Kingston Aviation
Gordon Jefferson
Transcript: 4
Harold Tuffen

Harold Tuffen was No. 2 in the Experimental Drawing Office when Gordon joined in 1946. Born in 1911, Tuffen was educated at Kingston Technical School and joined Hawkers in 1927 as a Junior Draughtsman, rising to become Frank Cross’s Assistant in the EDO in 1943. He worked on all new Hawker aircraft designs and finally was appointed Chief Draughtsman in 1960. In 1968 he became Head of Mechanical Systems until his retirement in 1976.  

Harold Tuffen, was a very good chap to have as a number two. And what they used to do was to take the drawings that everybody had done into the office, sit down and go through them all. Not with the persons who had done the drawing but looking at them to see if they covered to see if all the technical points and that everything was correct.

Is this the prototypes we are talking about?

Yes, and then review the whole thing. And then call the section leader in – your section leader –  and say yes this is fine, or it isn’t it should be like this or why don’t they go back – not start again – but adjust the thing to make it satisfactory.

So Harold was very easy going sort of chap and eventually, of course, he left the drawing office   when we came to the Ham factory and was in the, he was in – I forget exactly what they called it – but he did all the sort of Systems Design. And the drawing offices were still the same but the Systems Design was slightly separate. And then what ever they designed, the Drawing Office would draw so that began to change the nature of the operation.