These simply gigantic buildings have been arresting the attention ever since they were first built at Cardington in Bedfordshire, in the early twentieth century. They are airship hangars, the first one built here in 1917, the second brought here from Pulham St. Mary, Norfolk, in 1926. My father first pointed them out to me from a train as it left Bedford station, later he showed me little sepia Kodak snapshots he took here of the prodigious R101 just prior to its tragic demise in a muddy French field near Beauvais in 1930. After all that I obviously couldn't resist including them in my book Pastoral Peculiars. They are 812 feet long and 275 feet wide, Nelson's Column would fit inside- and upright. The doors are opened on their own little railway track.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)