Norman Pilton remembers starting work at Westland in Martock in 1943 during WW2
I used to have to cycle from Montacute to Martock every morning to be able to start at half-past-seven in the morning and all winds and weathers. I had to go up and start at two factories down at Martock. One was Martock ‘A’ and the other was Martock ‘B’. Martock ‘A’ was all ladies, from all parts of the country. There was Ted Hann who was in charge of inspection. Then, there was Ivor Lewis who was the boss down there. There was Reg Best, Mr Plumb, Mr Shepherd – they were charge hands – and Art Rogers, he was the man in-charge of the stores and all the rest were women.
The girls would make me up with eye-shadow and lipstick
I used to be the boy. I had a bicycle with a carrier on the front. I used to have to take the rivets and bits of assemblies and one thing and another to Martock ‘B’ for normalising so that the girls could do the riveting and bending and what have you of the different materials and these girls used to get me sometimes. They would grab me and stretch me out on the bench and make me all up with eye-shadow and lipstick and rouge and all the lot, you know, and then there was nowhere I could get it off and I used to have to cycle through Martock, up to Martock ‘B’ to get it off and the men in there used to all whistle and shout. Dreadful it was really but still it was all very, very enjoyable. They were all good people and I really enjoyed it.