Whilst Eustace continued with the construction of balloons the company received an order for two airships for the Admiralty

Cardington 1917

1910 - 1917

Eeastchurch Timeline

Cardington Timeline: 1917


The company SHORT BROTHERS (Rochester and Bedford) Ltd. purchased a site near Cardington in Bedfordshire to build the enormous airship facilities needed, i.e. two enormous hangers. Supporting this venture, they built a ‘garden village’, Shortstown, and a very impressive administration and design centre. Staff were transferred to modern accommodation with electricity and ‘all mod cons’

Here the Short brothers demonstrated their famous genius and excellence in workmanship together with meticulous care and skill in building the estate that is still in use and such wonderful condition one hundred years later.


Despite such a stunning new enterprise nationalisation came the same year and ended the Short brother’s involvement Cardington. The new company was The Royal Airship Works. They built just two airships – R31 and R32.

The whole project petered out after the war finished in 1918 as there was no longer a need for airships.


14 Eastchurch 13 Eastchurch

Shorts Building 1917

15 Eastchurch

Shorts Building 2012

Cardington Hangars, during restoration