Aviation exhibition comes to Hook - resting place of hero pilot Harry Hawker
Kingston’s prestigious aviation past will be celebrated at the end of this month with an exhibition of photographs, aircraft models and paintings in Hook.
Hero pilot Harry Hawker is buried in St Paul's Church graveyard - not half a mile away from where the exhibition will arrive.
For the best part of a century Kingston was the most important aviation centre in the world and its Sopwith Aviation Company was key to achieving a victorious end to World War I.
Event organiser David Hassard said: “It is a great opportunity to give people a show on the great history of aviation in Kingston.”
The company was responsible for building the Hawker Hurricane – the plane credited with winning the Battle of Britain – and the Sopwith Camel, the most successful allied fighter plane in the First World War.
More recently it built the Hawk jet trainers used by the Red Arrows.
Mr Hassard said: "They have been the biggest employer in Kingston over the last century, employing tens of thousands of people over 80 years."
The exhibition will take place at the Hook Centre, Chessington, from Tuesday, October 23 to Thursday, November 1.
There are free talks on 2pm on October 30 and 11am and 2pm on the 31st, while anyone who has worked in the aviation industry in Kingston is encouraged to come along and share stories and photographs.
School groups are also welcome.