THE Gloucestershire Aircraft Company, Sunningend Works, in Cheltenham employed large numbers of women engaged in the production of aircraft parts.
Some of the work at that time was particularly suitable to the special skills in which most of the women were already experienced.
The handling, cutting, stitching and fitting of the fabric, which was used to cover the wooden frames of the aircraft were all carried out by women.
One female worker who had joined the workforce soon after war broke out, described the work she carried out on the aircraft: “We had 12 inch long needles.
A girl would stand on each side of the wing which was passed through next to a rib and passed by the other girl opposite, who ensured that the needle entered on the other edge of the rib.
The first girl would then make a knot and repeat the process all along the rib, back and forward.
When the fabric was stitched securely to the wood ribs and spars of wings, tails or fuselage it would go to the dope shop where it would be treated so that the fabric would stretch tight.
When the dope dried it made a very strong combination”