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Craftsmen worked so very hard.

WHEN I was 14 or 15 in 1940-41 I was working in the Receiving Deck office at Vickers Castle Bromwich Aero.

One of my jobs was to deliver parcels to 'Mad Alex' aka Alex Henshaw, test pilot and nice gent.

The men working on the Spitfires worked very hard and at the end of the month if they hadn't got their quota out they never went home for two or three days, sleeping rough anywhere until their quota was reached.

I knew someone working on them, a friend of my brother, who was in India in the RAF and that annoyed the local people. There was a lot of jealousy that these workers were earning the unheard of sum of PS30 per week, while their lads were away in the Forces, the average wage then being PS3 or PS4 per week.

But, of course, someone had to build them and at the end of the war these workers were usually called up for two years' National Service.

I did my stint in the Merchant Navy from April '44 until 1947 but that's another story.

D J ROBERTS, Walmley
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2013
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