Olive gets to see bomber she built

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A Blyth woman who worked on the construction line for Lancaster bombers during the Second World War has finally seen a finished plane.

Olive Park worked as a riveter on the fuselage section of the Lancaster, along with her cousin Eleanor, at the Chadderton factory in Manchester in 1943 to 1944.

Olive, who is now 93, has finally seen a finished Mynarski Lancaster Bomber at Durham Tees airport, one of only two remaining airworthy Lancasters in the world.

Olive, who has lived all her life in Blyth, suffered a major fire in her terraced house in 2007, losing the majority of her possessions, including her cat.

Her life was only saved by a smoke alarm which had been installed by a local authority handyman who was carrying out repairs to her property the previous year and noticed she did not have an alarm, which he installed the next day.

Daughter-in-law Sheila Park said: “Despite her age Olive is still mentally alert and during the fire managed to retrieve an old handbag containing insurance documents and old photographs which remain treasured mementos.

“Although Olive worked on the Lancaster fuselage section for over a year, she never saw the completed aircraft and it has been her dream to see it.

“She was able to see the Lancaster both on the ground and in flight thanks to the Lincoln Lancaster Association who secured a visitor pass on her behalf.

“She was thrilled to see the Lancaster – and declared the rivets to be satisfactory standard.”

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