Airship Dreams

Airship Dreams Blog

Airship Dreams: FAQs for Community Contributions

Be part of Bedford Creative Arts’ ambitious community art project, Airship Dreams, and contribute to a celebration of Bedford’s identity as the historical centre of the UK’s airship industry.

We’re inviting you to share your own experiences and memories of Bedford’s airship heritage to add to our online community archive, with the possibility of even being included in the Airship Dreams exhibition in 2021.

What is the project?

Airship Dreams is an artistic enquiry into Bedford’s identity as the historical centre of the UK’s airship industry, led by award-winning artist Mike Stubbs. Following a call-out to the local community to share memories, artefacts and ideas around the airship for an online archive, the project will culminate in an exhibition at Higgins Bedford in 2021, featuring commissioned airship-inspired art installations alongside a selection of community contributions.

The community’s collective memory and imagination of Bedford’s airship heritage will serve not only as the inspiration but also as the raw archive material for the art works featured in the exhibition.

Airship Dreams is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and sponsored by the Harpur Trust, and delivered in partnership with Airship Heritage Trust and the Higgins Bedford.

What can I contribute?

What are your connections with Bedford’s airship heritage? What memories, stories or memorabilia do you or your family have from this time? What future do you imagine for flight and air travel?

In order to build our community archive, we’re looking for the following:

  • Historical contributions related to the airship industry (eg. a description of a particular memory; an old photo; historical video footage; a ‘show and tell-style’ video of you or a family member ‘unboxing’ an artefact)
  • Imaginative or artistic contributions inspired by airships or flight (eg. a picture your children have drawn of an airship; a description or artistic expression of what you imagine the future of flying to look like)

What formats will you accept?

  • Photograph or image
  • Video clip
  • Piece of writing eg. memory/story/poem/description
  • Audio recording

There is no maximum or minimum length we require. For particularly large media files, you might wish to use a free file-sharing platform like to share these with us.

Please provide your first name, and some context or explanation of your contribution when you submit it. If you are submitting a historical contribution, please remember to mention the date or rough date range of the memory or artefact.

If you are submitting a video, please record it in a well-lit environment and avoid much background noise.

If you’d rather not be on camera, you are welcome to send us a written testimony or an audio recording. Plus, if you’d like to remain anonymous, then just let us know.

What is unboxing?

If you have an airship-related artefact, we’d particularly welcome submissions in the format of an ‘unboxing’ video, which is essentially a ‘show and tell’ style of video where you unwrap/open/remove your artefact from its packaging, showing it and explaining it to camera.

How can I submit my contribution?

Share your contributions with us on social media by tagging us with the relevant handle below and using #airshipdreams.

Twitter: @WeAreBCA
Instagram: bedfordcreativearts_
Facebook: BedfordCreativeArts

Alternatively, if you prefer to email your contribution to us, send it to If you wish to speak to a member of the team, you can call us on 01234 818670.

There is no deadline for sharing your contribution!

What will we be doing with your contribution?

Throughout the remainder of 2020, we will be encouraging people to add to an online community archive, bringing together all the contributions we receive from the call-out. The archive will be free for the public to access and browse, and further details on this will follow later this year.

We also plan to include a selection of the contributions as part of the Airship Dreams exhibition at Higgins Bedford in 2021, curated by the Higgins’ Keeper of Social History and the Airship Heritage Trust alongside the vision of lead artist Mike Stubbs. This element of the exhibition will showcase the community’s collective memory and imagination of Bedford’s airship heritage.

If you choose to send us material that you have created, we will credit you where possible. We will not edit any materials without your permission. If we wish to use your material, we will contact you in advance for consent. If you do not want us to share your material, please make this clear when submitting. Should you need to contact us, email or call 01234 818 670.