Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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In WW1 there was a very large threat on British shipping from German U-Boats. To counter this threat it was found that small airships with the airframe of an old aircraft slung underneath was a simply and cheep aerial alternative. Airship stations were opened up all over the country and there was even one in Tresco in the Isles of Scilly. The SS class airships (Submarine Class) were of a none rigid type. They carried a crew of between two and three, small bombs, machine gun and radio that could contact any Royal Naval ships in thier area to aid in the attack on the submarine or to blow up mines that they found.
Building of the station commenced in 1918 and was stopped abruptly in September 1919 when nearly complete. Buildings that were constructed including airship shed, gas holders and repair workshops but it seems doubtful any operational airship ever landed here?. The large farm house at Woodsford I was told by the farmer, that the doors still had "Wardroom", etc. printed on them until recently re decorated and modernise.

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German U-boat.

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An SS class airship using a B.E.2c fuselage as a gondola.

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RNAS Station.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Official Naval Film.

British Airships in the East.

This film gives a very good idea of what an SS airship looked like and how it was used.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
An SS Submarine Scouts

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They carried small anti-submarine bombs and would scout for German U-Boats around convoys off the coast. When a submarine was spotted by the airship, it could either attack the submarine or contact via radio a patrolling Royal navy ship. Or both.

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R Class WW1 destroyer.

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WWII Anti-Submarine Bomb.

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SS Z16

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
An SS Submarine Scouts

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The cockpit of a Scout, note the instruments and a Lewis gun pointing straight upwards in the front compartment.

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SS Z16

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Plan

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The approximate area of the Airship Landing Field.
The Blue square is the main site for administration, MT, engineering. Accommodation may have been in the village as I believe Woodsford Farm house was used for officers accommodation.
The Yellow square is the airship shed base and the concrete foundations for a windbreak.
The Green is the Stanton air-raid shelter from WW2. 

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Royal Naval transport.

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Water tank.

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Old airship hangar.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Main gate

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The whole area is privately owned and has NO rights of way over the land, the Farmer very kindly let me walk over his fields to take these photos.

The main gate.
The building on the right is the original WW1 guard room/gate house and cells.
The new factory units on the left replaced some large WW1 sheds which held the power house and MT section.

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Royal Navy Motor Transport.

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Plan.

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Mobile workshop lorry.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Guard room

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All the windows and doors have been bricked up, a door placed in the end wall and a new roof put on, This was the Gate House/Guard Room and held the cells.

From British Military Airfield Architecture page 73, shows a picture of the third WW1 building and they were roofed in corrugated iron.

Upton near Poole and at Toller near Dorchester, were Sub Stations of Mullion in Cornwall but Moreton Admiralty Airship Station was to be a primary station in its own right.

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On Guard.


Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Guard Room

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Rear view

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Plan.


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RNAS.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Officers Mess

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I was told this was called the Village Hall. Now its a mess hut for the farm workers but it was originally the Officers Mess and a much larger building.

I have just read that the Airship Shed at Mullion was dismantled and parts were used for a bus garage in Padstow.

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RNAS Officers.

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Officer inspection.

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Officers mess type building at RAF Upavon.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Officers Mess

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Go to The Airship Heritage Trust a very good airship site.


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Officer inspection.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Officers Mess

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View from behind.

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Plan.

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Officers Mess

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A very comfortable room.

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Officers at RNAS Slindon, Sussex. Airship mooring site. As it may have looked here.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Officers Mess

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It looks as though it is the original fire place.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Cinema/Hall

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Used as a cinema/hall maybe after the war?

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Plan.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Cinema/Hall

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Looking at the other side.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Looking back on the main site

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This shows the original road layout.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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US 7PH Group 4 Jan 1944

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
My plan of the Airship Station

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A US Army Air Force air photo of RAF Warmwell on the 04 January 1944, showing many of the original RNAS buildings and layout

There was a railway spur off the main line.
A water plant, water tower and I think a Hydrogen plant? or Hydrogen storage.
The main site.
The airship hangar remains.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Landing ground

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The layout of the landing ground.

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Plan.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Water tower

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The roof of the water tower, needed not only for the camp but for production of Hydrogen.

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Green - Hydrogen.
Blue - Oxygen.

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Thaddeus S. C. Lowe was a American Civil War aeronaut, scientist and inventors of a Hydrogen plant.

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RAF Bicester's WW1 water tower.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Water tower

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Made of reinforced concrete.

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Airship station, Ballyquirke, Killeagh, County Cork, Ireland's water tower.

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Plan.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Water well

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This is the well where they got their water from. The pipe work I think is modern and used for irrigation of the farms fields.

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
The Railway

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The Dorchester/London railway line with RAF Wormwell's control tower behind with a new pitched roof.

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RAF Wormwell's control tower. Watch Office 12779/41 type.

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Plan.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
The hangar

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Plan of the hangar and the windbreak to the east. Due to the prevailing wind coming from the west, airships would fly in to the wind and descend down to a height whereby hauling ropes, hanging down from the nose and tail, could be grabbed by as many men as you can get and held in position. Then gradually hauled into the hangar.

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Plan.

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NS11 being hauled down.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Hangar

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The floor of the hangar.

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How it may have looked.

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Airship hangar under construction.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Hangar

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Base plate of a steel stanchion.

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Airship hangar may have looked..

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Steel framed airship hangar being demolished.

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Airship hangar in Northumberland.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Door runner

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Steel door runner, there would be two parallel runners to move the large hangar doors. They were huge doors and very heavy, they had two tracks and wheels on an axle/bogies to run them open and close. This could be done with man power or by a winch.

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Mullion Admiralty Airship Station Door.

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Cramlington ASS doors.

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Door arrangement.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Hangar

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Possibly a building on the side.

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Door bogies on an airship station in Normandy.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Fire hydrant

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The chance of fire was very high as airships used Hydrogen which is highly inflammable.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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Hard to see but a line in the undergrowth where something was laid out.

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Plan.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Hangar

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Another view of that line.

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Door rails on a French airship station Normandy.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Hangar

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Parts of the hangar foundations.

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A French airship station Normandy used concrete supports.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Hangar

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More hangar foundations.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Wind Break

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Part of the foundations for the wind break on the south eastern side.

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Plan

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Wind Break

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A whole row of wind break foundations looking east.

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Here is a picture of a much longer and larger wind break.

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This is more how it may have looked.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
Wind Break

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Looking west.

Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
WW2

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World War 2 Stanton air-raid shelter.

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Plan.

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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10 February 2004

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station
WW2

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Inside the Stanton shelter.

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Construction of a Stanton shelter.

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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25 February 2018

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Moreton Admiralty Airship Station

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