ORIGINAL photos showing the construction of an airship designed by Barnes Wallis, of Dambusters and bouncing bomb fame, go under the hammer today.
The collection was put up for sale by the son of a workman who helped construct the R100 airship in Howden in the 1920s. Earlier this week the designer’s daughter Dr Mary Stopes-Roe was in the town to mark the official opening of the R100 Airship Trail. The airship flew to Canada and back in the summer of 1930. But its future development was dashed when its rival the R101 crashed on its maiden voyage to India, killing 48.
The collection of 16 postcards taken at various stages of construction include interior views of the saloon, bedroom and galley and a section from the original nose cone - reputedly removed when Barnes Wallis altered the design. It is estimated it will fetch £100 to £150. The workmen dubbed themselves “The Fearnought Squad”. Auctioneer Graham Paddison of Driffield-based Dee Atkinson and Harrison, said: “The pictures are from a time when there were no safety harnesses, helmets and steel-capped boots. They are standing there 150ft up in shirts and flat caps. Health and safety people would have a coronary now.”