Cramlington was chosen as a stand alone operation base located
north east of Cramlington Station, and adjacent to the existing
aerodrome. A single Coastal class airship shed was constructed
which was 358 feet long and 110 feet wide.There was a small
hydrogen gas making plant in a building behind the shed.
It was intended to eventually base four non rigid Submarine
Scout Twin airships here
RNAS Cramlingtons coastal shed was unusual as it was
pained brown to blend in with the local countryside. Also
unusually there were no windbreaks fitted to the shed, despite
its exposed position
station was not completed by the time of the Armistice but
work continued on the construction of the planned airship
shed, which measured some 300 x 100 x 70 feet on a NE-SW
axis that aligned with the prevailing wind.
SST airships were operational from the Coastal shed with
some twenty officers, and 281 men were stationed at the
airship station. Further airships were to be station here,
however the armistice came in November 1918, and so the
station was no longer used.
Like most other airship stations in Britain it was hastily
In the early 1920s a company considered using the
facilities to operate an airship service to Norway but nothing
came of this plan. Some of the buildings were used as a
hostel for miners. The closing years of that decade saw
a revival of its fortunes. A small enterprise which went
by the name of British Airships Ltd.; which later changed
its name to the Airship Development Company thought it could
revive the fortunes of the small non rigid airships.They
constructed an airship designated the A.D.1 in the airship
shed at Cramlington. The machine was 138 feet in length
and maximum diameter of 29 feet.
was advertised as being suitable for private flying, passenger
flights, instruction, advertising , aerial photography and
surveying. The main revenue was anticipated to come from
advertising and for this role it had panels on its side
measuring 76 feet by 24 feet.
on the SS design with a 75hp Rolls-Royce "Hawk"
engine. It was designated the "AD.1" and registered
G-FAAX. Its primary role was for advertising and aerial
photography and made its first flight on 13th September
1929 followed by an appearance at the Newcastle Air Pageant
held at the Cramlington Aerodrome on 5th October.
During 1930, the work continued including flights over London.
Unfortunately on 5th October 1930 while flying in Belgium
advertising a cigarette company the airship was destroyed
in a storm. The salvaged remains were later sold at auction
the following year on 18th June.
two envelopes which had cost £1,000 each sold for
£22 10s, the engine for £13 10s (the new owner
planning to use in a motor boat) and the Gondola with all
instruments fetching £2.
The Airship Development Company, however was liquidated
at the end of 1930 having overestimated the demand for its
services. Britain at the time was in deep recession. The
two airship envelopes were sold to be made into dust sheets
for furniture and the airship shed at Cramlington vacated
,never to be used again by airships.
the end of its days, the airship shed was used by a firm
called Concrete Utilities Ltd ., to make concrete lamp posts.
It was eventually demolished in 1967 having outlived its
contemporaries by many years. Most other airship sheds had
in fact disappeared by the outbreak of World War II.