Kingston Aviation

Doug Shorey
Transcript: 6
The class structure at Hawkers
Where there any things you felt needed changing, apart from the wages?

Well I suppose it’s really a part of the period that there was a terrible class structure there.

I mean the toilets! There were the works toilets, which were in the workshops themselves and you had to use those. But there were also, there were works staff – these with the foreman and the charge hands – so they had probably – I never went in there, you were not allowed in there. If you got caught in there you were ‘for the high jump’. And I never went in there. But, you – so there were the work staff toilets.

And in the case of the restaurants – I mean it was – there was the works canteen, they called it not restaurant, there was the works canteen and that was for people on the shop floor including apprentices. There was the works staff canteen, which was for foremen and charge hands and so on – and probably more senior people.

There was the weekly staff restaurant and that was people who worked in the office but were paid weekly. Then there was the monthly staff restaurant which was for people that were more senior and were paid monthly. And I think there was probably another restaurant for the managers in the offices.

And then there was the last restaurant which I think was called something like the ‘Silver Grill’ and that was for the heads of departments and directors. So people like Charles Plantin and Tommy Wake would have eaten there.

So you had this hierarchy and we just accepted of course. We didn’t think anything of it at the time, well of course that wouldn’t be tolerated today.

That’s the way things worked.

That’s the way things worked 50 odd years ago.