However Shortstown will always be associated with airships and the RAF station opposite and is in no hurry to forget its wonderful heritage.

Jane Harvey
August 2018

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