CVA Ltd Home Guard
This photo shows the CVA Home Guard c. 1944; as you can see the caption states it was taken “on the front at Hove”! It doesn’t look like Hove seafront, but it could be somewhere nearby considering CVA were in Portland Road just up from the Lagoon. Does anyone recognise the location?
I worked with Dick Hopkins, who is seen in the back row, in the early 1970s. I was a young apprentice and he was the foreman in charge of the CVA/K&T Grinding Dept up at Hollingbury Industrial Estate. I guess he was in his mid 50’s back then, so in 1944 he would have been about 25 years old. While most others of this age were in one of the fighting forces, he and many others seen in the photo would have had “reserved occupation”. In the 1970s there was often light-hearted banter from the workers who had been in the forces, directed towards those who had reserved occupation!
While there is some notion of CVA doing direct “war work” at the Portland Road factory, mostly it was indirect work; making machine tools. Churchill was well aware of how important machine tools (lathes, milling machines etc) were towards the war effort. Without machine tools no other manufacturing process was viable; aircraft, tanks, ships and armaments all relied on machine tools in their manufacturing process.
Don’t Tell Him Pike!
Although Dick Hopkins was the only one from the “CVA Dads Army” platoon that I worked with, some of the names are familiar, other names I don’t know, but perhaps you do? “Don’t tell him Pike”!