SEVENTY years ago they spent their days and nights contributing to the war effort.

Within predominantly male-dominated workplaces, Olive Crowther, Edith Holmes and their female colleagues worked on the planes carrying service personnel across the skies in the Second World War.

Earning £9 a week, Olive's role at Avro - formerly based at the Yeadon aerodrome now Leeds Bradford Airport - involved following a planned diagram connecting 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.

Many women were bussed in from all over the area. Olive came from Bradford and Edith from Morley. Olive worked days from 7am until 7pm and Edith worked nights starting at 6pm.

Edith, who turns 95 this month, recalls working until the following morning.

She joined the company in the early 1940s and left after she married in 1944.

"I worked at Avro because I wanted to go into the Airforce but they said they needed people in the factories," recalls Edith.

"I worked regular nights. I worked on the bomb gear on a lathe."

Another memory from her time at Avro was responding to the air raid siren. "We went off the factory floor down below," she says.

Edith also recalls working on the Lancaster bomber and being invited to go and look around the aircraft.

She retained her interest in the iconic plane when only a few years ago she purchased a model kit of a Lancaster bomber which she re-built and which takes pride of place in her Bradford home.

"I enjoyed every minute of it," she says, referring to her time at Avro.

And she recently had the opportunity to reminisce with fellow Avro Girl, Olive. The women didn't know each other at work due to their shift patterns but they were put in touch after Edith's daughter-in-law, Bernadette Holmes, spotted an article in the Telegraph & Argus about Olive and her career at Avro.

She contacted us and was put in touch with Olive. "I was pleased for her to be able to meet someone who had been there at the same time," says Bernadette.

Edith also had the opportunity to listen to the song - The Avro Girls - which Olive can still recite and which she and her colleagues used to sing during their work.

Olive's daughter, Joanne, said of the visit: "It was lovely for both of them.

"They worked at the same place during the war and it was a lovely experience."

Olive, who turns 95 in December, was 17 when she went to work at Avro. "It was 12 hours a day but they both enjoyed it. It must have been a really good camaraderie of working to a common goal.

"They were doing work they would not have had the opportunity to do if it hadn't been for the war.

"For my mum it was the most interesting she had ever done and she was always good at changing plugs and things and she loved it. You can tell they both really enjoyed their time," adds Joanne.

Olive's fond recollections of her time at Avro have already led to invitations to the launch of the International Bomber Command centre in Lincoln.

Her participation in the 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.

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

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.