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Newsletter 24
Summer 2009
Updated on 20May2009
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents Hawker Association

Contents
Editorial
AGM
Cygnet News
F-35B Lightning II News
Folland Spirit Of Hamble
Harrier News
Hawk News
Hawkers In The 1950s
Hawkers in The Late 1930s
Hurricane News
Members
Programme
R&D Department
Tempest News
Testing V/STOL Projects
World War 2 Experiences
 
   Doug Halloway was reminded of his time at Canbury Park road by Tom Clare's story in NL.23...
    I started at Canbury Park Road in 1938. I remember well the machine shop on the ground floor, a mass of whirling shafts with belts to each machine, which could be seen through a 15 foot square opening in the first floor, no doubt to improve the light level and air circulation. The first floor was called the 'rib shop' where a lot of, mainly Hurricane, details were made and where I started my career in aircraft. I was regularly moved to other departments to gain experience, and I remember Tommy Sopwith walking through the ground floor Hurricane centre-section shop with his young son holding his hand.
    For a while I worked on the 'plane floor' which was on the railway side of Canbury Park Road next to the experimental building which had the canteen on the top floor. The flat roof above the canteen had Lewis machine guns mounted; I don't think they were ever fired at any aircraft although there were several occasions when they were low enough.
 
Hawkers In The Late 1930s

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    The tea trolleys for morning break had lovely hot doughnuts, cold cream ones, and thick slices of bread and dripping. The milk cartons held about one third of a pint and when not quite empty could be a formidable missile, one of which unfortunately hit a supervisor in the chest as he came round the corner into the 'rib shop'. There were three supervisors who walked round at any time - Gamble, Sellers and Simmons - and quite often would sack people on the spot for any slight misdemeanour. This time Simmons's suit was splashed with milk and he just stood there while we all tried not to laugh, until one chap looked up to see him still there. He was immediately suspended for three days without pay; I don't think he threw the carton, either.
    Painting heels with Duralac was still done in 1938, personal drawers in the wooden benches would be nailed up, or someone's smock would be hung up in the rafters. Archie, the one armed custodian of the toilet, was still there to put your name in the book and record your time; over ten minutes meant a bang on the door.
    Things changed when war broke out and we started working longer hours. Early in 1940 the rib shop moved to an empty factory on the Slough Trading Estate, a long coach ride from Kingston each day starting at 7.00 am and sometimes not getting back until 10.00 pm, quite often during an air raid. I helped start a new department for Hurricane wing skins supervising about fifty women, but that's another story. continue