IT was a factory created out of a fear that war was looming on the horizon and it went on to play a major role both in the Second World War and also in the prosperity of Bolton for decades to come.

De Havilland Propellers at Lostock was established in 1935 and the large production plant - which took just nine months to build - was responsible for producing aircraft propellers for a wide variety of planes including the Hurricane and Spitfire.

After the war the company began to diversify and work on jet engines and even rocket technology was undertaken.

Along with the famous Loco works, De Havilland was a major employer in Horwich and the workforce helped produce key components for both military and commercial aircraft.

These photos from our archive give a rare glimpse inside the factory during its ‘golden age’.

The De Havilland name no longer exists having at various times become Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace, Matra Bae and currently MBDA Missile System.