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Newsletter 1
Autumn 2002

updated 1Dec2002



The Hawker Association

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The Hawker Association

It was Barry Pegram's idea to start the Association. He contacted a few ex-colleagues he guessed might be enthusiastic and invited them round to his house for the inaugural meeting on the 21st March 2002. The fact that an excellent lunch was to be provided by Rosie Pegram had nothing at all to do with the fact that he achieved 100% attendance. Besides Barry, there were Wilf Firth, Harry Fraser-Mitchell, Ralph Hooper, Gordon Jefferson and your Editor.

We all considered that an Association would be welcomed by many people, both retired and current, so set about defining who would qualify for membership and what the aims of the Association might be. But first we had to settle on a name. No contest; we all thought of ourselves as 'Hawker' people, although the Company had traded under many names. So 'Hawker Association' it would be.

This led us to decide that membership should be open to anyone who had worked for those Companies, in the south east of England, springing from Sopwith Aviation founded by

TOM Sopwith at Brooklands in 1912: Sopwith Aviation, HG Hawker Engineering, Hawker Aircraft Ltd., Hawker Siddeley Aviation (Kingston, Dunsfold, Hamble), British Aerospace (Kingston, Dunsfold, Weybridge and Farnborough) and BAE Systems (Farnborough).

As to the aims, we thought that initially the primary aim would be to organise social and other meetings and events for the Members, where old friendships could be renewed and different generations could swap experiences. This would keep alive the spirit and memories of the Hawker Companies. The Association would also be a means of communication between Members, and a Newsletter was seen as an essential link between Members and a means of announcing events. We also thought that we could publicise the achievements of Hawker people and products when insufficient credit was being given, for instance, in the press. Finally, the Association would encourage and facilitate the preservation of 'Hawker' artefacts, papers, photographs, drawings, information, etc. at the most appropriate location.

Those present agreed to form a Committee (to which were added Mike Hoskins and Percy Collino) and set about compiling a list of likely Members. In due course Barry wrote to those on the list to establish the level of interest. The initial response was most encouraging with over 150 positive replies from the mail-shot. Consequently all those who said "yes" to the Association were invited to join, and you must have or you wouldn't be reading this! In all there are now 178 paid up members from a large number of Departments across many sites. If you have any 'Hawker' friends or acquaintances let them know about us in case they haven't heard the good news.