|The filing system in the Drawing Office|
Stella here describes how she got the job of running the filing system for the entire Drawing Office.
Can you tell what was the difference between the Drawing Office and the Design Office.
Well, I suppose you would say the senior draughtsmen were probably more into the designing although we had the Chief Draughtsman – worked in an office all on his own. And we had, sort of, all the ‘big noises’ working the other end of our corridor and I presume they were doing all the, pushing all the designs out which the draughtsmen were drawing to scale. That was the design, sort of, part but it was sort of a series of, when I was there, a series of small offices each with an important body of… There was a man called Percival who was a Chief Draughtsman and he had a room of his own. A very unpopular man. And we also had a Group Captain, Group Captain Horniman and he was an R.A.F Group Captain who also worked attached to the Drawing Office and Design Office, so I presume they were asking him all sorts of technical questions.
There was the kind of design function but then the job of the Drawing Office was to actually turn the designs into something more specific.
Knock them down into small portions
Into small portions.
And they all had to be brought to scale, you know, and then a card was made out for each piece of drawing that was done, given a number and filed under which ever aircraft it belonged to.
So this is the, sort of, filing job that you got. Can you just tell us how that came about.
Well, they told me that draughtsmen would come out and ask for a particular drawing and as I was nearest the file if I could get up and find this drawing, this number for them so they can go and, then they had the card with the number on and went and claimed the drawing from the Stores. So they could, whatever it was they wanted it for. Or if they needed to look up something on it. And I had a very good memory for numbers and if they said it’s, ‘such and such a thing’ appertaining to the Typhoon, I could practically go straight to the drawer and get it. And the girls were absolutely amazed and they used to say, ‘Go on that’s yours.’ So I actually run the whole thing.
So it was a job that you got because you were actually sitting closest to the drawers where the files were kept. But because you had a particularly good memory for these things it became a job in its own right.
Really, I did do a bit of typing but mostly the draughtsmen were coming in and out and I was getting up and finding their bits, I loved it. In fact I was sorry, in a way, I was sorry that I was joining up but I was absolutely, after my Brother was killed, I was determined to go into the Forces myself and unfortunately Hawkers wouldn’t release me and I had to go to court twice before I finally got out.