Ambrose Barber noted that the Association had continued to enjoy
the use of the Hawker Centre for monthly meetings of interesting talks
or socials, the Summer Barbecue and the Christmas lunch. The outing was
to the Museum of Berkshire Aviation covering Miles aircraft. He thanked
those who had devised, arranged and reported on the programme of events
then went on to mention our sister organisations: the Kingston Aviation
Heritage Trust (KAHT) and the Kingston Aviation Centenary Project
(KACP), the aims of which coincide exactly with those of the
The KAHT was set up well before the Association to create a lasting
memorial to Sopwith/Hawker/BAe Kingston. Funds were raised which were
subsequently used for the commemorative plaque in the entrance to the
Hawker Centre and for the construction of a Sopwith Tabloid 'replica'
which was presented to the Brooklands Museum for permanent display. In
hand is a life-size bronze bust of Sir Tom Sopwith for display in the
entrance to the Kingston Library and Museum. Extra funds are needed to
cover the casting (an appeal by Chairman Les Palmer is published in
this Newsletter) of the bust which will stand alongside one of Sir
The Association and its members played significant roles in launching the KAHP by spearheading the Heritage Lottery Fund application and with ongoing volunteer support for events. The Project will continue with talks, oral history recording, historical e-newsletters and website expansion as well as supporting aviation related Borough initiatives such as the World War I exhibition. Help is needed so please contact David Hassard, Bill Downey or Mike French.
The Chairman congratulated all concerned with the achievements of both organisations. He submitted that the Association could view the past year with some satisfaction, but without complacency for a future because the Hawker Association will not continue by accident. An ageing Committee will now look for younger recruits from beyond the ranks of ex-employees.
In closing Ambrose thanked all the Committee Members, particularly Les Palmer and Jan White who were standing down after many years of valuable service.
Barry Pegram reported that membership was close to 400 (actually 394 at present), and that sadly there had been six deaths since the last AGM. Attendances at meetings had been a bit disappointing unless free food was offered or it was a test pilot talking! The best attended meeting with 70 was David Hassard's Sopwith talk which had food and people who came for the Centenary Project wind-up. Test pilots Heinz Frick and Bernie Scott attracted over 40. Jeff Boyling's Circuit of Britain talk was badly affected by a frightening weather forecast. The other talks averaged 27 but less than 20 came to the socials. Happily, the Christmas lunch was very well supported, with over 60 enjoying the event, as was the barbecue with 45.
Martin Pennell reported that the finances were in an acceptable state and there was no need to increase the subscription. The end-of-year balance was slightly down on last year largely due to insurance and postage cost increases. A lower insurance premium had been negotiated for this year. Mike French drew attention to the level of outstanding subscriptions.
An amendment to the Constitution, a revised Rule 4 regarding
membership conditions and grades was passed, Ambrose Barber was
re-elected Chairman with a remit to oversee a merger of the KAHT and
the KACP with the Association, and the Committee was re-elected en bloc
except for retirees Les Palmer and Jan White, with new members David
Hassard and Frank Rainsborough. It was suggested from the floor that
some meetings might be held 'at Dunsfold' to attract attendees from
that area. This would be considered by the Committee.