November 17, 2022

The No Joke Joke: Llandegley International Airport Closes After 20 Years

What do you do when you used to write copy for a former member of the British comedic Monty Python group and you want to show that a village of 400 people in the middle of the Welsh countryside can be part of the biggest “not really a place” joke ever?

You pay  25,000 pounds  (39,000 Canadian dollars) over two decades for the space rental and highway signage.  You spend the time to make sure that the official highway signs are done with the correct graphics, and that includes  the right set of wings on the images of the airplane on the signage.

You have created your very own International Airport that should be just a few miles down the road.

And you develop your very own airport wikipedia page, as well as a facebook and twitter page.

That’s exactly what Nicholas Whitehead, a journalist  who also wrote copy for Monty Python’s Terry Jones thought about when creating the spoof of an international airport in this pastoral village.

Mr. Whitehead  brought up the possibility of placemaking with a project that did not really exist two decades ago, and  had the first directional signage made. He rented a site beside the highway,  had the sign installed, and then waited for the reaction.

The joke was there is no airfield, just a large pasture. But Mr. Whitehead’s sign showed the direction to “Llandegley International Airports Terminals One and Three.” First erected in 2002, the community loved the signage of the non airport, and there was a huge public outcry when the signage was removed in November 2009. That public response was appeased when new signage appeared in 2010. Signage was again upgraded in 2012 to include wording about the location of the “Airport Cafe” and the location of the second runway.

Just like the huge shark on the roof of a house in Oxford England, the airport signage was a hit with locals and the press, and is now even  listed in the Welsh Government‘s National Monuments Record database, Coflein.

Mr. Whitehead has also launched a Go Fund Me page for a new sign of what is hands down the airport with the smallest carbon footprint globally. He hopes that someone else, preferably government, will take on maintaining the sign and land rental for the airport to nowhere.

You can hear Mr Whitehead discuss the signage in this YouTube video below.

Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on