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December 7, 2013 / basabbott

Airship Project for Schools

R34 image - Copy

Higher than a cathedral and the length of two football
pitches, airships were the kings of the sky during and after
the First World War.
Like Concorde, they were opposed, established themselves
as the last word in sophisticated travel and ended in
disaster, as though they had never been.
Theirs is a fascinating and now little-known story that is
the subject of an educational project by Diss and other
museums.
The Zeppelins that caused panic as they appeared over England; the R34
that made, in 1919, the first double conquest of the Atlantic; the airships,
like the R38, that fell from the sky; the R33, that broke from its East
Anglian moorings and had a hair-raising voyage over the North Sea; the
French Dixmude that disappeared over the Mediterranean; the dramatic
polar voyages of the Norge and Italia; the many successful transatlantic
journeys of the Graf Zeppelin; the tragic end of the R101 as it plunged into
a French hill; the fireball that engulfed the hitherto unassailable
Hindenberg – all these and more provide a rich fund of material for a
schools project.
Some of the most important airship sites were: East Fortune in Scotland,
Cardington & Shortstown in Bedfordshire and Pulham in Norfolk.
We are inviting schools from these areas to participate. The project would
include a website, to which schools could contribute and connect with
each other. Community film makers would go into schools and lead
pupils in creating animated films of the airship age. These could be run as
after-school activities with groups of up to a dozen pupils.
This is the kind of project that could attract major funding; and is well
worth participation.
Basil Abbott, Diss Museum (01379) 650618 or dissmuseum@lineone.netR34 image - Copy

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