1917 – 1947

SHORTS BOYS | These are the men, women and boys who worked for Short Brothers

EWART RAYNER.... by himself


“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.”

This is the wind-tunnel model donated by the daughters of John Lancester-Parker
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.

“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.

Oswald Short's house 'Norfolk Lodge' Rochester
Oswald Short's house 'Norfolk Lodge' Rochester
J. Lankester Parker's house next door to Norfolk Lodge
J. Lankester Parker's house next door to Norfolk Lodge

SHORTS BOYS