“I remember, as a boy in 1938, on a school cross-country run, seeing the ‘Composite’ Mayo – Mercury separate over Rochester. All the Shorts employees came out to watch.”
“I started work as a 15-year-old apprentice in the Float Shop making the Sunderland floats. I ‘passed’ my apprenticeship in April 1940 and became a tool-maker at Pobjoys, Rochester Airport making Spitfire wings. I was there when the hangers were bombed in August 1940 and the decision was made to disperse the workforce.
I went back to the Seaplane Works on shift work and remember seeing Oswald Short walking down the slipway.
In June 1942 I went to Biggleswade and was called up into the army – R.E.M.E.”
Ewart’s grandfather, George Gill, was a master painter and painted the exterior of Norfolk Lodge, Oswald Short's house on Borstal Road overlooking the Seaplane Works, the slipways and the River Medway.
This is the wind-tunnel model of the Mayo 'Composite'
loaned by the two daughters of John Lankester Parker
Janet and Sally
to the people of Rochester.
It is to be seen in
The Council Offices
at Gun Wharf, Chatham.
Oswald Short's house
'Norfolk Lodge' Rochester
J. Lankester Parker's house next door to Norfolk Lodge