Norman Pilton remembers the role of women working at Westland during WW2

There were quite a number of women working on the benches still, but a lot of them were part-timers. They used to do either the morning shift or the afternoon shift. Down at Martock, when I was down there, there were lots of women working on the benches. I remember a girl down there once, they had these pillar drills, I can’t think of her name now. Anyhow, these girls would be there on the drills and they would be leaning over talking to the next girl. They used to have these hats with a net but they wouldn’t tuck all their hair in because they didn’t look so glamorous like that. She leaned forward like that and caught all her hair in the chuck and ripped much of her hair out. There were panic stations.

Interviewer: Were women important in the workplace in those days?

They certainly were. They used to do as good a work as anyone. A lot of were semi-skilled, glove cutters, working on benches. They had so long working with a skilled man and that was it.

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