Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity

Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity Blog

Airship R101’s mystery girl in the deckchair uncovered

In a bid to find out more about the mystery girl in the deckchair – a now famous image from the R101 – Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) commissioned Dr Nina Baker to find out more.

Dr Baker is the author of Adventures in Aeronautical design: The life of Hilda M. Lyon.

Hilda also worked on the R101, so Dr Baker was ideally placed to find out more.

The mystery began when Allan Slater found a photo album in a skip, he didn’t know that he would be saving some precious airship history and finding another mystery of the era too. Who is the girl in the deckchair and why was she on the R101?

The photo album has helped to shed some light on the mystery lady, her name stated there is DC Forster, however her role on the R101 wasn’t clearly defined.

Many women worked on the R101 including Hilda Lyon (as mentioned above) who was the engineer responsible for the actual shape of the balloon section of the airship and she designed the airframe too. Many other women were employed to manufacture the inner and outer balloons. These women were pivotal when it came to the manufacturing process and getting the airships off the ground.

Research into Miss DC Forster has uncovered some of her history but not all, maybe now is the time for her story to be told.

Click here to download Dr Baker’s research article.

If you know anything about Miss Forster please get in touch as we’d love to know more, contact us on

Courtesy of Alastair Lawson, Airship Heritage Trust and Alan Slater.

Girl in the deckchair R101