A little-known piece of Taree history has surfaced with the arrival of photos sent to the Manning River Times by the family of 95-year-old Edith Campbell from Forster.
The photographs were taken in 1944, and are of women and girls working in a factory in Taree that produced uniforms for the armed forces in WWII.
Edith was one of the girls who worked at the factory during the war. She doesn't remember exactly where the factory was located, however local historian Janine Roberts told the Manning River Times it was probably on the corner of Victoria and Macquarie streets, where a building housing a real estate and psychology practice now stands.
"A new factory was built in 1944 as part of Manpower and decentralisation of industry. It made uniforms for the last part of WWII and then civilian clothes before picking up a contract to make uniforms for the armed services again," Janine said.
Edith recalls she was only 15 or 16 when she started working at the factory. At the time, her surname was Newton, as she was unmarried.
Edith's job at the factory was to put zippers in the pants.
Hailing from Coolongolook, Edith lived with her sister in Taree while she was working at the factory, as travelling to and from Coolongolook could be problematic when it rained. She doesn't remember how long she worked there for.
"I can't recall when I finished there. It was sickness that took me away from it," Edith said.
A friend took Edith back to the factory after the war, and she remembers it had been turned into a clothing shop.
Edith is hoping someone reads the story and remembers the factory and perhaps even working in it, and gets in contact with her.
"I can remember us there, and there were a lot there. And I have met one or two since I've come here, which remembered me, but I can't remember their names," Edith said.
"People don't know that (factory) was there! I said to my son Danny, 'we ought to put the photos in the paper, because I might find somebody who might be still alive'," Edith said.
If you wish to contact Edith about the old WWII uniform factory, call the Manning River Times on 6552 1988, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.