Bedford Creative Arts launch Airship Dreamers club for kids


Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) have launched the Airship Dreamers club to help local children explore Bedford’s Airship history.

The club forms part of BCA’s Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity project which runs at The Higgins’ William Harpur Gallery until 28 November 2021.

BCA Director Elaine Midgley said they want all Bedford’s children to be proud of the town’s heritage and learn more about airships and the Cardington sheds.

She said: “Bedford is a town of visionaries and pioneers, and these young people will be the next generation of arts, culture and science talent from Bedford.

“The Airship Dreamers Club is a great way for local young children to use arts, culture and science in a fun and interactive way to explore this heritage.”

The club uses videos and activities to engage children in a fun and educational exploration of the history and science behind airships.

They are presented by Channel 5 Milkshake presenter Sita Thomas and are aimed at imaginative children who like learning about what makes things tick.

In the videos, Sita speaks to special guests including children’s book author Vashti Hardy and Little Science Lab’s Kristina Castle.

Sita Thomas from Channel 5’s Milkshake

Each video contains a challenge to create something new e.g. an airship mobile, a canister rocket or a flight of fantasy story. Worksheets support each activity.

Airship Dreamers will receive a certificate and badge once they’ve completed the activities.

The Escaping Gravity project forms an immersive artwork and community-curated exhibition.  It uses the Fortnite software ‘Unreal Engine’ to take the viewer on a spectacular journey akin to floating through space.

Locally and internationally donated airship artefacts and memorabilia will be on display.

The Higgins Bedford website says: “With Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity, we hope to provide Bedford residents with a new understanding and pride in its airship heritage, as well as letting the world know that we contributed to such ground-breaking work in aviation and engineering.”

Bedford has a long history with airships. In the 1920’s it was the UK’s global airship hub.

The largest airship, the R101, was developed at the Cardington sheds.

However, the R101 crashed on its first international flight on 5 October 1930 ending the UK’s airship programme and Bedford’s airship dreams.

To find out more about the Airship Dreamers club please visit here

To find out more about Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity art exhibition at The Higgins Bedford, visit here.

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