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Ministry of Supply Factory, Dalbeattie -
 View of Nitration Hills, Unit 2 (Edingham)

Ministry of Supply Factory, Dalbeattie
World War II Cordite Works

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Single-Chamber Magazines :-

Key Facts :-

  • Located south of the main railway..
  • Storage area for packed and finished cordite.
  • Adjacent to packing area and loading station..
  • Structures mounded or sunk in cuttings.
  • External switch frame for lighting system.
  • Interior two platforms each side of an accessway.
  • Fire door and security doors.
  • Used as mine stores whilst site was RNAD Dalbeattie.

Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Outer Door of Magazine in cutting.
Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Outer Door of Magazine in cutting.


Single Chamber Magazines :

Introduction...

The magazines south of the dismantled railway line are the most durable and most easily understood structures in Ministry of Supply Factory Dalbeattie. Heavily built to resist internal explosion and external air attack, they were initially used to store cases of finished cordite, then from 1945 to 1960 they were used by the Royal Navy to store mines and other reserve ammunition. Their entrances are often inaccessible due to erosion and flooding of the doorways, since they have been used as cattle barns. Construction of the link road in the late 1980s from Edingham to the Aucheninnes tip demolished some of the protective mounds, one magazine being completely exposed and lying at a rather odd angle.

The railway may have defined more than the northern boundary of the Magazine area, for the site has separate road and railway access to that of the two cordite production Units. The writer has read that the Royal Ordnance Factory Bishopton was organised similarly as two Units, the magazine and loading area being 'Unit Three'. Pending further evidence, the Magazine Section is at least as distinct as the Nitration Hills and the Black Powder Finishing Works.

Typical Single Chamber Magazine Layout and Operation :

The sixteen identified single chamber magazines were either constructed in cuttings in the hillocks or constructed on flat ground and then mounded over. Externally, they are visible by their security doors and earthenware 'chimney pot' ventilators, usually with lamp standards and the galvanised frames of the all-weather rotary switches of the safety lights. Internally, one goes past the security doors and a lobby, with inner flameproof doors, to an internal accessway between two raised dry platforms. In the top of the surrounding walls are ventilator openings and safety light fittings.

As far as can be established from the information to hand, the cases of finished cordite were brought by unshod horse and rubber tyred cart from the blending and packing rooms to the magazines, there unloaded and stored, possibly on wooden racking or pallets (dunnage). When sufficient cordite had benn accumulated to fill a train, the cases were transported to the Loading Station for loading and despatch to ICI Nobel Ardeer.

From 1945 to 1960, some buildings at the Factory were converted for storage of naval munitions by this Royal Navy Armaments Depot Dalbeattie (RNAD Dalbeattie). There is a persistent local rumour that the magazines were used to store naval mines, for which they would admittedly have been very suited. The mines and a quantity of other ammunition were cleared out in 1960 and dumped at sea. Although they were apparently supposed to be dumped off Rockall, contractors dumped them in the Beaufort Deep between the Mull Of Galloway and Northern Ireland, where they are a present hazard to pipeline contractors.

Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Three embanked Magazines at south of site.
Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Three embanked Magazines at south of site
Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Storage platforms and accessway.
Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Storage platforms and accessway
Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Magazine roof showing ventilators
Magazine Section : One-Chamber Magazine - Magazine roof showing ventilators

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© 2006 Richard Edkins, Dalbeattie Internet.