|Wartime Christmas treats for the children in the factory
Now I understand that you used to go for things like Christmas treats into the factory, that you did used to get into the factory at some point?
Well, oh yes, but that wasn’t where the aircraft production was. The big, tall building at the end of Canbury Park Road on the railway side had a staircase to the top floor which was the canteen. So we didn’t go through any of the working area.
Is this the Experimental Shop that we are talking about? The building which is still there?
Yes, I think it is, yes, I think there’s one remaining. You’re quite right Bill, it is there. Yes, I’d forgotten, yes.
And we used to be taken to the top of there. And I can’t say how lavish it was but because they’d offer children food and drink, whatever we got, sandwiches, I can’t remember anything in the way of fancy cake and that, although there must have been. I mean, we weren’t without but that was a Christmas treat. To go to Hawkers as the children of the factory workers, because us boys used to scurry up there - and the girls – scurry up these staircases and thought that was a wonderful treat to get up to the top of there. There weren’t party games. They just had the benches laid out which I assume – and I can only assume – was the Works’ canteen tables we all just sat down there, behaved ourselves - as we were made to do in those days - and got on with our Christmas treat.
So what sort of food were they giving you?
Well, as I recall it was mostly sandwiches, mostly sandwiches,
And did they ever used to put on any entertainment?
No, there was no entertainment, no entertainment. We were invited to go there under the name of a ‘Christmas Party’ and we’d go up there and have food, sit down at the table. Perhaps as far as I can remember, we used to mill around up at the top floor and then we all used to come home again.