FOR those growing up in the nineties the Spice Girls were the epitome of Girl Power.

Yet long before this feisty five-some burst onto the pop scene dominating the charts and inspiring young fans to follow their dreams, women like Olive Crowther were also creating waves around the world.

Within predominantly male-dominated workplaces, Olive and her colleagues were making huge contributions to the war effort as they worked on the planes carrying service personnel across the skies.

Earning £9 a week, Olive's role at Avro - formerly based at the Yeadon aerodrome now Leeds Bradford Airport - involved following a planned diagram to connect wires on the navigator panels in the cockpits of planes such as the famous Lancaster bomber which was designed and built by Avro for the Royal Air Force

The 94-year-old from Shipley has spoken fondly of her time at Avro and has re-lived those memories since through her visit to the launch of the International Bomber Command centre in Lincoln last month.

Olive's invitation to be part of this prestigious occasion came after she was interviewed for the BBC series 'Women at War' - 100 Years of Service recognising their role in the armed forces.

Through her involvement she was asked to contribute her memories of Avro at the Bomber Command Centre where she had the opportunity to see the impressive Spire - recognised as the World's tallest war memorial.

Interestingly, the award-winning steel structure measures 102ft high - the wing span of an Avro Lancaster bomber, and 16ft wide at the base - the width of a Lancaster wing.

"It's an amazing structure and an amazing place," says Olive's daughter Joanne, who accompanied her on the trip.

It is understood hundreds of Lancasters were built at the Yeadon aerodrome where Olive and her colleagues contributed to the war effort.

Working from 7am until 7pm she recalls they were long days but there was a wonderful camaraderie and their song, which Olive fondly remembers, kept them entertained. "We are the Avro Girls helping to win the war, helping out the boys who are fighting for their King and country.

"We are helping out the boys, we work 12 hours a day Sundays as well. We will never fail you boys. Here's to the Avro Girls, three cheers for the Avro Girls."

As well as visiting the Bomber Command Centre, Olive previously visited the legendary Lancaster bomber, 'Just Jane' at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, the family-run museum established by farming brothers Fred and Harold Panton in East Kirkby.

The legendary Avro Lancaster or 'Lanc' as it is affectionately known, became the most famous and most successful of the Second World War night bombers. A total of 7,377 Lancasters were built between 1941 and 1946.

Olive's son, Philip, suggested the trip for his mum to see the Lancaster and Olive was delighted to see the plane - a fond reminder of women like her who contributed to the war effort.

"It is fabulous, we are so proud of her and so happy that at this stage of her life she has got this recognition for her efforts during the war," says Olive's daughter Joanne.

"It has given her a massive boost and she is absolutely loving it and every appreciative."