Cardington Snapshots.


Station Gate Guard.


A beautiful photo of a de Havilland airplane by the side of one of the sheds. (Undated).


A typical billet at RAF Cardington.

This wonderful image is shown with kind permission of Heather Simkins and was taken by Sidney Oscar Wilson who was stationed at RAF Cardington for a time in 1949/1950.  It is labelled " A typical billett at Cardington" and on the back is the date June 1949. This very rare image shows how neat and tidy billetts had to be kept and the living conditions for recruits at that time. One wonders just how many young men passed through this particular billett. This photograph is part of a fabulous collection of images taken by Sidney Wilson during his RAF career. His Flight photograph taken at Cardington is shown on the RAF Servicemen 1945-1960 page.

Many thanks must go to Heather Simpkins for preserving this collection and sharing it with us.


Above are two sample pages of documents recording the loan of a Chipmunk airplane from RAF Henlow to RAF Cardington in February and August 1955. Predictably there was less flying in February due to poor weather conditions. I have similar documents for the whole of 1955.


Patricia Brown has sent in this intriguing photograph of a tankard shown left.

“I’ve just been doing some cleaning and have polished the tankard shown in the photo. It is something I bought years ago just because I like these artisan things to be preserved. I’ve looked before about the camp (not for a long while though) but just found yours so thought it might be of interest. I just like to picture the airman crafting it and having it hanging in the bar….. Sorry it’s not very good quality, I should have taken the picture before I polished it! Unfortunately the inscription doesn’t give a name, otherwise I would have made an effort to find the family when I bought it.  All it says is:

“Officers Mess

R.A.F Cardington


Patricia's intriguing tankard.


Inside page from the 1938 Empire Air Day programme.


Outer cover of a folder issued to RAF men arriving at Cardington to be demobbed at the end of WW2 1945


Familiar to thousands of RAF personnel - a national savings book. (Image sent in by Alan Thomas)

Outer cover of a programme from an Empire Air Day held at Cardington in 1939

An RAF MT drivers license issued in 1965 to Alan Thomas.

Above - a membership card for Cardington Sports & Social Club issued in the 1970's.


Inside of the Balloonatics programme shown left.

Outer cover of a programme of the first ever concert performance on camp of The Balloonatics - a group made up of RAF personnel in March 1940


A very rare surviving invitation to a Passing Out Parade from No 1 School of Recruit Training dated 9th Sept 1950. It is addressed to "Flying Officer and Mrs Balfour" and the assumption must be that their son is part of the parade..


Inner page complete with signatures of a Christmas Day dinner menu 1943 .


A 1939 poster advertising cheap return coach travel to London subsidised by grants.

Outer page of a dinner menu Christmas Day 1943.