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A collection of interviews and photographs recorded by Women's Archive of Wales in 2013-14

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VSW012 Melva Jones, HJ Hargreaves (Pop), Llanelli;Spitfire Factory, Castle Bromwich

Melva left school at 14 (1938). During the war, she and her sister went to Birmingham, found digs and worked in the Spitfire factory. Long hours. The bombs and the fear. She made cogs, screws etc.for the wings. Poor conditions in the digs – bread and dripping and nowhere to wash. They asked them (because they were Welsh) to sing. The machines were stopped during air raids. They sent their pay home. They mixed with the Scots. She spent a year there (c.1940) and then had TB. Her sister lost an eye because of shrapnel. Night shifts. She was sent to Craig y Nos TB Hospital. Then she worked in the Hargreaves Pop factory (c. 1943) washing bottles and packing crates. Kinds of pop and crisps. A small factory. Melva sang with a band. She left because of her health.