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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Liz at school 5

Liz Walker telling the story of Eustace, Oswald and Horace Short to the children at Shortstown school.

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Every schoolchild at Shortstown Primary and Pre School was given a centenary mug and history booklet.

24th January 2017 - our first Centenary Event! Liz Walker a great great niece of Eustace and Oswald Short visits our school and presents each child with a Centenary mug. For more photos and the full story visit our School Presentation page in the Centenary News section.

Hugh Oswald LW
Eustace Short

Founders of Shortstown 1917 - Eustace (left) and Oswald Short. Read all about them in our Shorts era section.

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Built 1915-1917 Shed no 1

Shorts Building

The Shorts Building built in 1917


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Above Sgt Walter Potter a survivor of the R38 airship crash who lived in Shortstown. Walter lost his life in the R101 crash. In June 2015 Potter Meadows in Shortstown was named in his honour.

1921 Emblem of the Royal Airship Works

1930 The R101 Airship - many of the crew and design staff lived in Shortstown.

PF Men opening shed doors

Opening the doors of one of the sheds 1930's

RAF Cardington1

RAF Cardington played a huge role in our history. The knowledge and experience gained through the airship years was not lost and research continued in balloon development. In 1936 the site became RAF Cardington.
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.

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Above is a plan of the proposed new gateway for Shortstown - see more in the Gateway section.

Final centenary copy LT

The year 2017 is very special to us. Go to our Centenary Events page and see what is going on. And come and join us!

Welcome to the Shortstown Heritage website. This site was set up in 2009 to celebrate our extraordinary past. Shortstown near Bedford was built in 1917 by the Short brothers to house workers on their airships originally intended to be used in the First World War. The houses still standing today were opposite the airship construction site. Work was halted on all airships following the crash of the R38 in 1921 and revived in 1925 when work began on the famous R101 airship only to end in 1930 when it crashed. A little known fact is that eighteen of the crew who died in the R101 crash had lived in Shortstown.

The year 2017 marks a very special year for Shortstown - we are now 100 years old!

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