Newsletter 28
Autumn 2010
Updated on 30Oct2010
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents Hawker Association

Book Reviews
DH Heritage Centre
Experimental Department
Hawker Formations
Hunter News
New Technologies
Programme For 2010
PWS 'George' Bulman
Sea Harrier News
Sir Sydney And I
Sopwith News
Two-Seat Fury
Wartime Memories

    Ron Williams recalls his early career at Hawkers…
    In 1948 I fell out with Sir Sydney Camm when I managed to get a Surrey County Council grant, of 110 with 90 course fees, to finish my degree course full time. I had already completed four years night school at Kingston Polytechnic and spent the previous year cycling after work from Kingston across London to Northampton Polytechnic in Clerkenwell, now City University, five nights a week, and I don't think either of us was benefiting. Sir Sydney reckoned that his people could teach me all I should know and saw no need for my course. I went, anyway.
    Next Summer, 1949, I applied to him for vacation employment in the Project Office thinking my five years experience would be useful. I also needed use of a drawing board to catch up on my course work having fallen behind the all-fulltime students. Sir Sydney refused and I ended up doing semi-skilled fitters' work, albeit with better pay, at Canbury Park road. However, he did take another student from my degree course into the Project Office, so security couldn't have been the issue. 
Sir Sydney And I

    I attained my degree in 1950 but when I applied to return to the Project Office I was only offered a Stress Office post, and again someone from my degree course went into the Project Office instead of me. A year later that person left and I was back in the Project Office at last.
    Sir Sydney and I were later friends again through our mutual interest in photography. I was secretary of the Hawker Photographic Club and published the Club magazine. We had an annual exhibition and a competition judged by Cyril Peckham, our renowned Company photographer. Sir Sydney arranged for the Club to have a dark room converted from our Sports Club's old boiler room and supplied his old Leitz enlargers. I repaired the first one and he took it back.
    I admired the way he kept the Ministries off our backs. Because he was trusted by them to do the best job possible we had the minimum of interference. Members of the Project Office - Ralph Hooper, John Fozard, Robin Balmer, Trevor Jordan and I - were considered to be his "young men" and would be paraded before visiting VIPs. I like to think he was proud of us