Women at work

During World War Two the Black Country threw its full weight behind the war effort as the factories and foundries of the nation’s industrial heartland were turned over to munitions and armaments.

These pictures were taken at the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company in Smethwick and show some of the Valentine tanks it built. With many men called up to the armed services, women took their places in the factories to build the tanks.

The slogan on the left reads ‘Come and help your husbands, brothers and sweethearts by giving them more of these’. On the middle tank the banner says, ‘There is still plenty of room for more women to help build these tanks’ and on the third tank the slogan is ‘Birmingham women helped to build this tank why not come and join them’.