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Press and Media

As a Croydonian with little aviation knowledge I found the whole Croydon Airport Visitor Centre experience very interesting. The architecture and history of the airport from its conception to its demise was fascinating. 

Via Tripadvisor

Press and Media

Press and Media

Albums of First World War photographs scanned in

As part of the Fighting for Air project three volumes of photographs taken by RFC (then RAF) mechanic Keith Landowne of planes, engines and surrounds of the training at Gosport Aerodrome have been scanned in by Townsweb Archive. These give a remarkable insight into the planes, the crashes and the infrastructure supporting the RFC then RAF as the air service professionalised in 1916-18.

You can view Album 1 here; Album 2 here; album 3 here.

Historic Croydon Airport Trust celebrates £9,200 Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Fighting for Air: The First World War Origins of Croydon Airport

Today Historic Croydon Airport Trust (HCAT) has received a National Lottery grant of £9,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Fighting for Air: The First World War Origins of Croydon Airport’ project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will promote understanding of how London Croydon Airport was developed from two aerodromes at Beddington and Waddon, built as part of the Nation’s air defences, during the First World War. It will also commemorate the 1918 opening and work carried out by the local community at the National Aircraft Factory No.1, located on the former airport site.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project will enable volunteers to research and interpret information on the war in the air, the implementation of air defences and the long-term impact of the aviation industry on parts of Croydon and Sutton. On the 13th October 1915, a night time Zeppelin airship raid on East Croydon brought devastating consequences for local residents caught in the path of the bombs.

Volunteers will investigate the HCAT archives and visit local studies centres as well as the RAF Museum at Colindale. Training and sharing of information will take place over approximately 6 evenings and 2 Saturdays from late October 2017 to March 2018. The meet up venue will be in the Sutton / Croydon area. Please contact Debbie Challis (volcordcas@gmail.com) for further information.

In Spring 2018, information on the airport’s involvement in the First World War will be put in a new display case at Croydon Airport Visitor Centre micro-museum. The impact of the war and the fledgling aviation industry on the local area will be mapped on the History Pin website and a free heritage map produced. There will also be a series of project related public events on the First World War in the air.

Commenting on the award, Ian Walker, Chair of Historic Croydon Airport Trust said: “We are thrilled to receive the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for this project, thanks to National Lottery players, and look forward to making an important aspect of local, national and international history better known.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £90million to more than 1,700 projects – large and small - that are marking this global Centenary; with our small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in Fighting for Air to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”


About Historic Croydon Airport Trust

Historic Croydon Airport Trust is the independent charity that champions the history and heritage of London Croydon Airport. Our mission is to help everyone explore how the people, events and innovations at the world’s first modern airport shaped air travel.

The former Gate Lodge and Terminal Building of the airport were granted Grade II listed building status in 1978. On May 5th 2017, the listed status of the former Terminal Building was upgraded in national importance to Grade II* after recommendation by Historic England, supported by evidence researched by the Historic Croydon Airport Trust. The former airport played a significant part in both World Wars, the establishment of Britain’s international air transport industry and world-record breaking flights.

The Trust operates the Croydon Airport Visitor Centre micro-museum with a volunteer team from across local communities and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Croydon (as rated on Trip Advisor). The Croydon Airport Visitor Centre and parts of Airport House are open on the first Sunday of every month and for other special events. HCAT also has an archive of over 100,000 documents and 10,000 images, including audio and video recordings and artefacts.

Heritage Lottery Fund and support for First World War heritage

·         Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

·         To date, £90million in HLF grants has been awarded to projects across the UK so they can mark the Centenary and explore all aspects of First World War heritage that matters to them. Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019.  It is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.  To find out how to apply for funding visit www.hlf.org.uk/thenandnow  If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes www.hlf.org.uk/firstworldwar

·         To join the conversation on social media please use #understandingww1

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Debbie Challis on volcoordcas@gmail.com / 07908 224706 or Ian Walker at cas.cavc@hotmail.co.uk / 0777 968 1035.