The Wartime Memories Project - Royal Ordnance Factory, Swynnerton

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Royal Ordnance Factory, Swynnerton was used during the Great War.

At the outbreak of World War Two ROF Swynnerton was reconstructed and became filling factory No. 5, filling shells and other armaments. Filling work was undertaken in 'laboratories' surrounded by earth revetments designed to contain a blast without affecting adjacent buildings. , The filled shells were stored on site in nine semi-sunken earth covered magazines, awaiting transport to otehr depots.

Production started in mid 1940 with 5000 people were employed there. By the following summer this had increased to 15,000 reaching a peak of 18,000 in 1942.

Seven hostels, built near to the factory for the workforce, but the numbers employed were so large that many people were recruited from the towns around Stoke on Trent and special trains brought them to a newly build station at the factory for on a three shift system (07.00 - 15.00, 15.00 - 22.00 and 22.00 - 07.00).

The hostels were names after naval officers, Duncan Hall, Raleigh Hall, Drake Hall, Beatty Hall, Howard Hall, Frobisher Hall and Nelson Hall. Duncan, Frobisher and Nelson Halls were demolished sometime after 1953, but the others still remain.

Production was reduced at the end of the war but the factory remained open until 1958. The site is now owned by the Army.

I am doing research on the visit of King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on their visit to a Royal Ordnance Factory at Swynnerton, Stafford on the 26th February 1942. Has anyone any info, photos, newspaper clippings, etc?

Those who served at Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF 59, Aycliffe.

If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.

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