Jack Swinbank - Peteric Engineering, LTD

Jack Swinbank was a sheet metal worker employeed by Peteric Engineering. R2-D2 was almost 100% sheet metal fabrication and most likely 99% constructed by Jack.

"Now Jack was critical to this operation, because Jack was one of the finest sheet metal workers I have ever come across, and he would be able to tell you exactly in the flat, where to make a hole, so that when you bent it, it came in at exactly the right place."

"Poor Jack had to do all the horrible calculations, and lay out all these things in the flat, and hope to God that when we bent them, we got the holes in the right places."

"The most important person was Jack Swinbank (he is the one in your picture) as he worked out all of the dimensions and probably made the markings on the head mould."

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  • Jack Swinbank with possibly the first Peteric R2 unit in process of being built. The blue dykem makes it’s first appearance & the extended battery harnesses before a design change. 

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  • I am so glad to have stumbled upon this. Jack is my grandad and I've been desperate to find out more details about his involvement with R2D2 as he passed away while I was a baby.

    Can you tell me where these photos are from? It's the first time I've seen them and I would like to find out as much as I can from the original source.

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  • My name is Jan Hawkes (nee Swinbank) and I am the daughter of Jack Swinbank.  I would just like to correct your post.

    Only the picture of my dad standing by R2D2 is right.  The other two are not him although one does show the actor Kenny Baker who operated R2 from inside.

    Other information can be supplied.

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    • Jan Hawkes (Swinbank) thank you so much for helping us clear up which photo was Jack. I’ve updated the page.  Let me know if everything is correct.

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    • Jan Hawkes (Swinbank) we would love to post any other photos of Jack especially any photos of him working at Peteric or doing any fabrication.

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  • I've confirmed with both David Watling and Jack's daughter (my mum) that the man in the photo with Kenny Baker is not Jack Swinbank. Likewise, the man in the photo with the lab coat and screwdriver is also not Jack Swinbank.

    Jack Swinbank is the man in the posed photo with the blue sweater.

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    • Robin Hawkes everything should be corrected  now. Thank you for helping us straighten this out.

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