Susan Jones who taught Ewan McGregor how to build a Lancaster bomber has passed away
Factory girl Susan Jones was known at World War Two reenactment weekends as ‘Rosie the Riveter’, dressing up as the iconic female character from US war posters.
She was among dozens of women at the Avro Manchester plant making the 7,000 Lancaster Bombers that battered Nazi Germany into submission.
Later in life the great-great-grandmother appeared in a 2012 documentary about RAF Bomber Command, showing presenter Ewan McGregor how to rivet.
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Now the widow’s heartbroken family, of Manchester, have revealed she passed away last month after a short illness.
Proud daughter Glenise Jones said: “My mum was a very popular lady in this country and internationally too.
“She was only 16 when she went to work at Avro’s. I think nothing phased her because she was so young.
The grandmother appeared in a RAF Bomber Command documentary, showing Ewan McGregor how to rivet
Her heartbroken family revealed she passed away last month
“It was still a frightening time for them because the factories were being bombed.but she was very proud of what they did during the war.”
My mum was a very popular lady in this country and internationally too
Glenise Jones, daughter
One of the world’s first aircraft builders, A.V. Roe and Company was established in Manchester, by Alliott Verdon Roe and his brother Humphrey Verdon Roe in 1910.
The first ‘Avro’ aircraft to be produced in any quantity was the Avro 500, of which 18 were manufactured, most for the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.
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In 1935, Avro became a subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley and at WWII loomed they were working hard on building a new generation of bombers that could take on Herman Goering’s Luftwaffe.
The Avro Manchester, Lancaster and Lincoln were particularly famous Avro designs with over 7,000 four-engine Lancasters deployed onmissions including famous Dam Busters raid.
Mrs Jones was just 16-years-old when she signed up to sweat long hours to support the British war effort in Avro factories.
Mrs Jones was just 16-years-old when she started working at Avro Manchester plant
When the war ended she was among thousands of other munitions girls who downed tools and went on to find other jobs or have ‘baby-boomer’ families.
After the war she met her husband-to-be Albert Jones, and together they had two children Glenise and David.
It was not until later in life when she started attending wartime reenactments with her daughter that she revisited her past as an aircraft factory girl.
In 2012, she was asked to feature in the BBC One show, called ‘Bomber Boys’, featured McGregor and his brother Colin, exploring the RAF missions and aircraft that helped win the war.
At the time she said: “We were chauffeured to RAF Coningsby, in Lincoln, and they took me in the hanger where the Lancaster Bomber was and introduced to me Ewan and Colin.
“They asked me to teach Ewan how to rivet. The machine is too heavy for me now so I placed the rivets in the holes and he gunned them.
“He did all right but made a bit of a mess of one and I told him that it would never pass inspection!
“I’m such a flirt and was flirting with Ewan. I told them their mother must be proud of them both.”
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