New Science and Technology Building Named in Honour of Local Hero

Sydney Camm (seated) is considered to be the UK's most prolific and successful aircraft designer, with over 50 aircraft types to his name.

At this year's Summer Meeting, Gordon Hunt, Claremont Fan Court School Chair of Governors announced that the New Science and Technology building has been named the Sir Sydney Camm Science and Technology Centre, in honour of local Surrey design engineer Sir Sydney Camm.

During the second World War, from 1940 - 1945 while Claremont School was evacuated to Llandrindod Wells in Wales, Claremont Mansion was occupied by the Hawker Aircraft Company, who temporarily relocated its drafting offices from Kingston to Esher. At this time the drafting offices were over seen by Camm, who was said to be enthusiastic about Claremont and took great pleasure in sharing the Mansion's history with visitors. After one particular bombing raid it is understood that Sydney Camm and his family were forced to take up residence at in the Mansion themselves after their home in Thames Ditton took a direct hit.

Sydney Camm was born in Windsor and attended the Royal Free School. In 1908, aged just 15, he left School to become an apprentice carpenter. Camm developed an interest in aeronautics building model aircraft and in 1912 became a founding member of the Windsor Model Aeroplane Club. In the same year, he and other club members succeeded in building a man carrying glider.

In 1923 Camm joined the Hawker Aircraft Company, and in 1925 he was appointed Chief Designer. Camm was responsible for the design of 52 different Hawker aircraft. His designed ranges from bi-planes such as the Hawker Hart in the 1930's, through to the hugely successful Hurricane - considered to be the work-horse of the Battle of Britain during World War II. Post war Camm is credited with fighters such as the Hawker Hunter and finally his vision for the Harrier jump-jet.

Camm worked for Hawker until his retirement in 1965, and even then was planning an aircraft capable of Mach4. In 1966, Camm was awarded the Guggenheim Gold Medal, which was presented to him posthumously.

Sir Sydney Camm's enthusiasm, dedication to design, scientific application and technological innovation made him a fitting choice for naming in our new building. We are very grateful for the support of Sir Sydney Camm’s granddaughter in supporting our choice of name.