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The Wing Stringers

Ada Smith, a young Bristol worker, and her colleagues worked as wing stringers. They did this by making wire frames over which they stretched canvas as tightly as possible, and then stitched it by hand. After the fabric was attached the process of varnishing took place, which involved coating with dope when dried this tightened the fabric smoothly over the wire frame. This substance was highly toxic and severely affected the women. It caused headaches, giddiness and fatigue. The women were given milk to counteract the effects, but whether this worked was never established).

After the war there was still work available for women at the factory. This was because the Air Board decided to reinstate the contracts for the 788 Bristol Fighters still in the process of production at Filton, with 192 at Brislington. The Company also acquired the contract for 150 Parnell Panthers from Parnall and Sons Limited, a local company at Yate in Gloucestershire. In addition the continued contracts for experimental aircraft meant that there was now enough work to keep women working for another year. ('Whilst' not appropriate here)

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This is page 3 of The Developing Role Of Women In Aviation.
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Special Line of Wing Stringers

Special Line of Wing Stringers
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Women working in the fabric doping sheds

Women working in the fabric doping sheds
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