Great War Centenary

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright July 2016, John M; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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Airships and Aircraft

A single hangar and township was constructed by Short Brothers at Cardington in 1916 to build the R31 and R32 airships for the Admiralty. The second WW1 hangar was moved here after the war from RNAS Pulham, Norfolk in 1928.

TL0746 : Cardington airship hangars from the air by Thomas Nugent TL0846 : Cardington Airfield Airship Sheds by PAUL FARMER TL0846 : Cardington Airfield Airship Sheds - near Shortstown, Beds by Amanda Kerr-Munslow TL0847 : Cardington station (remains) and Airship Sheds, 1987 by Ben Brooksbank TL0746 : Airship hangars at Cardington by Philip Jeffrey

TL0846 : Airship Hangar No. 2 - interior view to west in 1994 by John Webb TL0846 : Airship Hangar No. 2 - Interior in 1970 by John Webb TL0846 : Airship Hangar No. 2 - interior to east end in 1994 by John Webb

Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough
SU8654 : Former balloon hangar, Farnborough by Alan Hunt

Re-named from the Army Balloon Factory in 1912.

National Aero-Engine Factory, Ladbroke Grove
TQ2382 : Sun Hill police station (former) by Phillip Perry

The Clement Talbot works was nationalised in January 1918 following friction with repair of competitor Rolls-Royce engines.


National Shipyard No 1, Chepstow

The Standard Shipbuilding Company's shipyard beside the River Wye in Chepstow was taken over in August 1917 as National Shipyard No 1 with two further sites to be developed at Beachley and Portbury to assemble 'standard' steam ships. Building work on the sites was carried out by thousands of Royal Engineers with administration of the yards by civil servants. The problem faced by the previous owners was attracting and finding accommodation for an experienced workforce in a small town. Their solution was to construct 'Garden City' suburbs but progress had been slow and was further delayed following the takeover. Use of military conscript labour and POWs to construct ships led to major labour relations difficulties. Altogether the experiment was a failure and only a handful of vessels were built.

ST5393 : The river Wye by Mark Hobbs ST5393 : Roofless former Mabey Bridge site in Chepstow by Jaggery ST5393 : Building near Buffers Wharf, Chepstow by Gareth James ST5393 : Bridges, boats, fences and moorings by Nick Mutton ST5393 : Severn Princess by Nick Mutton

Standard Shipbuilding had plans in 1916 for a Garden City at Hardwick for their workers to be built on the rising ground above their new shipyard. The designs were prepared by London architects Dunn, Watson & Curtis Green. The houses are constructed of concrete blocks which were sourced locally. Completion of the houses was delayed due to nationalisation of the yard in 1917.

ST5393 : Chepstow Garden City from cycle route 42 by Ruth Sharville ST5393 : Portwall Road, Chepstow by Jaggery ST5393 : Wales Coast Path through Hardwick Garden City by Tim Heaton ST5393 : Caird Street, Chepstow by Chris Heaton ST5393 : The green at the junction of Caird Street and Hardwick Avenue, Chepstow Garden City by Ruth Sharville ST5393 : Junction of Green Street and Hardwick Avenue, Chepstow Garden City by Ruth Sharville

A further Garden City was built at Bulwark. The first houses completed in September 1918 were much smaller and built to an economy design to save materials. They were described by councillors as 'pig styes and dog kennels' and were later modified.

ST5392 : The Octagon, Bulwark Garden City by Ruth Sharville ST5392 : Bulwark Avenue at crossroads by Ruth Sharville ST5392 : Camp Road, Bulwark Garden City by Ruth Sharville ST5392 : Houses in Bulwark Garden City by Ruth Sharville ST5392 : Bulwark Avenue houses, Bulwark, Chepstow  by Jaggery ST5392 : Chepstow : Alpha Road by Lewis Clarke

National Shipyard No 2, Beachley

The headland at Beachley, Gloucestershire, at the mouth of the River Wye was taken over for National Shipyard No 2 in September 1917 for the assembly of standard steam ships. Slipways, jetties, railways and temporary accommodation were constructed on site. No vessels were constructed before the end of hostilities. An army training camp now occupies most of the site.

ST5490 : Beachley Point by David Purchase ST5491 : Beachley Army Apprentices College by Nick Mutton

An estate of houses was built nearby at Pennsylvania Farm, Sedbury using the designs used at Hardwick and Bulwark.

ST5493 : Junction of Mercian Way and Offas Close by Nick Mutton ST5493 : Bridget Drive, Sedbury by Nick Mutton ST5493 : Mercian Way, Pennsylvania Village by Nick Mutton ST5493 : Junction of Mercian Way and Bridget Drive by Nick Mutton

Furness Shipyard, Haverton Hill

In March 1918 a ninety acre site beside the River Tees was reclaimed and developed as an emergency shipyard for the Furness Shipbuilding Company with eight slipways and a fitting out dock. The shipyard would assemble standard vessels from prefabricated panels and was expected to deliver a vessel every two weeks. The war ended before the first vessel was launched; the War Energy of 6500t was delivered in April 1919. The shipyard continued in use until becoming a victim of the nationalisation of Swan Hunter in the 1970s.

NZ4822 : The Furness Shipyard, Haverton Hill by Mick Garratt NZ4822 : Furness Shipyard slipways ( redundant ) by DTwigg NZ4822 : The Furness Shipyard by Mick Garratt NZ4822 : The Furness Shipyard by Mick Garratt


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