Kingston Aviation
Harry Webb
Transcript: 4
Dancing in the canteen  

The canteen was located on the third floor of the Experimental Shop – the building in which the prototype Hawker Hurricane was first assembled in 1935. The building still stands on the south side of Canbury Park Road and today is an office block called Siddeley House. We know nothing at all about the Hawker band who Harry remembers playing in the canteen. 

Now you had a lunch hour. And at night we would walk across the Canbury Park Road to a very high building there up quite a number of floors and there was the canteen. And it wasn’t unusual to see people still in their overalls, or whatever. We’d have a quick lunch, they would push the tables back around the perimeter of the, of the room and a band would strike up and they would start dancing.


It was a band composed of Hawkers workers.

All in their lunch hour.


All in their lunch hour.

All in their lunch hour yes. And yes, someone would go out and put the chalk down on the floor and the music would strike up.

It wasn’t unusual either, that as we walked out at half past twelve at night, to see the Americans –soldiers – that were parked in Bushy Park, a big camp in Bushy Park, and they’d been in Kingston in the snack or coffee bars or pubs, if they were open. If they had beer they’d be open. Not until that time, but the Americans would be there to meet their girlfriends, if they had one. So that, that, that was the setup.