“ The bus rattled their bones and teeth, or so thought Fran, but her stomach was rattling enough with nerves anyway as they headed for the Ordnance Factory, which was so secret that it must have no name and never be talked about.
‘Spark Lane sounds about right,’ she murmured to her friend Sarah, sitting next to her.
Sarah muttered, ‘Well, our Davey should be good with codes, thinking of his crossword solving and setting.’
The bus slewed right around a corner, throwing them to the left. Sitting in front of them, Maisie, who had worked at the Factory for a while, braced herself and yelled, ‘Oy, oy, Bert, steady the buffs, lad.’
‘Lad, eh’ he called back. ‘Wish I were, pet.’
The seats were just wooden slats, and Fran felt the wheels hit every clod thrown from the tractor as the farmhands had roared from one field to another, ploughing while the weather lasted. In the distance she could just see the pitheads of the mines.
‘I’m right nervous,’ Sarah muttered.
Across the aisle, Beth, their other old schoolfriend gripped her hands together and said quietly, ‘Me an’ all, but we’ll know all about it any minute now.’
Fran peered ahead and there, in the distance were what looked like huge air-raid shelters covered in grass, and what seemed like hundreds of one story brick buildings. . . .