Fresh Interests Since Retirement - Frank Rainsborough Photos

On March 13th Barry Pegram gave the shortest of introductions to Ambrose Barber, Barry explained that not only was Ambrose known to the audience from his many years as a senior Hawker staff member, Ambrose had also held the Chairmanship of the Hawker Association since its inception in 2003 until 2017, that’s 12 years over and above what he had volunteered for! Barry continued “Ambrose over to you, you’ve promised to tell us about the five subjects that have been of particular interest to you in retirement.”

Ambrose commenced with an introductory index slide which showed the audience what was about to be presented and he then used very well prepared sets of slides on firstly, the humour and tribulations involved in running an award-winning Gilbert and Sullivan society, then, back to the introductory slide to indicate the next subject; sharing and operating a classic light aircraft. Again, from a very well prepared set of slides Ambrose described some of his very interesting experiences during those flying years!

Next up was the somewhat less scary subject of trying to trace his family-tree, then a section writing for the stage and for anthologies of flying, concluding with what he has learnt about sculpting.

This last section included slides of his portrait busts of Sir Thomas Sopwith and Sir Sydney Camm, two men who proved so crucial in the Hawker history.  Sculpted by Ambrose, Sir Sydney Camm’s bronze is on permanent display in London at the R.A.F. Club and similar portraits of  both men are displayed at Kingston Library. Both are also shown in bas relief in part of the bronze plaque  on display at the Hawker Centre in Kingston. (That plaque at the Hawker Centre is well worth studying so as you walk through the Hawker Centre’s auto-opening door, look to your right, or look to your left on the way out, you’ll see the plaque at eye level on the wall.) In this final set of Ambrose’s well prepared slides Ambrose moved on to his ‘life sculptures’ including the female body, their beauty being appreciated by the audience, but for a different reason!

Chris Farara gave the vote of thanks and then prior to the raffle that is usually drawn at that time Frank Rainsborough announced that Clive Radley had generously donated a dozen boxes of patisserie from the Richmond Bakers, and the offer was please, whoever wants a box, help yourself, they’re with Clive’s compliments!  Clive was duly thanked and the day ended with Ken Batstone running the raffle.