The jobs women did, in place of many of the men who were called up into the Forces, is deservedly being well documented, and honoured.
I know of a woman, though, who didn’t start working in male teams; in her case, grinding at Neill’s and later at Hadfield’s in 1951, and then, from late 1952, possibly until 1972, in the rolling mills at Firth Vickers.
The woman I refer to was Rosa Cocker, her daughter is Ann Jackson, nee Ann Cocker.
She started in the Wax Room at Firth Vickers, (it would need somebody in a stainless steel mill to explain this), and then ‘worked on the line’, or was it, as a woman in a Rotherham mill in wartime called it, ‘Working wi’ tongs?’
Her daughter, now living in Burton on Trent, believes she was then working in a team lifting sheets, but later worked on ‘inspecting pieces’, which involved no heavy lifting.
It’s not known what she did exactly, but it’s certainly known why she did it... Her husband died in a motor bike accident in 1951 and she wanted to get her daughter through City Grammar School to university.
Knab Road, S7