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The R.101 Memorial Site

Conservation by Airship Heritage Trust

Cardington Cemetary, Cardington, Bedfordhire

After many years of voluntary and ad hoc support, it was agreed by the Airship Heritage Trust Council that we should approach the Parish Council and offer financial support and volunteer work for the upkeep of the R.101 Memorial. We are restoring the turf around the outside, and improving the overall appearance of the memorial. T

his is an ongoing project and we will be continuing the work to ensure that the memorial is shown at is best to all visitors, and those who wish to pay their respects to those who were tragically lost in the loss of the R.101.


June 2020 - Stonework Update report by President Paul Ross

Following the completion of the repairs to the R.101 Memorial and Tomb last year, as described in the Spring issue of Dirigible, Council agreed that Corinthian Stone should be engaged to clean the Memorial and all the surrounding stonework. This work has now been completed and I hope members will agree that the whole area has been transformed. The cleaning was carried out using specialist equipment designed to avoid damage to the stonework and had the agreement and support of Cardington Parish Council. As expected, it has not been possible to remove all the rust stains from the plinth around the base of the Memorial (caused by wreaths being left in place for too long) but there has been a great improvement in the Memorial and Tomb’s overall appearance.
October 2019 - Stonework Update


It was noted that some of the paving and condition of the memorial was deteriorating over time. AHT Trustee, Paul Ross worked with the War Graves Commission, and obtained the appropriate permission and agreement for work to be undertaken, to make the sympathetic and approved repairs. Paul went to Cardington on 15th October, to have a site meeting with Dan Gerard of Corinthian Stone. Despite the poor weather recently, they had managed to complete the work on lifting and re-seating the broken paving stones around the Memorial. The joints have been cleaned out and filled with a mixture of sand and gravel to improve drainage. (Dan said it worked very well in the recent bad weather) You’ll agree that it’s a great improvement.

They were completing work on the Memorial itself. They have replaced the tapered block under one of the vases and have repaired the broken piece adjacent to it. The two new sections of stone in the plinth are a different colour at the moment because the stone had been stored in the open in Corinthian’s yard and got very wet. The colour will lighten as the stone dries out and should be a close match to the original. They have also done quite a lot of re-pointing.

The group photo shows Dan, Andrew and Ben of Corinthian Stone and the work undertaken. You will all agree that the work has been worthwhile. You will also see how the parched areas of grass have recovered since the previous photos were taken

June 2017- R.101 Memorial Update and Information Pannel unveilling
Following the 2017 Annual General Meeting, our Patron, Baroness Smith, unveiled a new information panel at the R.101 Memorial. The event was attended by members of the Trust and visitors to the Annual General Meeting.

Also present were Rev. Stephen Smith, Vicar of St Mary’s Church, Cardington, and Cllr. Alan Apling, Chairman of Cardington Parish Council, with whom AHT Trustee Paul Ross had been working to secure improvements to the Memorial site and the installation of the panel.

Visitors who now attend the grave and Memorial will be able to read about its history and the importance of Cardington, the airships and the men who rest there.
February 2016 - Ground preparation being underaken and re-turfing
Turf around the memorial being laid in March 2016


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