World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                           Edna Gould 

Edna - the overhead crane driver

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Mrs Edna Gould
Location of story: Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Norman Wigley of the BBC Radio Sheffield Action Desk on behalf of Edna Gould.

During the war, I got a job at Chesterfield Tube Works and started as a tester and examiner – we were testing oxygen bottles for use by aircrew and naval crew, that the company made.

After about a year the crane drivers at the works were called up and I was asked if I would like to drive an overhead crane. I was in my early twenties then. I had three weeks training. To get to my cabin on the crane I had to climb about 50 or 60 feet up ladders. We had a rope to slide down in an emergency, but thank goodness I never had to use it. With practice it wasn’t long before I could place that crane to within an inch of where I wanted it to be.

My father was upset that I had to wear overalls at work – he didn’t think it was suitable wear for young women.

When I wasn’t at work I was a nursing assistant trained by the local doctor, but we had to supply our own bandages! We had to turn out if there was an air raid.