|The Hawker Police who guarded the factory during the war|
So did you get into the factory at any other time then?
Not the factory proper because there were always uniform Hawker’s Police. They had the dark navy blue uniform just like the Met, peak cap, and a big silver ‘H’ on the front for Hawkers. And they used to stand outside on the pavement so you couldn’t get in.
But, and here comes the but - when, if you like, we were tipped off – Ha, sounds treacherous! – we used to go along and just have a look in the doors when they were slid open on Canbury Park Road. And because they had to get in the other side, we would cross the road and when the doors were open we could see what was going on. But not actually in the factory – it was on the outside but inside the gates. And then we’d be ushered outside, “Come on you boys – Come on!” and then you’d go back out into the park.
So Hawkers actually had its own police, its own security?
Oh yes, oh yes. Definitely, on every door. And they used to make themselves visible and stand pretty well guard, you could call now. Now I’m older I know, “Oh, there’s the policeman, Oh, there he is”. But he’d be out there. And if it was inclement weather or pouring rain, he’d stand just inside in the door. And he’d be standing out there like that and that was Hawker’s Police. That’s how we knew them.