1st September 2015 | Written by David Smith
A couple of years ago my family and I moved from the bright lights of Luton Town and settled in the little village of Shortstown (specifically New Cardington – just outside Bedford) which sounds like a madey-uppy place but really does exist. It's lovely in Shortstown, but still a bit of a work in progress and so, frankly, there's not a Hell of a lot here yet, except two gigantic hangers* which loom over the skyline from wherever you happen to be stood like the prospect of going to the dentist when you feel a bolt of pain drinking anything colder than bath water.
Because of the ridiculous scale, the Cardington sheds have an ominous beauty and whilst I'm sure they have a really interesting technical history, I have no idea what it is and it's pretty easy start daydreaming about what the heck it is they actually do there now. What adds to the drama of the place is the military vehicles which are lined-up all over the place outside and the fact that at your closest, you are still a huge distance from the actual doors. What is it they are working so hard to protect and what are those trucks going to-and-fro carrying? Is Cardington some kind of UK-based Area 51 where the government store downed UFOs and make experiments of Alf (off of the 80s) and his cousins? Is Hanger 2 actually a poor man's Hanger 18 "IT started with an accident in space..."
Well, sort of, in a way - not really. It turns out that at least one of the sheds is used on a regular basis for Hollywood movie projects - presumably because they can build whole streets and buildings indoors with rooms to spare. Bits of Inception were filmed there and some of The Dark Knight films as well, amongst many others no doubt. As a child of the 80s it gets interesting for me to learn that they built the original rebel base from Star Wars there and right now they are filming sequences of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, due for release in 2016 staring Felicity Jones and Forest Whitaker. Trevor Monk (@CaringtonSheds) has been passionately documenting the progress and taken some excellent pictures and below is a link to a whole bunch of stuff collected together about the project;
We've been working on some artwork to accompany the arrival of the rebel alliance to my adopted home town and we are now happy to share it with you. #BeNiceTookAges
*There's a Tesco Metro here now and a chip shop.