Kingston Aviation
George Cottrell
Transcript: 1
The Central View Room

George was taken on by Mr. Jefferson – head of the Inspection Department – and as a shop boy assisted the inspectors about the factory for a salary of seven shillings a week. Later he was transferred to the Central View Room which is where his department was based.

And eventually I was transferred from there, up to the Central View Room which was in the top of the building.

The Central View Room

Central View Room, this is the central inspection room. The Central View Room they called it. And in there was a desk right in front of Mr Jefferson who sat at the end.  And there were four boys I think, I wasn’t the only one.  I was probably the last, the newest one, so to speak.  There we were given odd jobs to do around the place.

So effectively you were a shop boy really weren’t you

 That’s right, yes

They were called shop boys in the 1930s

That’s correct they called us shop boys.  I am trying to get the terminology up to date, but you know in those days they were called shop boys.  And one of the things I had to do, ‘cause the toilets and wash hand places were all downstairs…..  So for the inspectors who were, this was a ‘u’ shaped view room and then each side of it were inspectors sitting – all had their own little position and a surface plate.  There they inspected everything and anything that came their way. And I had the job of cleaning their – each man had a surface plate – a surface plate is a block on it that is true. And what they worked with I will come to in a little while because I had to learn all these things.  I had to clean  these surface plates. So the thing you did you had to go down to the stores get a milk bottle of oil and a load of old rags. You’d bring them up and you’d have to clean these surface plates till they shone. Dirty job but you were working.