Return to Dalbeattie Domain Server
Ministry of Supply Factory, Dalbeattie -
 View of Nitration Hills, Unit 2 (Edingham)

Ministry of Supply Dalbeattie Factory (1939 - 1945)
Royal Naval Armaments Depot, Dalbeattie (1946 - 1960)
Edingham Industrial Estate (1960 to present)

~ Index ~ Site History ~ Virtual Tour ~
~ Buildings and Functions ~ Manufacture of Cordite ~
~ The Workforce ~ Graffiti and Poems ~
~ Wildlife ~ Sources ~ Links to Other Sites ~
~ Return to Site History ~


The Six ICI Nobel Agency Factories :

Key Points :-

  • Explosive production needed rapid expansion to provide propellant and high explosive for ammunition and bombs.
  • ICI Nobel at Ardeer contracted by Ministry of Supply in 1939 to provide the explosives.
  • Six ICI factories built in southern Scotland during 1939-1941 for the Ministry of Supply :-
    1. M/S Dumfries - Drungans acid and guncotton works.
    2. M/S Dalbeattie - Edingham and Southwick nitroglycerine, cordite and black powder (gunpowder) finishing works.
    3. M/S Carsegowan - Black powder and sulphurless powder, finished and part finished.
    4. M/S Powfoot - Monobase granulated guncotton propellant and trinitrotoluene explosive..
    5. M/S Girvan - Grangeston works. Probably flashless cordite.
    6. M/S Newton St. Boswell - Charlesfield incendiary bomb factory.
  • Common design features identified at Drungans, Dalbeattie, Carsegowan and Powfoot.
  • Information being gathered on all six sites for future website reports.


The ICI Nobel Agency Factories In Southern Scotland :

Introduction...

At the onset of the Second World War (1939-1945), the British Government decided to massively expand its capability to produce explosives for filling shells and as propellant for gun and rifle cartridges. Instead of creating another giant factory like the First World War (1914-1918) munitions works at Gretna and Eastriggs, production was spread around a large number of government-run sites like ROF Bishopton near Glasgow and agency industrial works like the ICI explosive works at Ardeer in Ayrshire. ICI saw a need to increase production by establishing six new factories in South West Scotland. These were Ministry of Supply factories run and staffed by ICI as 'Agency Factories'. They consisted of :-

  • M/S Dumfries (Drungans) at Cargenbridge : - Produced nitrocellulose (guncotton), acids and other chemicals. Wartime process buildings cleared but a few minor ancillary buildings survive. Filter beds of waste treatment plant also survive. Plans of site to hand and some other data.
  • M/S Dalbeattie : - Double works at Southwick (Unit 1) and Edingham (Unit 2) that produced nitroglycerine for onsite incorporation with Drungans nitrocellulose into cordite, possibly with additives, for dual or triple base cordite. Product mainly for artillery, machine gun and small arms propellant. Recently a Black Powder finishing works was also identified, using structures originally meant for packing to finish part-made powder presumably from M/S Carsegowan. 2,200 staff at peak. Very extensive buildings from all aspects of production process and complete set of ancillary buildings. The subject of this website.
  • M/S Carsegowan near Wigtown : - Produced black powder (Gunpowder) and grey powder for fuses and flares. Many buildings still survive intact. History based on Ardeer documents written up by Dennis Sawden.
  • M/S Powfoot near Annan - Western section of site produced single-base guncotton-based brown granular propellant by the ether collodion process, for rifle and machine-gun cartridges. Eastern section produced trinitrotoluene (TNT) for shells and bombs. Some process buildings survive re-used for farming. Most of site cleared.
  • M/S Girvan (Grangeston in South Ayrshire) : - From information provided by Ian Jones and David Hodgson, apparently a flashless cordite factory half the size of Dalbeattie. Mostly demolished and used as a municipal tip, now the site of a Grant's distillery. Double platform from Grangeston Halt used by staff survives beside disused track. Some other structures (possibly stoving houses) maybe being used as stores.
  • M/S Newton St. Boswell (in Scottish Borders) : Charlesfield : - Produced 1 million incendiary bombs per month from 1942. Each bomb weighed 4 lbs. (1.8 Kilos). 1,300 staff at peak. One of only two such factories in the UK. Now an industrial estate. Wartime remains reported to be slight.
ICI Nobel at Ardeer produced more cordite and incorporated explosives made elsewhere into finished ammunition. Explosives from Ardeer were also sent to ammunition factories elsewhere in Britain.

All six factories were planned and co-ordinated by Mr. Allan Wilson of ICI Nobel Division from offices at 'The Oaks' on the outskirts of Dumfries. The oak table from 'The Oaks' was reportedly later used at the Dumfries works in the boardroom.

Between January 1942 and June 1945 the works at Drungans, Powfoot and Dalbeattie, produced one third of Britain's cordite. This in itself testifies to the incredible importance of these long-overlooked sites. Cordite and nitrocellulose powder from these works was shipped north to ICI Ardeer and possibly ROF Bishopton for shell and cartridge production.

Drungans and Powfoot were the only two of the six Factories known to have survived the war, Drungans works being demolished in the 1990s but the Dumfries plastics works surviving. Powfoot lasted into the late 1980s. The other four factories were shut and decommissioned from 1946.

Common Design Features at the Six Factories :

Whilst analysing plans and photographs, the writer uncovered the commonalty of many ancillary buildings present at the first three of the six factories. The Canteen, the Fire Station/Decontamination and First Aid building, the Explosive Loading Stations and even the pipe supports, show common designs at Drungans, Dalbeattie and Carsegowan. Map analysis further indicates that the vast array of Drying, Blending and Packing Houses at Dalbeattie was echoed in the western half of the Powfoot site. Mr. David Rudland of Dalbeattie further noted that there were structures similar to those at Dalbeattie at Charlesfield, until its fairly recent development as an industrial estate. Further common features are being investigated with the objective of interpreting buildings at other sites.

Further Investigation :

Research is underway for a subsite on Carsegowan and on Drungans, using field studies, surviving documents, published information and the recollections of former staff. You are encouraged to contact the writer to pass on any recollections, no matter how unimportant they may seem. Some of the most important analysis has been started by a few casual words from former staff or their relatives.

Top

© 2006 Richard Edkins, Dalbeattie Internet.

buy cheap effexor xr in vernon

buy cheap effexor xr in vernon

no prescription effexor xr manitoba

no prescription effexor xr manitoba

purchase effexor xr in melbourne

purchase effexor xr in melbourne

buy cheap effexor xr pills in malta

buy cheap effexor xr pills in malta

no prescription effexor xr nova scotia

no prescription effexor xr nova scotia

buy effexor xr in massachusetts

buy effexor xr in massachusetts

buy cheap effexor xr in netherlands

buy cheap effexor xr in netherlands

generic effexor xr pills idaho

generic effexor xr pills idaho

buy effexor xr in frankfort

buy effexor xr in frankfort

buy effexor xr without a prescription in concord

buy effexor xr without a prescription in concord

no prescription effexor xr kitchener

no prescription effexor xr kitchener

generic effexor xr pills nashville

generic effexor xr pills nashville

order effexor xr in united arab emirates

order effexor xr in united arab emirates

buy cheap effexor xr in qld

buy cheap effexor xr in qld

purchase effexor xr in phoenix

purchase effexor xr in phoenix

buy low cost effexor xr quebec

buy low cost effexor xr quebec

cheapest generic effexor xr harrisburg

cheapest generic effexor xr harrisburg

buy cheap effexor xr in new jersey

buy cheap effexor xr in new jersey

order effexor xr in indianapolisa

order effexor xr in indianapolisa

generic effexor xr pills tallahassee

generic effexor xr pills tallahassee

buy effexor xr in maryland

buy effexor xr in maryland

find buy effexor online without prescription

find buy effexor online without prescription

no prescription effexor xr canada

no prescription effexor xr canada

buy low cost effexor xr quebec

buy low cost effexor xr quebec

buy low cost effexor xr egypt

buy low cost effexor xr egypt

order effexor xr in mexico

order effexor xr in mexico

purchase effexor xr in oregon

purchase effexor xr in oregon

cheapest generic effexor xr louisiana

cheapest generic effexor xr louisiana

buy low cost effexor xr honolulu

buy low cost effexor xr honolulu

buy cheap effexor fedex overnight

buy cheap effexor fedex overnight

buy low cost effexor xr tallahassee

buy low cost effexor xr tallahassee

cheapest generic effexor xr new hampshire

cheapest generic effexor xr new hampshire

buy effexor xr without a prescription in singapore

buy effexor xr without a prescription in singapore

buy low cost effexor xr alaska

buy low cost effexor xr alaska

online buy effexor without a prescription

online buy effexor without a prescription

buy cheap effexor xr in glasgow

buy cheap effexor xr in glasgow

buy low cost effexor xr carson city

buy low cost effexor xr carson city

buy low cost effexor xr the united states

buy low cost effexor xr the united states

buy effexor xr without a prescription in kentucky

buy effexor xr without a prescription in kentucky

buy cheap effexor xr pills in korea

buy cheap effexor xr pills in korea

generic effexor xr pills lansing

generic effexor xr pills lansing

order effexor xr in uae

order effexor xr in uae

order effexor xr in spain

order effexor xr in spain

buy cheap effexor xr pills in latvia

buy cheap effexor xr pills in latvia

buy cheap effexor xr in argentina

buy cheap effexor xr in argentina

cheapest generic effexor xr vermont

cheapest generic effexor xr vermont

buy low cost effexor xr south africa

buy low cost effexor xr south africa

no prescription effexor xr mississauga

no prescription effexor xr mississauga

buy effexor xr without a prescription in new jersey

buy effexor xr without a prescription in new jersey

purchase effexor xr in arkansas

purchase effexor xr in arkansas

order effexor xr in alabama

order effexor xr in alabama

generic effexor xr pills slovenia

generic effexor xr pills slovenia

order effexor xr in north dakota

order effexor xr in north dakota

buy effexor xr in montreal

buy effexor xr in montreal

buy effexor xr without a prescription in bradford

buy effexor xr without a prescription in bradford

order effexor xr in new brunswick

order effexor xr in new brunswick

generic effexor xr pills florida

generic effexor xr pills florida

order effexor xr in bulgaria

order effexor xr in bulgaria

cheapest generic effexor xr czech republic

cheapest generic effexor xr czech republic

buy cheap effexor xr pills in switzerland

buy cheap effexor xr pills in switzerland

purchase effexor xr in birmingham

purchase effexor xr in birmingham

cheapest generic effexor xr poland

cheapest generic effexor xr poland

buy effexor xr in maryland

buy effexor xr in maryland

buy cheap effexor xr in wa

buy cheap effexor xr in wa

buy effexor xr without a prescription in sherbrooke

buy effexor xr without a prescription in sherbrooke

order buy effexor online clinic uk

order buy effexor online clinic uk

buy effexor xr in cyprus

buy effexor xr in cyprus

buy low cost effexor xr abbotsford

buy low cost effexor xr abbotsford

buy cheap effexor xr in bristol

buy cheap effexor xr in bristol

generic effexor xr pills trois rivieres

generic effexor xr pills trois rivieres

no prescription effexor xr california

no prescription effexor xr california

no prescription effexor xr maryland

no prescription effexor xr maryland

buy effexor xr in idaho

buy effexor xr in idaho

purchase venlafaxine mauricie

purchase venlafaxine mauricie

buy cheap effexor xr in frankfort

buy cheap effexor xr in frankfort

purchase effexor xr in australia

purchase effexor xr in australia