Before she passed away, my 91-year old Mother, Kathleen, used to tell me about her happy wartime experiences working in the Bristol Aircraft Factory near Accrington, Lancashire.
Although there was a war on, for most young girls the freedom from drudgery combined with having work with a purpose meant that they had an exciting time, largely kept unaware of the horrors of war except when the bombers came over.
There was music playing while they worked,and at lunch time there was dancing in the canteen, with many flirtations going on!
After night shift she would find a young Scottish airman waiting for her at the gate to see her home.
Tom was stationed in the hills above Accrington, so when both had time off they would go dancing, or he would play the piano in a local pub to get everybody singing.
Eventually they married in 1944.
Kathleen’s job was mainly to inspect the parts that went into the Bristol aeroplane engines, so it was with great excitement that recently I came across one such Bristol aeroplane engine in the Science Museum in Manchester, and was amazed! It seems such a complex piece of machinery.
Now I had a picture to go with her story.
Who would have thought my 5’2″ quiet little Mother played a part in assembling so many of them, and who knows, she may have touched one of those very parts!
I am very proud of her.