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The De Havilland Aircraft Factory near Bolton, Lancashire, England.

In 1937 the De Havilland factory was built in Horwich, near Bolton, following a visit from Cobham's Flying Circus, who were looking for sites to build aircraft. It was of major importance during World War II. The factory subsequently became Hawker Sidley, then British Aerospace and is now Matra Dynamics.

This was part of a group of "shadow" factories built Lancashire, away from the main bombing zone in the South. The companies building these factories in Lancashire were de Havilland, Vickers, Bristol Aeroplane Co, Napier, English Electric and Rolls Royce. By the early 1940s these plants were employing more than 45,000 people in the Lancashire area alone.


Main Planes:



De Havilland Mosquito


De Havilland Vampire


De Havilland Comet


The 1949 De Havilland Comet was the first jet-propelled aeroplane.

For a good general look at the Aerospace Industry in Lancashire, visit:

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Bolton and Horwich

Bolton is the main of eight townships within Bolton Metropolitan Borough covering 140 square kilometres (54 square miles), the remaining townships alphabetically are Blackrod, Farnworth, Horwich, Kearsley, Little Lever, South Turton, and Westhoughton.


De Havilland Mosquito


De Havilland Vampire