Wartime Working

During the WWII many women joined the war effort and worked at Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft, taking on what were previously considered male only jobs.


We all had to do something, so I trained to be a fitter and that’s how I come to go up to Cunliffe-Owen. I worked on the Seafire. It was like a Spitfire but the wings folded up. I did all the pipework inside the wings.

I didn’t like the idea of wearing trousers but in our job, we had to climb up on a scaffold to get to the wings so it was imperative that we had trousers on. We also had clogs because of the scrap metal that used to be on the floor.

Well, in those days it wasn’t proper for a lady to wear trousers. It was always skirts. So my mum [took] a pair of trousers that was supplied to my dad, she unpicked part of the trousers, stitched up the front part and put a waistband on it. That was my first pair of trousers.

Marion G