The Great No.1 Factory At Kingston
This nicely printed and illustrated booklet covers in a concise form the complete history of the Richmond Road factory, built originally by the Government as the No.1 Aircraft Factory. Some of the Chapter headings will give a good idea of the scope and contents of the booklet by Don Williams, a retired HSG Engineering Economic Analyst:- Origin, Sopwith at Ham, Leyland at Ham, The Trojan Years at Ham, The Leyland Cub Years, Leyland's World War II at Ham, Leyland Post-War at Ham, Hawker's Return to Ham, British Aerospace Takes Over, and The End of Ham. Your editor found the chapters on the Leyland occupancy particularly interesting as this period is rarely written about. The booklet is recommended to all Members with an interest in our old workplace. Priced at a modest £2.95 it is published by Barely Read Books, Westerham Green, Westerham, Kent (tel: 01959 561089). It is available from the Brooklands Museum Shop.
British Secret Projects.
Fighters & Bombers, 1935-1950
Tony Buttler's third volume on British military aircraft projects (see Newsletter No.4) is another beautifully produced mine of information on the fascinating subject of what might have been. The British Aircraft Industry's responses to the services' Operational Requirements and to Ministry Specifications are chronicled in considerable detail and reasons for procurement decisions explored. Company GA and perspective drawings and photographs of models are supported by specially commissioned art work and new models.
In this book will be found the background to all the British fighter and bomber types which served in World War 2 and beyond including the first generation of jet fighters. Of course, Hawkers figures prominently but perhaps more interesting, due to unfamiliarity, is reading about what our competitors were up to. Highly recommended, this book priced £29.99, is available with its companion volumes from good book shops or direct from the publishers, Midland Counties Publications
(tel 01455 233 747, e-mail
The author, Geoffrey Wellum, joined the RAF in 1939 at the age of seventeen on a short service commission and flew Spitfires with 92 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. He joined the squadron at Duxford with Trevor (Wimpey) Wade whom he describes as "small and rather rotund" and having a great sense of humour, wit and intelligence. Geoffrey Wellum's book is beautifully written and really brings to life what it was like to be a young, enthusiastic fighter pilot who matures under the incredible pressures of air battle. There are many books of wartime memoirs but this is one of the best. The book is published by Penguin-Viking at £16.99.
Sq.Ldr CJ Sheddan's account of his life in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and in the RAF flying Typhoons and Tempests will be of great interest to Hawker enthusiasts and lovers of well written, first person accounts. Frank Murphy also features in the narrative. Originally published in 1993 it is now issued by Grub Street at £8.99 in well illustrated paperback format.