The success of the West of England aviation industry is down to people.
Without Sir George White, BAC would never have started. Without Sir Stanley White and his fellow directors, the company would never have stayed in business. Without the likes of Frank Barnwell, Roy Fedden, Leslie Frise, Stanley Hooker and Archibald E Russell, there would have been no product for the company to sell. Without thousands of people over the last hundred years, most unsung, many overworked and some undoubtedly under paid, the company's aero engines and aircraft would never have been built.
Getting something as large and complex as an aircraft from the drawing board to the skies involves people working in areas of development, production and sales. In addition there are people needed to manage and provide services for the employees. This entails hundreds of different roles within the factory; some in existence for decades, some recent additions, some long lost and forgotten.
Among these, in no particular order, are carpenters, stringers, drafts-people, designers, scientists, riveters, setter operators, machinists, buyers, crew, data processors, welders, pilots, technicians, fitters, various types of engineers, electricians, cooks, delivery drivers, painters, secretaries, cashiers, legal advisers, security guards, cleaners, chauffeurs, progress chasers, flight support managers, exhibition officers, coppersmiths and tinsmiths, flight test observers, trainers, technical authors and illustrators. There are specialists and all-rounders, the unskilled and the skilled, apprentices and old hands.
Some roles have been lost as materials, processes and products have changed. New roles continue to be added.
In this section you can listen to extracts from interviews with former employees in the Oral Histories and read accounts of working in the industry in Your Stories.