Calgarth and the Flying Boats

DP176 ready to launch – courtesy of Allan King

This site charts the history of the Sunderland Flying Boat Factory that once stood on the shores of Windermere in the heart of the English Lake District, and the nearby settlement specially constructed to house the factory workers and their families, known as Calgarth Estate.

It contains historical documents and photographs of the factory and the estate and features the voices of the people who worked and lived in this remarkable community.

In April 2005 an exhibition entitled ‘In Defiance of Gravity’ opened at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. Curated by Windermere historian Allan King and artist Trevor Avery, the exhibition showed a collection of historical photographs of the Sunderland Flying Boat factory that once stood on the shores of Windermere and the nearby settlement that housed its workers.

Trevor became increasingly fascinated by this almost forgotten piece of war time Lakeland history, and in 2006 Cumbria-based digital arts organisation and charity Another Space decided to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to research and record people’s memories of the factory and the lost village of Calgarth.

The project began in January 2007, recording people talking about their work at the factory and their lives on Calgarth Estate.