Author Topic: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !  (Read 899 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MartinR

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2020, 12:46:01 PM »
Quote
They were hopeful that ONE! day, there may be room enough.
So why have they just flogged off the Medway Commissioners' offices?

Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2020, 12:39:57 PM »
Colin. I forgot to say that the "top hats" with a nail through them were pop rivets. The nail was inserted in the hand gun & the rivet was inserted in the drilled hole( no.30 drill for an 1/8" rivet). As you pulled the handle, collets clamped the nail then pulled it down into the head of the rivet, the round head of the nail expanding the rivet into the hole. Continuing, the head snapped off.     

Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2020, 12:24:39 PM »
Colin. More memories- that could well be them, bib & brace overalls & hair in a head scarf . The square head hammer was a panel beater's hammer- very rare. The tee bar with the hole was to "close" the joint first & then the dome inset was to allow the rivet head to be formed.  I left ( Jan '47) before Shorts finally closed & moved what was left to Belfast, a very sad day. If you have any bits left, rather than throwing them out, do as I did & donate to Rochester Museum. These were all put in the basement as they don't- or didn't- have a Short Bros. area. I told them it was a travesty that Shorts- the first manufacturers of aircraft in Great Britain- had almost no reference despite being by far the second largest employer in the Medway towns. They were hopeful that ONE! day, there may be room enough. 

Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2020, 11:59:20 AM »
I was also an apprentice fitter & sheet metal worker at Shorts( which is why I went into the RAF as an Apprentice Engine Fitter- I knew nothing about engines) but didn't make my own tool box ( you'd have needed some pretty large pieces of " scrap" for that!), my Dad gave me mine. The one thing that ALL shop floor workers in aircraft factories made, was a cigarette lighter- usually from a block of Dural.

castle261

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2020, 11:24:17 AM »
Tool box ----- Brother made his own tool box --- from scrap ( ha ha ) material.
Well he was a `Shorts trained `sheet metal worker `before joining the R.A.F.

Colin walsh

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2020, 05:15:02 AM »
Hi Dave a smith ,thank you for your recollections ,yes my sister worked at Shorts right up till lt closed,sis did in fact did  have a very tall friend,Thay often went out together,Thay both wore bib and brace type overalls and head scarves ,turban fashion ,
It was only a couple of years ago I got rid of her "tool box"a small wooden case  very batterd had all sorts of strange tools in it ,a hammer with a squre head ,a couple of "t" shaped bits of steel  one side of the t had a hole approx 1/4 " thrush it the other side had a 1/4 domed inset?very faintly ,painted on the lid was the word "number eight shop "plus a number of aluminum 'top hats with steel nails through them.thanks for the memory ,


castle261

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2020, 07:05:50 PM »
You have jogged my memory Pete `Supplying Shorts`. ` ( I had forgot all about this one, until Pete )             
My elder brother worked for ` Bradshaws ` A  building opposite the `Banks` in Rochester High St.
near the old ail station.  One evening, he bought home these two alluminimum pieces only about
three inches long, both bent to form a Square U, to be riveted together. The whole family were
put on this urgent job, so we were hammering all evening. for several night, to get them all done.
We were paid ---- something like a shilling for two dozen completed, correctly, through Short Bros.


He bought home bags of rivets, hammers & other items to hold the metal together, while riveting.

Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2020, 05:54:28 PM »
Colin. When I worked in 17 shop in 1946, there were 2 girls who were a team of riveters. 1 very tall, nearly 6', the other very short, nearer 5'- she was very jolly. The long & the short! Never knew their names. I wonder whether she was your eldest sister? Nacelles are the metal fabrication attached to the front ( leading edge) of the wing from which the engines are attached to the aircraft.(The weight of the engine is actually taken up by a framework of support tubes attached to the wing spar ). The engines also are enclosed in nacelles. Smooths the airflow & makes it all look nice & neat. The "rivet snaps" are actually for use with " pop rivets", which are used by an individual where you can't get behind to hold the " dolly". (This is the heavy lump of metal, held by the mate, that takes the strain when "thumping" a normal rivet in place).

Colin walsh

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2020, 02:02:39 PM »
My eldest sister Jean Yates (née Gale ) worked for Shorts, she was a riveters mate,as she was so small she often worked in inacesable places,recall the lady telling me about being inside narcels(what ever Thay are)sis is long gone now.i still have her 'rivet snaps'bearing the name Short brothers
I see mention of the tunnels ,sis told me Thay were used for many things other than there proper use😜

Pete

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2020, 05:30:13 PM »


I'm told that wings for the other (airfield) factory Stirling wings were lorried in over Rochester bridge. I particularly curious about what other local factories supplied Shorts.


According to an elderly neighbour of ours in the 1970s Reeds at Aylesford was a shadow factory producing fabric covered ailerons and rudders. She had worked there as a machinist


castle261

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2019, 08:15:31 PM »
Very interesting, your two reports today. Interesting about Troutbeck Bridge.
I must have been about twelve, when we went by train, through the night.
I remember nothing about the housing estate, only the Sunderland on the lake.
My brother trained at Shorts Rochester. His `mate`at Windermere, he married her.
I have photo`s of the Maia & Mercury that I made out of old tins, while in the Dockyard.
I may be able to put them in the `Avatar ` section. ( cant do them any other way )

Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2019, 07:41:01 PM »
castle261. Jersey has a continual supply of holiday makers looking for something to do, so their underground hospital is always busy. Afraid the Shorts tunnels are very long with nothing much to see. You'd need to commandeer a lot of old machinery, etc. to make it interesting &, if English Heritage involved would they fork out? Even at £30 a go- & it would have to be very good for that sort of entrance fee. 

Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2019, 07:28:19 PM »

NEWSLETTER   9                   (November 2019)
Where does time go? It is a year since our last Newsletter and so much has happened and new chapters of the SHORT BROTHERS story have opened up. Read all about them below...
FEBRUARY
Liz and Barrie had a meeting with Trevor Avery, Founder and Director of ANOTHER SPACE - THE LAKE DISTRICT HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS PROJECT {www.ldhp.org.uk} on the banks of Windermere.
Three hundred Holocaust surviving children were transported from Prague in 1945, in SHORT STIRLING bombers, to what is now the new Carlisle Airport. The R.A.F crews ‘kindly’ gave the children chocolate en route BUT it made them sick. From Carlisle they were taken to CALGARTH at Troutbeck Bridge, Windermere, where they spent several weeks before ‘distribution’ to homes throughout the U.K. Some came to Barrie’s primary school in Higher Crumpsall, Manchester.
The CALGARTH ESTATE was built in 1941-42 to house the workforce that had moved from Rochester Seaplane Works to the new SHORT BROTHERS White Cross Bay factory where 35 Sunderland Flying Boats were built, and many repaired as the Factory was a Civilian Repair Organisation (C.R.O.).
It is said that Shorts Chief Test Pilot - John Lankester Parker, was the only man ever to land a Sunderland across the lake and not down the 10-mile length.
At the end of 1942 CALGARTH was a complete community, comprising bungalows for families, hostels for single men, two shops, a canteen, assembly hall, club house, laundry, sick bay and they even had a football team.
The semi-detached bungalows, although simple, were considered quite modern at the time (as was Shortstown, Bedford in 1917) and designed to attract skilled workers from Rochester who then trained local people from the Windermere area to help build flying-boats. The bungalows had either two or three bedrooms, an inside bathroom and toilet and hot running water heated by a range in the kitchen and they had a fireplace in the living room.
The workers called the bungalows ‘Short’s Palaces’ and the area was referred to by locals as ‘China Town’ as there were so many lights around. The bus stop was even labelled ‘CHINA TOWN’ .
Through our association with THE STIRLING SOCIETY {http://stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org} we were able to put the Holocaust Project in touch with Norman Shepherd, a WW2 R.A.F navigator, who was on one of the STIRLINGS and actually gave chocolate to the children, not knowing the effect it would have on starved and ‘neglected’ digestive systems.
We are pleased to report that our contact with Norman, through the Stirling Society, resulted in an invitation for him to meet some of the surviving children at a recent event in London where he was the Guest of Honour.
APRIL
Our Society exhibited one of our four displays in The Mick Jagger Building at Dartford Grammar School, Kent, where Liz gave a well-received SHORT talk to 150 members at the South-East Region Industrial Archaeology week-end conference. Our display aroused much interest from the archaeologists and thirty-two copies of Liz’s ‘A SHORT STORY’ book were sold.
A visit to Rochester Airport and the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) {www.mapsl.co.uk} gave us an update on their SHORT SCION restoration project.
We were well received, as usual, and it was very enjoyable to once again meet the dedicated team of highly skilled volunteers working on this exciting project.
The restored SCION is bound for display in Rochester Cathedral, when completed.
A meeting with the Rochester Airport manager and MAPS much enhanced our vision of the possible future of the SHORT BROTHERS heritage, as a new hanger is to be built, MAPS are to move in and there is a chance that an aviation museum will be incorporated.
AT LAST!   May be, we will have a permanent ‘home’ that will record the SHORT BROTHERS true pioneering contributions to aviation and their wonderful ballooning achievements from 1896 to 1909 and then in powered flight through two World Wars and beyond. What a heritage!
JULY
The Society was again represented by one of our displays in the Sports Hall at Calgarth, Troutbeck Bridge, when the Lake District Holocaust Project initiated an archaeological dig, along with Staffordshire University staff and students, to uncover the underground remains of the CALGATH ESTATE that was demolished, down to ground level, between 1956 and 1961. The demolition, an arrangement imposed when planning permission to build the Estate was granted, came about at the insistence of The Friends of the Lake District, Beatrix Potter and the local vicar we understand. These people didn’t seem to realise the need for housing for the returning military at the end of the war!
More fascinating information keeps appearing, both on our website and on Facebook (many thanks to Martin Hubbard, our Facebook ‘manager’). There have now been 7k hits on the website since we started counting early in 2019 and there are more than 1000 followers on Facebook.
Anglepoise Lamps...  Short Brothers were the first to commission a non-magnetic lamp for use by navigators in their aircraft, in 1936. The lamp was made of brass and zinc and very few are now known to exist. Flight magazine, in 1936, carried an advert for the SUNDERLAND in which one of these lamps, made by Herbert Terry & Sons of Redditch, is clearly visible. {Courtesy Robert Munro}
Thames Sailing Barges... Just after WW1, accurately predicting a post-war shortage of work, Shorts bought the LONDON AND ROCHESTER BARGE COMPANY along with a contract to build two new vessels that Shorts honoured. These vessels were named THE LADY JEAN, launched 1923 and THE LADY DAPHNE, launched in 1926. We understand that S.B THE LADY DAPHNE, one of the most famous London classic wooden vessels, is still sailing out of St. Catherine’s Dock, London, on both public and corporate entertainment. Unlike other Thames barges these two were built to precise drawings that Shorts, as was their way, produced. Both vessels had remarkable trading careers. There is a model of Lady Daphne in The Guildhall Museum in Rochester. {Courtesy Mike Jones}
Medway Archives... {cityark.medway.gov.uk}. This is always a great place to seek out Short Brothers information and the staff could not be more helpful. This summer the Archives hosted a ‘SHORT BROTHERS IN KENT’ exhibition and had an invited professional historian speaker.
Eastchurch Aviation Museum... {eastchurchaviationmuseum.org.uk}. Peter West and others continue to meet and greet visitors and Jane Puckering (daughter of John Lankester Parker) and husband John have recorded a most informative and welcoming recent visit.
SBCS 2020...  The Society have four talks planned and exhibitions to mount in the Spring in our efforts to place Shorts in their rightful, historically important, high-ranking position in aviation history. Again, back to Rochester (home of Short aircraft) and Devizes in Wiltshire.
We welcome enthusiasts to our less than formal free-membership and continue to seek £7k of funding to complete the restoration of the graves of Horace and Eustace at Hampstead Cemetery – our origin.
Liz’s book ‘THE SHORT STORY’ is in the 3rd. edition and would make a wonderful Christmas present at a reasonable price. To order your signed copy please use our email contact address below.
Bombardier Shorts of Belfast... The Company has been sold to SPIRIT AeroSystems Inc. and we are in the process of contacting the new company and their senior managers to seek financial aid and for them to retain the SHORT BROTHERS internationally famous name reflecting the fine engineering heritage that made ‘SHORTS’          so well-respected in aviation development and manufacture .
This is the first page of the Dec.Newsletter of the Short Bros. Commemoration Society. Started by Liz Walker, the great niece of the 3 Short Bros. 2nd page t/f if you are interested. You could,of course, join the Society.

castle261

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2019, 01:14:56 PM »
When we went to Jersey in May 1958 we visited the `Underground Hospital ` it was a shell then.
I have seen news reel of it now - it`s a money spinner.
We approached the entrance of the tunnel, it was deadly cold, we could have done with a jumper.

Medway Born and Bred

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Short brothers. Seaplane Works !
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2019, 05:11:41 PM »
Bigger than I thought --- and I worked there --- I did not know of their existance.
I would think some one like - Medway Council - should put it on their agenda to
re-store it - for future generations - to come & see- ( like Jersey i.o.w. did )


If Medway Council got involved they’d end up buildings apartments down there, the only thing they seem interested in these days !