Our Chairman, Chris Robert, writes…
    The inaugural meeting of what became the Hawker Association Committee was held on the 21st March 2002 where the fundamentals of the constitution were established . A call for membership interest resulted in an initial 178 members. In the subsequent 17 years the Association has matured and increased the range of activities and interests, with the biggest area of expansion being involvement in heritage projects within the Association, at Brooklands Museum and allied to the Kingston Aviation Centenary Project.
    Membership peaked near to 400, followed by a slow reduction to 327. Any organisation that is established primarily for retired people will follow this pattern. Members are spread throughout the country and some are resident outside the UK so access to Kingston for the routine activities is limited. Thus the newsletter is a mainstay of the organisation, and is, perhaps, the glue that holds it together. The committee has been considering what changes, if any, are needed to keep the Association buoyant and moving in the right direction.

Hawker Association Review

Toptop top
    After the AGM in 2019 a discussion was initiated to canvass opinions to give the Committee re-assurance that we are achieving our aims and to suggest any changes or adjustments that are necessary or simply would be nice. The Committee then carried out a review of the constitution and our activities, discussing at length what our options are and the practicalities of any changes.
    One conundrum tackled was the question whether the Association should change the criteria for membership and the nature of our activities to attract more members with different interests. This concept would have some merit if the aim was to create a society that would outlive the present members. We concluded that we should stick to the exiting constitution, aims and criteria; the Association being primarily for ex-employees of the relevant companies. However, this has not and should not be strictly applied. There are some members who reached out to us because they have an interest in what Hawkers was and what it made, and they are very welcome.
    Many of the suggestions considered during 2019 are not practicable because we are neither the U3A nor the Royal Aeronautical Society, and operate with a tight budget with volunteer labour for the effort needed to keep aloft. Additionally the number of members able to attend the monthly meetings is a small percentage overall, so any changes must benefit the majority rather than only those close to Kingston.
    However, some suggestions have been accepted and the committee is making a few changes to keep the Association up to date and these will filter through in due course; for example this coming year subscriptions may be paid electronically.
    It is important that members are confident that Committee members are not just sitting on their hands without considering the future and inevitable changes. The Committee is always keen to have feedback and suggestions; please do not be put off if we are unable to take them forward. Some suggestions are very interesting and exciting but we cannot undertake activities such as publishing books, creating independent archives or organising aviation inspired events.
    Our ears are open. It is your Association.