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September 7, 2012 / garyalex

The R34 Adventure

Click for R34 Newsletter No.1I went up to Scotland in August for a meeting at the National Museum of Flight.

In the 1980s I wrote an article about the R34 airship that, in 1919, made the first double Atlantic crossing.

So 2019 will be the centenary of that voyage from East Fortune to Long Island and back to Pulham.

I had already been in touch with Pulham Pennoyers Centre, the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island and various other museums and societies about a commemoration.

One of many ideas is to have a joint project by the schools in East Lothian, Long Island and South Norfolk.

The curator and education officer at East Fortune were very enthusiastic and welcomed the ideas. One of their own was for former airship venues to create an outline on the ground to show just how big an airship was – the length of two football pitches.

I had been trying to track down an R34 model that used to be at London Airport. The Scottish curator told me that it was at Brooklands Museum and, as they were looking for a home for the model, we could probably have it!

The initial response has been favourable all round. The editor of Dirigible magazine forwarded my email to his associates, several of whom offered their expertise.

Seven years might seem a long time; but it will soon pass, as I know from previous projects.

Meanwhile I will continue to research the R34 and collect memorabilia. So far I have postcards, pictures, a printer’s block of the airship, an advert saying that a firm were proud to supply the R34 with their magnetos; and a picture cutting signed by some of the crew.

Basil Abbott

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