Bob Parkinson: the Westcott Tiger team

Bob Parkinson recalls joining the Rocket Propulsion Establishment's 'tiger team' at Westcott in 1965.

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It was interesting because Westcott was an old wartime airfield and the different groups were sort of spread out across the airfield. And our group was sort of in a little wartime building [laughs] over at one side of the airfield. And I was – I remember being quite fascinated in the early days because, and I’m just trying to think how many people who were in this group, but the science group, seven, I think there seven of us. Seven scientists, yeah, scientists because we were scientific officers, so yes we can use that term there. And there was a workshop and industrials supporting it. And when I was first there I used to wonder a bit because they’d come in at nine o'clock in the morning, or perhaps a bit before, and first of all they'd put the coffee pot on and make a cup of coffee and stand around talking. And then they’d go off into their different offices and then about eleven o’clock they'd all come back and have coffee again [laughs]. And I know now that it was kind of a bit of a university influenced department, but it seemed a very laid back department that spent all its time drinking coffee and not getting on with work almost. And then I discovered this was the group they gave all the difficult problems to. This was the Tiger Team.

  • Interviewee Bob Parkinson
  • Duration 00:01:39
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Thomas Lean
  • Date of interview 3/29/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/05

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