Agnes Kershaw (nee Dixon)

My Aunty Agnes Kershaw worked as a welder and she told me stories of how the men cast lead soldiers for the children and the ladies helped to paint them. They also made wooden toys like the destroyers and planes spitfires, Lancaster bombers and wooden machine guns that fired ball bearings. I know that this is correct because I got those toys for Christmas. Agnes eventually sustained an injury from lifting shells and was never able to have children. She was a very lovely lady and looked after me as a child.

During the war the war ships would come to Barrow for repairs and refit. The life boats would be restocked with emergency supply’s. The ladies brought the old supply’s home. They consisted of Horlicks tablets, and condense milk that had often caramelized due to the heat in the tropics. It tasted like toffee and was a real treat to war time children.

Interestingly, she worked alongside my wife’s Aunty Gladis Carson ( née Warburton ). She was also a welder, and she also was never able to have children due to injuries sustained working in the ship yard during the Second World War.

by Barry Lowther

Agnes Kershaw (nee Dixon)- Barrow Shipyard Women WW2

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