Bolton Remembers the War Logo
Lilian Mills - War Worker
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Lilian Mills

6 June 2005

Lilian was born in 1925 in Haslam Maternity Home, Chorley New Road, Bolton. She lived in McKean Street, Great Lever and attended St Bartholomew's School. After moving to Farnworth she went to Plodder Lane School. When she left at 14 she worked at Bentinck Mill, Farnworth, and then Bolton Textile Mills. In 1941 she started work at Farnworth Library, leaving in 1943 to do War work. Lilian learned engineering skills on a 16 week course at the Cheetham Hill Training Centre, where she was taught to operate a lathe. She then began work at Fletcher's Paper Mill in the mechanics shop. After the War she went back to work at Farnworth Library, retiring in 1982.

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Sleeping over at Farnworth Town Hall... mp3 sound clip - 381kSleeping over at Farnworth Town Hall... mp3 sound clip - 381k

From library to lathe... mp3 sound clip - 185kFrom library to lathe... mp3 sound clip - 185k

Sleeping over at Farnworth Town Hall...

I worked ‘til eight o'clock and we had to go straight round the back to the Town Hall and we were actually... We weren't fire-watching, we were supposed to be answering the phone lines, you know, report centre, if there was any... I suppose they used to ring up if there was like some raid coming on, but actually we never had to answer the phone!

Pat Entwistle, and I used to go and I can't remember much about it. I think there were some out of the Town Hall and probably the ones that were fire-watching, you know, went in. But, we slept, there were two beds in one of the offices and Pat and I we went... we slept there, you know. There were nothing going on, we went to bed. I suppose if we were wanted, they'd waken us up, but we were never disturbed! Then at eight o'clock in the morning, we'd finished. It was only one night. At eight o'clock we could go home and we went home, you know, to have breakfast and get ready to come back to work, and we had to come back for nine o'clock. Although we had to go at nine it didn't open ‘til half past.

From library to lathe...

I learned to operate a lathe. They were showing you how to grind tools, but it were mostly training on the lathes, you know, to get the correct, how to set them up and things like that. I always remember that you had to fasten, this say, metal bar, you know, that wants turning and you used to set it on, and you used to have a piece of chalk, and you held it near, and where it caught, you know you had to unscrew and turn it round, so that you could get it accurate all the way round, you know. When it got accurate the chalk mark was going all the way round and you knew it were all right.