ROF Chorley 80th Anniversary Commemorative Magazine

GreenManMarketing

Hello and welcome to this one-off publication which celebrates how Buckshaw Village and the surrounding areas was once home to thousands of people who worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory in what is now Buckshaw Village.

Officially opened in 1939, ROF Chorley is so important to our local area, and the history which it holds is fascinating. This has helped to shape our community into what we have and love today. Each and every page of our one off commemorative publication has been carefully mapped out to ensure we have provided you with accurate historical facts and information relating to our local area, exclusive and unseen photographs, stories, quizzes, recipes and so much more.

This publication has been made possible by businesses in our local area, many of whom have shared their own historical content and stories with you!

Our lead content creators, Stuart Clewlow and Harry Longworth, have spent the most part of 2019 creating this anniversary publication.

“Our aim was to commemorate and celebrate our local area by providing you with something you can not only keep but cherish and learn from.”

Stuart Clewlow, First and foremost, I am a proud father of three and a Local Historian in Chorley.
Over the years I have been able to share my research and historical artefacts in schools, exhibitions, talk shows, local newspapers and produce a number of local history books. It has been humbling to have been recognised over the years with three Civic Society Awards, an Adlington Citizen of the Year Award, becoming an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and receiving an invite to the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. I can only hope that this is a measure that our community takes great interest in its heritage and wants to learn more about it.

Harry Longworth, I have always been very passionate about supporting my local area and the people in it. Being a resident of Buckshaw, it has been eye opening to uncover and compile this history of our community. I have always wanted to go into business and I set up my first company when I was age 10.
One of my current businesses is producing the Friends of Buckshaw Village Community Magazine which puts a real emphasis each month on promoting local and supporting it too.

On behalf of us both, we hope you will see this one-off magazine as a worthwhile commemorative keepsake and something you want to share with your friends and family.

Thank You & Enjoy!

A HISTORY OF

1

ROF CHORLEY

8

ONE-OFF COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE


2

Flooring Angels Nationwide - It was great to learn about our local heritage.


10 & 11

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CONTENTS

A WELCOME FROM US 5

ROF CHORLEY IS BORN 7

17 & 18

49

25 & 26

37 - 39

63 - 66

ROF CHORLEY - WW2 ERA 9

ROF CONSTRUCTION 10 & 11

ROF CHORLEY FACTS 12

ROF HOUSE SYMBOL 15

SPORTS & GALA DAY 17 & 18

GRACIE FIELDS FACTS 19

LOCAL RECIPES 20 & 21

THE KING’S VISIT 25

KING GEORGE VI FACTS 27

HOSTELS &

ACCOMMODATION

30 & 31

THE ‘PHONEY WAR’ 34 & 35

DAMBUSTERS 37 - 39

CONSTRUCTION &

VEHICLES - GALLERY

42

THE RAILWAY - ROF HALT 43

ROF CHORLEY WAS NOT

ALL BOMBS AND BULLETS

THE CLOSURE OF ROF

CHORLEY - GALLERY

49

52

'OUR‘ ROF CANNONS 53

ROF CHORLEY ARTEFACTS

- GALLERY

56

CRESTS AND BADGES 57

CASUALTIES OF ROF

CHORLEY

HOW OUR AREA HAS

DEVELOPED

PUZZLE ‘FILLING

FACTORY’

BUCKSHAW VILLAGE -

CIRCA 2019

59 - 61

63 - 66

67

69

ROF REPLAY QUIZ 71

ROF CHORLEY HERITAGE

PROJECT

THE FACES OF ROF

CHORLEY - GALLERY

73 & 74

76

THAT’S ALL FROM US 77

OUR SPONSORS 78

We hope you enjoy reading this one-off collectable magazine - Stuart & Harry.


4

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A WELCOME FROM US

We’re delighted to welcome you to the official ROF Chorley

Commemorative Magazine. We’re looking back at the past 80 years since

the ROF Chorley site was built and became operational in Chorley.

Hello and welcome to

this one-off

publication which

celebrates how

Buckshaw Village and the

surrounding areas was once

home to thousands of people

who worked at the Royal

Ordnance Factory in what is

now Buckshaw Village.

Officially opened in 1939,

ROF Chorley is so important to

our local area, and the history

which it holds is fascinating.

This has helped to shape our

community into what we have

and love today.

Each and every page of our oneoff

commemorative publication

has been carefully mapped out

to ensure we have provided you

with accurate historical facts

and information relating to our

local area, exclusive and unseen

photographs, stories, quizzes,

recipes and so much more.

This publication has been made

possible by businesses in our

local area, many of whom have

shared their own historical

content and stories with you!

Our lead content creators,

Stuart Clewlow and Harry

Longworth, have spent the most

part of 2019 creating this

anniversary publication.

“Our aim was to

commemorate and celebrate

our local area by providing

you with something you can

not only keep but cherish

and learn from.”

Stuart

Clewlow,

First and

foremost, I am a

proud father of

three and a

Local Historian in Chorley.

Over the years I have been able

to share my research and

historical artefacts in schools,

exhibitions, talk shows, local

newspapers and produce a

number of local history books.

It has been humbling to have

been recognised over the years

with three Civic Society

Awards, an Adlington Citizen

of the Year Award, becoming

an elected Fellow of the Royal

5

Historical Society and receiving

an invite to the Queens Garden

Party at Buckingham Palace.

I can only hope that this is a

measure that our community

takes great interest in its

heritage and wants to learn

more about it.

Harry

Longworth,

I have always

been very

passionate about

supporting my

local area and the people in it.

Being a resident of Buckshaw, it

has been eye opening to

uncover and compile this

history of our community.

I have always wanted to go into

business and I set up my first

company when I was age 10.

One of my current businesses is

producing the Friends of

Buckshaw Village Community

Magazine which puts a real

emphasis each month on

promoting local and supporting

it too.

On behalf of us both, we hope

you will see this one-off

magazine as a worthwhile

commemorative keepsake and

something you want to share

with your friends and family.

Thank You

& Enjoy!

Look out for previously unpublished images that have been included in this publication.


6

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The site for ROF Chorley included the estate of Buckshaw Hall

ROF Chorley is born

In the 1930’s anxiety grew in Europe over possible armed conflict and the

British Government quickly realised the vulnerability of the Royal Ordnance

site, Woolwich Arsenal (image shown below).

As a result, a

committee of

Government

officials and

industrialists, led by Sir

Douglas Hacking (MP for

Chorley, 1918 - 1945),

recommended the removal of

Woolwich and the construction

of a new purpose-built complex.

Sites that were considered in

1935 included Oswestry,

Durham, Tyneside and South

Wales. Factors in making the

decision for a potential site

included communication links,

surrounding infrastructure,

environmental and geographical

factors and above all the safety

and security of the complex.

The main contending sites were

visited by the Inspectors and

then debated at length. By the

end of 1935, it was agreed that

Chorley would be the site and in

1936 approximately 928 acres

of land was purchased; even

though the exact plans had yet

to be finalised by the

Government War Office.

A further 43 acres of land was

purchased in Heapey to become

a storage facility for the factory.

“It was a complete change to

my previous role based at

Woolwich, Arsenal.

My new position was very

interesting and gave me a lot

of variety as the site was still

under construction.”

ROF Chorley Testimonial

from a former worker.

We would like to say a special thanks to Clive Armitage.


8

Utiligroup - Have a look on page 9 to see where we are based now.


ROF CHORLEY

- WW2 ERA

GROUPS:

1. Primers/Detonators

2. Pellets/Powder

3. Fuzes

4. Gunpowder

5. Cordite/Assembly

8. Shells/Bombs

10. Services/Stores

11D. Magazines

(Ammo Storage)

9


10

ROF CONSTRUCTION

ROF Chorley was designed and constructed in such a way that it could

produce and deliver a wide range of explosive filling activities; from bullets

to bombs, Filling Factory No. 1 could do it all!

ROF Chorley (Filling Factory No. 1) during its construction.

The specification,

function and even

spacing of all the

1,500 buildings within

the site were painstakingly

considered by the management

team within the complex to

ensure that they were suitable

for all its employees.

Safety was at the forefront of

the planning stage and so all the

various aspects of the filling

process led to the site being

separated into distinct ‘groups’.

These developed and changed

over the years to produce a vast

range of different Military

hardware.

Group 2:

Produced pellets in high

explosive and pyrotechnic

compositions, normally for use

on other groups around the site.

Group 3 (East):

Fuzes were assembled for

munitions such as mortars,

shells, bombs and torpedoes.

Group 3 (West):

Equipped for the production of

pyrotechnic stores and

compositions such as time ring

fuzes, tracers, flares, and

practice bombs. This Group also

had clean air facilities for the

assembly of fine mechanisms.

Group 8:

This was the largest of the

production groups and was

responsible for filling and

assembling the high explosive

stores. Both poured and pressed

high explosive fillings were

worked on within this group.

These were then used for hand

grenades, shells, mines etc…

There was also the Component

Shop which manufactured

components in paper, cloth

etc… and for the manufacturing

of special purpose clothing.

Over time various different

departments were added across

the factory and these included:

Quality Control:

Headed by a Quality Manager,

staff from this department

operated throughout the factory

and had links in every

department across the site

concerned with the production

of stores and components.

Group 1:

Manufactured initiator

compositions from basic raw

materials and then filled them

into initiator devices such as

detonators, igniters, fuzes etc…

Group 5:

Larger buildings with generous

spacing allowed this group to

take responsibility for the

assembly of cartridges, and

electric and percussion primers.

For Libby, Toria and James Clewlow.


11

ROF

RECOLLECTIONS

“I did work in every Section

on the factory and enjoyed

every minute. I used to put my

Civil Service mac on and

jump on an old bike that we

had in the Office for

Draughtsmen to use.”

“For the next four days I

learnt all about the Factory

and what they produced, and

then on the fourth day a man

came to take me to the

Machine Shop where I would

be working on a lathe.

He was my Charge Hand

and I worked for him for

seven years.”

“The factory and our

analyses had to shut down

temporarily if the weather

turned to thunder and

lightning.”

ROF Chorley

Recollection Archive.

Development:

The factory had a large

Development Department and

they undertook work on behalf

of the Research & Development

establishments to evolve the

methods of production and

carrying out pre-production

filling and assembly. The

department was also responsible

for providing a service to the

Production Department in

investigating the cause of

production difficulties and

failures to meet specified

performance and recommending

solutions to problems.

Engineering Services:

As would be expected for a

factory the size of ROF

Chorley, there was a

requirement for constant and

regular maintenance

programmes to be carried out on

all the buildings, plant and

services.

Special Project Teams:

These were set up to deal with

new stores for which a

considerable amount of preproduction

work was required.

Safety:

A small but specially trained

and qualified department of

staff helped to maintain high

standards of safety throughout

the Filling Factory.

Process Research:

This was a special department

established at ROF Chorley to

continually review the latest

developments in technology

which could be applied to

processes in other Filling

Factories. Its function was to

ensure that within the

constraints imposed by a

number of factors including

safety and cost, production

processes used were the most up

to date as possible.

Administration:

Headed by the Factory

Secretary this department dealt

with all the day to day running.

In addition, ROF Chorley also

had its own Police department,

Fire Brigade and naturally, for a

site which at its peak employed

nearly 40,000, it had its own

Canteen buildings.

Procurement:

Staff in this department dealt

with all enquiries from

customers and they were

responsible for obtaining

estimates for the supply of

components and materials.

Planning:

This department dealt with the

pre-production activities of all

new stores, specifying the

production methods which were

to be followed, arranging and

acquiring the necessary tools,

plant and equipment. Part of the area that became ROF Chorley, c. 1910.

These ‘Recollections' are reproduced courtesy of Chorley Heritage Centre.


12

ROF

CHORLEY

FACTS

The amount

of

Steel

Girders used added

up to approximately:

Between January 1937 and October 1939, the

number of construction

workers on the site rose

from 1,900 to approx:

Years since the official

opening of ROF Chorley.

How many pages are we?

Bricks were

used to build The whole factory

the ROF Chorley site!

Street Lights on the site.

The ROF Chorley site was

roughly 1,000 acres. That’s the

same size as approximately:

Full Sized

Football

Pitches

The average

house price in

1939 was:

In today’s

terms, that

would equate

to roughly:

Number

of

honours

awarded

to ROF

personnel and

one, a George

Medal, was

presented to

Mr. E Ashcroft for his

brave actions during an

accident which occurred

at ROF Chorley!

During World War II around:

were employed at our

Royal Ordnance Factory

site cost approx:

Today, that would

equate to roughly:

This page has been proudly sponsored by Runshaw College.


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13


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Birchall Blackburn Law - Proud to support this publication which showcases our local area.


ROF House Symbol

Since the construction of the ROF, many in-house documents, publications,

posters etc… were all branded with the general Ministry of Supply and

Royal Ordnance Factory official insignia (logo/symbol).

By the early 1970’s, Borough of Chorley.

ROF Chorley had

developed its own

House Symbol

which was intended to set it

aside from other factories,

inspire pride, a sense of

ownership in the workplace, and

also make it easily recognisable.

In a similar fashion to a coat of

arms, the logo was made up of

elements relevant to the area.

The ‘blue flower’ design was

primarily a stylised explosive

symbol. It also represents the

five petal flower which is found

within the coat of arms for the

The industry of engineering is

symbolised by the gear shapes

which forms the outer contours

of the ‘petals’. In order to

acknowledge the arms and

munitions, the centre of the

design is based around the

rifling inside a gun barrel.

The ‘blue flower’ logo would be

used on all kinds of materials

such as on publications, posters,

certificates and even formed the

back drop at many ROF

Chorley events such as awards

and medal presentations.

Just for fun we have placed 12

other ‘blue flower’ logos

throughout this publication.

When you are having a read

through the pages, see how

many you can spot! Submit

your answers on Page 67.

15

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17

Pictured above is Gracie Fields on the Main Stage addressing the crowd.

SPORTS & GALA DAY

Whilst the Ordnance Factory was still being built, on Saturday 20th August

1938 a large Sports & Gala Day was hosted on the grounds of Lisieux Hall

off Dawson Lane, Whittle le Woods.

The Gala was arranged to

be a celebration of the

large scale construction

project and a mass day of

entertainment for invited guests,

locals and the construction

workers of Sir Lindsay

Parkinson & Co Ltd.

Fresh from the release of her

recent films, ‘We’re Going To

Be Rich’ and ‘Keep Smiling’,

VIP Gracie Fields was the

centre of attention as she

entertained the guests with a

rendition of ‘The Biggest

Aspidistra In The World’, along

with her other popular songs.

Above - Singer & Entertainer,

Gracie Fields.

Left - Pathe News Title Page

of the Gala Day.

Please turn over for more information on page 18


18

There was also Walford Hyden

and his Café Colette Orchestra,

Silcock’s World Fair, a

playground and sports events

and competitions for all ages.

The sports competition

consisted of 100 yards sprint,

400 yards race, sack race, wheel

barrow race, high jump, long

jump, tug of war, and even a

Marathon race which started at

Chorley Town Hall.

Walford Hyden was a well

known musical composer and

achieved success after the war

arranging the music for the

1946 film Great Expectations

which starred John Mills and

Valerie Hobson.

The whole event proved to be

very popular and was a great

success. Such was the interest in

the occasion that highlights of

the day was recorded by Pathe.

The Gala day was enjoyed by

the local community and was a

great boost to morale in the

construction workers and staff.

Within 12 months the overall

Ordnance Factory site was

completed and ready to host a

very official and very Royal

opening by King George VI the

following year.

You can read more about this

on pages 25 & 26.

Pages below are from

the Sports & Gala Day

Programme along with

the currency used.

In Memory of Stanley and Jean Harper.


19

Gracie fields

FactS

English actress, singer and

comedienne, and star of

both cinema and music hall.

Birth Date: 9th Jan 1898

Birth Place: Rochdale,

England

Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Nickname: Our Gracie

Death Date: 27th Sept 1979

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Highest paid film star in the

world in 1937.

Suffered from cancer of the

cervix in 1939 and nearly

died, but it went into

remission following an

operation. She received over

250,000 "get-well" cards.

She was awarded the DBE

(Dame Commander of the

Order of the British Empire)

in the 1979 Queen's New

Year Honours List for her

services to entertainment.

In 2016, a life-sized Statue of Gracie Fields was unveiled

outside Rochdale Town Hall, Greater Manchester.

A Plaque has been placed

outside the former home of

Gracie Fields.

This page has been proudly sponsored by RMG.


20

Lancashire

hotpot

Ingredients

25g

Plain Flour

100g Dripping

Or Butter

900g Stewing Lamb

(Large Chunks)

4

Carrots

2 Medium

Onions

900g Potato

(Peeled & Sliced)

500ml

Lamb Stock

2 tsp Worcestershire

Sauce

3 Lamb

Kidneys

2 Bay

Leaves

One of the most popular meals in

the 1940’s was a Lancashire Hotpot.

Did you know? A ‘Hotpot’

acquired its name from the time

when it was baked at home, then

wrapped in blankets to keep hot and

provide lunch for a day at the races.

1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C.

2. Heat a little of the 100g dripping

or butter in a large shallow casserole

dish and brown 900g stewing lamb

chunks in batches.

3. Lift onto a plate, then repeat with

3 trimmed and sliced lamb kidneys.

4. Fry 2 chopped onions and 4

peeled and sliced carrots in the pan

with a little more dripping until

golden.

METHOD

5. Sprinkle over 25g plain flour,

allow to cook for a couple of mins,

shake over 2 tsp Worcestershire

sauce, pour in 500ml lamb or

chicken stock, then bring to the boil.

6. Stir in the stewing lamb and

kidneys and 2 bay leaves, then turn

off the heat.

7. Arrange 900g peeled and sliced

potatoes on top of the meat, then

drizzle with a little more dripping.

8. Cover, then place in the oven for

about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are

cooked.

9. Remove the lid, brush the

potatoes with a little more dripping,

then turn the oven up to brown the

potatoes, or finish under the grill for

5-8 mins until brown.


Chorley

cake

21

Ingredients - For the pastry

225g

Plain Flour

110g Cold

Cubed Butter

1 tsp

Baking Powder

Pinch of

Salt

Ingredients - For the filling

Cold

Water

25g

Butter

1 Egg

(Beaten)

Small Amount Of

Grated Nutmeg

METHOD

100g

Raisins

1 tbsp sugar

(optional)

According to research, it is not

known who invented the recipe, but

James Birch is credited with being

the first person to sell Chorley

Cakes commercially, which he sold

from his shop at the corner of

Vicarage Road and St Mary's Road,

now Church Street, Chorley Town

centre in 1793.

The best way to eat a Chorley

Cake is for it to be slightly warm

with a thin layer of butter on top

and a small piece of Lancashire

cheese to give it that edge!

1. In a bowl sieve in flour, salt and

baking powder. Rub in the butter

until you have a breadcrumb

consistency then add the chilled

water 1 tbsp at a time until you have

a nice dough.

2. Press dough into a circle, cover

in clingfilm and chill in the fridge

while you prepare the filling.

3. Melt the butter then stir in the

sugar, nutmeg and raisins.

4. Roll the dough out until 5mm

thick. Cut out a circle approximately

8cm in diameter.

5. Place 1 tbsp of the mixture in the

middle of the circle and fold in the

edges so the mixture is covered. Flip

over so the seal is facing the surface

then roll until the raisins are

beginning to show through the

pastry. Place on a lined baking tray.

6. Once all of the pastry has been

used, brush all the cakes with beaten

egg then bake for 10-15 at 200°c

until golden.


22


23


24

One Stop Hire - In tribute to all those who worked at the ROF Chorley site.


25

Above is King George VI meeting with local dignitaries including the Mayor of Chorley.

THE KING’s VISIT

On 31st March 1939 King George VI visited ROF Chorley and it was seen as

the official opening of the factory, even though munitions had been filled

there since December 1938.

The King was met at

ROF Halt at 9.45am

by Lord Derby and a

host of local VIP’s

including the Mayor of Chorley.

Members of the public had to

vie for a good viewing position

from Central Road. The King

made the first entry in the ROF

Visitors Book and was given a

guided tour of the complex by

rail and by foot, before reboarding

the train.

The Royal visit was captured on

Pathe News - just like the Gala

Day was (Pages 17 & 18).

A memorial feature of this event

can still be seen today. This is

above the main door into

Runshaw Adult College off

Euxton Lane.

Members of the public observing the proceedings through the railings on Central Road.

Please turn over for more information


26

Now home to Runshaw Adult College, this building was formerly the Administration Office.

GA Pet Foods - We have a very strong local history behind our award winning brand.


27

King George VI

FactS

He became known as a

symbol of British

determination to win the

Second World War.

Full Name: Albert

Frederick Arthur George

Windsor

Birth Date: 14th Dec 1895

Reign: 11th Dec 1936 -

6th Feb 1952

Coronation: 12th May 1937

Death Date: 6th Feb 1952

Predecessor: Edward VIII

(his father)

Successor: Elizabeth II

(his daughter)

Believe it or not, our Royals

actually have nicknames too!

King George VI was known

as "Bertie" among his family

and close friends.

A restored formal portrait of King George VI dated between

1940 - 1946 along with his signature.

Royal Monogram of

King George VI which was

added to the entrance of

what is now Runshaw Adult

College to commemorate

his famous visit.

Members of the Royal Family on the Balcony of Buckingham

Palace, 8th May 1945 (VE Day).

L-R: Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill (PM),

King George VI, Princess Margaret.

For Liz, Mathew and Amelia Hart.


28

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Forbes Estates - We have a very strong local reputation and highly value our heritage.

29


30

Hostels & Accommodation

Accommodation had been necessary for the ROF construction workers

and staff transferred from ROF Woolwich. Many found lodgings around

Chorley and Leyland in the way of Hostels.

With the

construction of

the ROF there

became a need

to house the construction

employees.

Thereafter, it was considered

that with the anticipated

numbers of munitions workers

that would be employed at the

factory, and knowing that not all

would come from the immediate

neighbouring areas, people

would have to relocate from

elsewhere in the country and

would need accommodation. In

fact, many hundreds of workers

were transferred from their

existing employment at

Woolwich Arsenal in London.

Many found lodgings around

Chorley and Leyland but it was

soon realised that temporary

accommodation was required in

the form of hostels. The first

two hostels, designed to

accommodate 2,000 people

opened in 1942. Only 50 years

earlier, the entire population of

Euxton numbered less than the

capacity of just one of these

hostels.

The first, which was opened by

Lady Churchill, was Highways

Hostel. The complex included

shops, medical centre, laundry,

library and even a dance hall

and tennis courts. ‘Highways’

was a female-only hostel and

was run by the YWCA, Young

Womens Christian Association.

Many evacuees from Gibraltar,

who had already sought refuge

in London, were transported to

Highways Hostel via railway. It

was known that the refugees

and ROF workers used to

socialise together within and

around the hostel in Euxton.

By 1952 the administrative

running of the site had been

taken over by the Ministry of

Supply. Following a proposal to

close the site in 1959, a

consortium of staff ran the

hostel as Highways (Euxton)

Ltd. It finally closed in 1963.

However, in 1966 Chorley

Police occupied a number of

buildings as its HQ, whilst they

awaited construction of the

current Chorley Police Station

off St. Thomas’s Road.

The male-only hostel, the

second to be opened, was

‘Woodlands’. It is widely

accepted that it wasn’t as

comfortable as ‘Highways’ and

couldn’t boast as many

recreational facilities.

‘Woodlands’ closed in 1955 and

today the site consists of the

educational buildings of

Lancashire College and Edge

Hill University.

A third hostel was then

developed. This site became

known as Washington Hall once

it had become occupied for a

different reason during World

War Two.

This page has been proudly sponsored by St. Catherine’s Hospice.


31

Pictured above is an aerial view of Washington Hall.

The 127th Replacement

Battalion of the United States

Air Force were stationed there

from 1942 until October 1945.

The servicemen were very

popular in the area (particularly

with the children) for their

generosity in giving away

chocolates and sweets.

Crowds would often gather to

watch them play their

unfamiliar baseball games held

in Astley Park; Washington Hall

Yankees Vs Washington Hall

Cubs.

Between 1946 and 1948 the

Washington Hall site became a

recuperation and rehabilitation

home for former Japanese

Prisoners of War.

Later, it became part of the Fire

Service Training School and is

currently undergoing aspects of

redevelopment as the site of the

Lancashire Fire & Rescue

Training Centre and Chorley

Fire Station.

Today, all the hostels have

gone, having been replaced by

housing estates and training

facilities. The ROF buildings

have all but gone and been

replaced with an entirely new

community, Buckshaw Village.

However, a large number of

people remain in the area and

have fond memories of the

Hostels; so whilst it’s important

we acknowledge the purpose of

the ROF, we also remember the

social aspect of the story and the

communities that grew up

around it.

Below is an image taken

showing the Highways Hostel.

This page has been proudly sponsored by RMG.


32

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We You For

Loving local

33

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34

Bomb damage following the attack on Brooke Street in Chorley.

The ‘Phoney War’

Residents from the Chorley Borough and South Ribble prepare for WWII.

After the German

Blitzkrieg campaign

(the use of rapid

co-ordinated forces,

movement and concentrated

firepower) which tore through

Europe from Autumn 1939 to

Spring 1940, things seemingly

ground to a halt. This period

became known in time as the

‘Phoney War’.

However, since war was

declared on 3rd September

1939, Britain was busy

mobilising its forces and

preparing its civilian population.

This naturally included changes

for the Boroughs of Chorley and

South Ribble. Almost

immediately, men and women

of all ages were volunteering for

military service, gas masks were

being issued to residents,

factories were adapted to

undertake production of items to

assist the war effort, and of

course, ROF Chorley began to

prepare itself for increased

activity.

The war was very literally

brought to our doorsteps in

Autumn 1940 when a number of

enemy bombing raids took place

across the Chorley and South

Ribble areas. This list isn’t

exhaustive but Adlington was

struck during three separate

bombing raids damaging many

buildings, and bombs fell in

fields around Euxton, Croston

and Bretherton. There were at

least four separate bombing

raids in the Leyland and South

Ribble area; the worst was at

Lostock Hall on 27th October

1940. A single enemy bomber

released its payload on Ward

Street and tragically 27 people,

young and old, lost their lives as

a result.

WWII information leaflet

distributed by Leyland Motors

This page has been proudly sponsored by Runshaw College.


In 1941 bombs also fell on

Chorley town centre and led to a

number of buildings being

damaged. Fortunately, although

a number of people suffered

injuries, no lives were lost.

Between 1940 and 1941, the

enemy dropped incendiary

bombs (designed to cause fires

which would spread if left

unattended) and these fell on

areas such as Coppull, Chorley

and some areas across South

Ribble.

It is believed that local bombing

raids were a result of the enemy

trying to target the Leyland

Motors factory and of course

the ROF. ROF Chorley was the

largest filling factory in the

country and was of major

importance to the war effort. It

is known that shortly before the

start of the war, a bricklayer

Memorial Plaque on Ward Street, Lostock Hall.

from Bolton, who was

employed to work on the

construction of the ROF, was

arrested for contravening the

Official Secrets Act. He had

broken into the site office,

removed confidential

information, drawings and

factory plans and travelled to

Cologne where he sold the

material to the German

authorities!

Germany knew of the existence

35

of ROF Chorley and that it

would have been greatly

supporting the war effort, but

fortunately they were never able

to launch any serious bombing

raids against it. However,

contrary to popular belief, the

Luftwaffe (German Air Force)

did manage to find ROF

Chorley and a few incendiary

bombs fell inside the perimeter

wall but were promptly

extinguished before any damage

could be caused.

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36

Chorley Building Society - Proud to support local clubs, groups and charities.


37

WWII Veterans are reacquainted in front of a Lancaster Bomber.

dambusters

This commemorative magazine also acknowledges the famous

Dambusters Raid, which was immortalised on the silver screen in 1955 and

the event has a significant tie with Chorley Borough.

Although none of the

aircrew involved in

the famous raid

came from our local

area, it has been widely

accepted that the explosive

mines were filled at ROF

Chorley and inspected there by

the Commanding Officer at the

time, Guy Gibson.

Operation Chastise was carried

out during 16th-17th May 1943

by a specially assembled crew

from the RAF’s No.617

Squadron.

The Eder Dam was breached during the raid.

Please turn over for more information on pages 38 & 39


38

1 of 2 remaining airworthy Lancaster Bombers. Guy Gibson (left) with members of his crew.

They had been practising for

months with a new technology

which required some

experimental flying,

navigational and bomb aiming

methods to deliver a payload of

the now famous bouncing

bomb. Led by Guy Gibson (who

earned the Victoria Cross) the

19 Lancaster Bombers set off

from RAF Scampton in

Lincolnshire bound for the dams

of the industrial Ruhr Valley of

Germany.

The aim of the raid was to

seriously disrupt German

productivity and bring about a

much needed morale boost and

propaganda opportunity for the

Allies. It was known that if the

dams could be breached, the

German war machine could

potentially grind to a halt in that

area and take weeks, if not

months, to re-establish.

However, in order to blow up

the dams a new, specifically

designed bomb would be

required.

The bouncing bomb, or Upkeep

Mine, was the brainchild of

Barnes Wallis who was

Assistant Chief Designer for

Vickers. It was developed from

his earthquake bomb concept

which relied upon the ordnance

being able to penetrate deep into

the ground prior to exploding,

in order to cause maximum

Inventor of the Bouncing

Bomb, Sir Barnes Wallis.

destruction through seismic

forces. Consequently, the

Upkeep Mine was developed to

have the potential to detonate

close to the weakest part of the

dam wall and the explosion and

subsequent seismic wave and

water pressure would cause the

breach.

The squadron only took delivery

of the bombs for the raid on

13th May. It is therefore thought

that the bombs must only have

been filled at ROF Chorley

relatively close to that date but

with enough time for Guy

Gibson to have possibly paid a

visit to Chorley to see the

bombs for himself. In all, 120

Upkeep mines (originally

referred to as the Vickers Type

464) were constructed, although

only 58 of them were filled with

Torpex explosives. It is believed

that the bombs were filled in

building 8 C 24 and that large

metal rings remained fixed to

the walls in the entrance to the

building for years to come,

which were said to be for

chaining the bombs securely to

the wall to keep them stable.

Today's opinion is that although

the dams were breached and

caused great disruption to

Germany’s war effort, bringing

about a much needed morale

boost to the Allies, it did not

have as much of an impact on

the war industry as was hoped

for at the time. However, there

have been many observations

made to measure the success of

the raids by considering the

subsequent events. For example,

construction workers were

diverted to repair the dams

rather than continue fortifying

the Atlantic wall, which was the

German defence line that the

Allies faced on D-Day in 1944.

The success of the bombs

David Cowburn Funeral Directors - Supporting families through their time of need.


39

encouraged the powers that be

to allow Wallis to continue

working on his earthquake

bombs. Ultimately, the Tallboy

and Grand Slam bombs

developed by Wallis after the

raid were responsible for

destroying Hitlers V-2 rocket

complexes, U-Boat pens in

Brest and sank the dreaded

Tirpitz in 1944.

During the raid, 8 of the 19

Lancaster bombers crashed or

were shot down and this

resulted in the deaths of 53 of

the 133 airmen.

Lancaster Bomber Crew pictured in 1942.

As of 2019, only 97 year old

Squadron Leader George

‘Johnny’ Johnson, MBE, DFM

survives. Johnny served as

Bomb Aimer on the aeroplane

flown by American Pilot ‘Big

Joe’ McCarthy and they

successfully dropped their bomb

against the Sorpe Dam.

Over the years many memorials

have been erected in honour of

the Dambusters and the

locations associated with it.

It is no surprise therefore to

know that Chorley has similarly

commemorated the event with a

number of road names on

Buckshaw Village being named

after certain members

associated with the Dambusters

Raid. Some of these include:

Barnes Wallis Way

Gibson Drive

Hopgood Close

Shannon Close

Astell Court

Knight Avenue

Barlow Close

Townsend Drive

Guy Gibson wearing his Flying Kit, 1943.

One Stop Hire - We are forever grateful to every single person who serves our country.


40


41


42

CONSTRUCTION

& VEHICLES

This page has been proudly sponsored by The British Commercial Vehicle Museum.


THE railway - ROF Halt

“I travelled to work by train with two or three other employees from Preston

Station to “The Halt”, the local ROF station. It was then just a few hundred

yards to walk to the laboratories.” ROF Chorley Recollection Archive.

When the King

visited ROF

Chorley in 1939

he arrived by

train which drew in to ROF

Halt, the station which was

purpose-built to serve the

factory. It had one of the longest

platforms in the country and

stood alongside what was then

the London, Midland and

Scottish Railway line.

The station became a hugely

busy place, especially during

the war when the factory was

operational 24 hours a day and,

first in two shifts and then in

three, for seven days a week.

Many operatives lived as far

away as Liverpool, Manchester

and Blackpool and the railway

was crucial.

As well as employees, the

railway was necessary for

transporting the raw materials

into the factory, around the site

during various stages of

production and out again to sites

across the country. Meticulously

detailed registers of goodsinward

and goods-outward were

kept which catalogued the type

and quantity of resources

coming in to the site and

specific details of the type of

munitions, quantity and their

destination upon leaving.

There was also a large area of

sidings to the west of the

viaduct where goods were

43

checked in and out and lined up

in preparation for transporting

either away from the site or to

be moved somewhere along the

twenty miles of internal factory

railway lines.

Records show that ROF Halt

was last used in 1965.

Once the old Station had been

demolished, and after £6.8

million worth of redevelopment,

it reopened as Buckshaw

Parkway on 3rd October 2011.

Post-war photograph showing concrete fabrications leaving ROF Chorley via the Railway.

These ‘Recollections' are reproduced courtesy of Chorley Heritage Centre.


44

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ROF Chorley was NOT

ALL BOMBS AND BULLETS

After World War Two, a number of employees were released from service,

however many were retained as the factory diversified into other areas of

manufacturing that aren’t what you’d usually expect with an ROF Site.

Naturally the Filling

Factory continued

to serve its primary

purpose, but the

infrastructure within the site

allowed it to easily adapt to the

production of a number of other

resources.

Post-war work at ROF Chorley

included the production of prefabs

or Airey Houses as they

were known. The buildings

were two-storey and constructed

from overlapping reinforced

concrete panels. A number of

these homes are still occupied to

this day.

Another product from the

casting of concrete at Chorley

was railway sleepers. The

operation reached full capacity

in 1948 when around 2,500

sleepers a day were being made.

For a time Chorley was

manufacturing a quarter of the

quantity required by the national

rail network. It is known that

there are some farms and rural

industrial workyards that have

re-purposed these concrete

sleepers as a form of panel

fencing between steel girders.

ROF Chorley also produced

specialist packaging materials

and undertook PIP

(Preservation, Identification and

Packing). PIP was the method

of wrapping equipment in

plastic sheeting and the

application of specific

identifiable markings in order to

then transport them to areas in

need following the end of

WWII. Such items included

water pumps, engines and

machine parts.

As well as overseeing the safe

breakdown of surplus

ammunition, the factory also

began to produce clothing, such

as military uniforms, work

clothes and overalls. This

therefore became known as the

‘Clothing Factory’.

ROF

RECOLLECTION

“We used to play football at

dinnertime on a field

behind the Factory and the

ball we were using during

the game would regularly

be kicked by one of the

workers accidentally into

the stream in the wooded

valley and we had all had

to run down to retrieve it

before it was lost.”

ROF Chorley Testimonial

from a former worker.

49

This page has been proudly sponsored by Green Man Marketing.


50


51


52

THE CLOSURE OF

ROF CHORLEY

This page has been proudly sponsored by One Stop Hire.


‘OUR’ ROF cannonS

Around the ROF site, there were a number of ordnance pieces and

mounted cannons which were set up in essence as a gate-guardian or

feature to a Group or section, such as that which could be seen at the

entrance to the Naval Proof Yard.

53

Around the ROF, there were a number of mounted cannons,

which were set up as a gate-guardian or feature to an area

or section of the site.

In 1964 the two cannons

(shown) were presented

by the Royal Woolwich

Arsenal to ROF Chorley

on the occasion of the silver

jubilee of the opening of the

factory by King George VI in

1939. The cannons were

authentic military issue and

were cast in about 1812 by

Walker & Co of Rotherham.

The bore of the cannon is 4

inches and it would have fired

an iron ball of about 9 pounds in

weight, with an effective

fighting range of about 700

yards.

The cannons were sited in front

of the Administration building

off Euxton Lane, which is now

Runshaw College (Euxton

Campus). Fortunately, the

cannons were removed and

placed into storage at ROF

Glascoed in Wales following

the downsizing and eventual

closure of ROF Chorley. They

were brought back to Chorley in

2014 following negotiations

with BAE Systems, as part of

the Chorley Remembers Project,

led by members of the Chorley

Pals Memorial Trust including

Chairman Sir Lindsay Hoyle

MP and supported by Chorley

Council.

The fully restored pieces, which

sit on reproductions of the

actual wooden carriages they

would have originally been

mounted on, can be seen in the

courtyard of Astley Hall and the

Coach House.

Very few ‘relics’ of the ROF

site remain in-situ on Buckshaw

Village. There are still around

half a dozen defensive posts

along the remaining stretches of

the former perimeter wall and

these can be seen when driving

along Euxton Lane.

Buckshaw did boast of having a

final surviving pill box on the

Mossfield Nature Reserve.

Sadly, to the dismay of local

residents, this important piece

of local heritage was

demolished in late 2017.

As well as the pair of cannons

that stood at the entrance of the

Naval Proof Yard, there was

also a Nautical Flagpole with

Yardarm which is pictured

below.

This was on the site near the

gatehouse however this

unfortunately had to be moved

from Buckshaw Village in

2013.

This page has been proudly sponsored by Chorley Council.


54

Buckshaws - A relatively new business but we are built upon years of experience!


55

LEARN ABOUT

Buckshaws

HISTORY

LOCAL

James received the Imperial Service Medal in recognition

of the long service he provided whilst working at ROF Chorley.

The story of Wayne’s family reflects that of many across our

local area who were employed at the ROF site for generations.

Wayne’s story is particularly humbling as it covers the

complete history that this publication is documenting.

Wayne’s Great Grandfather, Michael Gallagher was one of the

original Construction Workers on the site in 1938, from laying

perimeter wall bricks to building the individual buildings across the

various groups.

Son to Michael and Grandfather to Wayne, James Joseph

Gallagher started his working life as an Electrical Apprentice at

ROF Chorley at the age of 16.

He went on to have a long and successful career and his service

was recognised with the awarding of the ‘Imperial Service Medal’

on the 1 st January 1985.

Using his ties to our local area and 20 years plus experience in the

flooring industry, Wayne then set about establishing ‘Buckshaws’

Carpets & Blinds in 2019.

Founder,

Wayne Priestley

It is great to see that our local area has proved so important to

Wayne and his family. They made the decision to continue this

tradition by opening their unit in the heart of Buckshaw Village,

helping to support families and their homes local to them.

FROM BUILDING THE SITE IN 1938, TO BUILDING A BUSINESS IN 2019, WE ARE PROUD TO

HAVE SUCH A STRONG FAMILY CONNECTION TO THIS FANTASTIC COMMUNITY.

This feature is in tribute to Michael Gallagher and James Gallagher.


56

ROF CHORLEY

ARTEFACTS

If you have anything you may think links to the ROF site, please contact Stuart Clewlow.


57

Crests and badges

In the early stages of the Royal Ordnance Factory, some work uniform and

printed material bore the national Ministry of Supply or Ordnance Factory

motif. Even the on-site Police and Fire Brigade had their own Royal

Ordnance specific design of insignia.

As mentioned earlier

on page 15, ROF

Chorley then began

to make use of its

own ‘Blue Flower’ House

symbol. Shortly before the site

transferred to British Aerospace,

the site saw the last style of a

ROF inspired design.

The Coat of Arms for Royal

Ordnance PLC was granted on

28th July 1990. This then

became emblazoned across the

establishment and the coloured

cast crests were mounted on a

number of buildings across ROF

Chorley. One of the last

buildings to be demolished

which displayed the crest on its

external wall, was the security

lodge just off what is now

Central Avenue. Since 2016 it

has been displayed in the

entrance foyer of Unity Place

Community Centre, Buckshaw.

An official and formal

description of the coat of arms

(shown top left) is as follows:

ARMS: Per pale Azure and Or

a sphere fractured per saltire

and ensigned by a crown all

counterchanged and fractures

exploding from the sphere's

core with flames proper.

CREST: Upon a helm and

within a mural crown two lions

rampant addorsed the tails

entwined Or each langued and

armed Gules and holding aloft

by the dexter forepaw a sword

proper hilt pommel and

quillions Or.

SUPPORTERS: On the dexter

side a dragon Gules breathing

flames from its nostrils Proper

langued Azure and clawed or

and on the sinister side a male

griffin reguardant Gules armed

and rayed and forelegs Or

holding aloft in its sinister claw

a flaming arrow bendwise and

barb and shaft Gules lighted

Azure the flames Proper the

compartment comprising dexter

a mound of snow and sinister a

dune od desert sand over all in

the centre a sward of grass

bendwise all Proper.

MOTTO: Steadfast in Defence.

(Steadfast: Resolutely or

dutifully firm and unwavering)

Green Man Marketing - Lasting impressions that work for your business.


58

Chorley MP

Lindsay hoyle

HERITAGE

REFLECTS ON OUR LOCAL

Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP

The Royal Ordnance Factory in Chorley shaped the dynamic of

Chorley borough for generations. Although the site has given way to

Buckshaw Village, it is important to remember the past.

ROF Chorley played a vital role in every conflict from 1939 up until

the first Gulf War. It was well known that service personnel knew

they had reliable ammunition when they saw the ‘CY’ markings,

which showed it had come from Chorley.

I was Chairman of Economic Regeneration for Chorley Council in

the 1980’s and oversaw the ROF redevelopment plans.

The Factory had become surplus to requirement but it was exciting

to recognise the potential for the site.

Now, when you drive through the centre of Buckshaw Village it is

hard to believe that it used to be the site of the ROF.

It is home to families,

couples and retirees.

We’ve got shops,

schools, community

centres and much more.

It is a real community.

Lindsay

CHORLEY CONSTITUENCY OFFICE:

35-39 MARKET STREET, CHORLEY, PR7 2SW | TEL: 01257 271555

EMAIL: LINDSAY.HOYLE.MP@PARLIAMENT.UK | TWITTER: @LINDSAYHOYLE_MP

Chorley Constituency Office - We would like to say a special thank you to Stuart & Harry

for all of your hard work putting this publication together.


59

One of the two designated memorial benches located in Buckshaw Village

Casualties of

ROF Chorley

It was impossible to compile this history of ROF Chorley without

acknowledging the obvious dangers associated with working on the site.

The reality was that many suffered illness, injury and some even lost their

lives whilst carrying out their duties.

Sadly, the first casualty

associated with the site

occurred before the

complex was fully

constructed. Patrick Devine was

living in Preston and was a

Ganger employed in the

construction at the ROF.

On the 13th October 1938, he

and a colleague were working

on a night shift with the aid of

two moveable arc lamps.

For some undetermined reason

Patrick was seen grasping a

section of the equipment which

caused him to be electrocuted.

An electrician working nearby

ran over and by pulling the

insulated area of cable,

managed to tug the lamp away

from him. Efforts were made to

resuscitate him and he was

taken to Chorley Hospital,

where he was pronounced dead

at the age of 32. Patrick was

buried at Chorley Cemetery and

his grave marker was erected by

his fellow workmen (see right).

Due to the secretive nature of

the industry and the manner in

which news was reported, it is

difficult to ascertain

comprehensive details about

ROF

injuries or casualties at the

ROF but the release of

information in recent years has

allowed some details to be

pieced together.

Please turn over for more information on pages 60 & 61


60

It was reported in the

Lancashire Evening Post in

1941 that there had been an

explosion at a North West

munitions factory. Quite a

number of those caught up in

the explosion had been women

and seven were being treated in

hospital for their injuries, with a

Florence Hope named as being

in the most serious condition.

The explosion had occurred on

Monday 10th February 1941

and sadly, Florence passed

away on 19th February.

Florence’s death was registered

at Chorley and it was found that

she was laid to rest in Chorley

Cemetery where it is recorded

on her gravestone that she “gave

her life for her country.” It was

later established that Florence

was indeed killed at ROF

Chorley.

Florence James was born in

1905 and married Victor Allan

Hope, a veteran soldier of WW1

in 1929. They were both from

the south of the country and so

it is an assumption that maybe

Florence came to work at ROF

Chorley because the initial

intake of staff in 1938/39 were

drafted from the munitions at

Woolwich.

It is difficult to say how many

workers were killed during the

war whilst carrying out their

duties at the ROF. Naturally the

workplace was hazardous and

so much so that breaches of the

safety rules could lead to heavy

punishments.

Incredibly, there was even a

front page news report during

the war of two workers

receiving a hefty fine after

being caught smoking on site!

Many young men and women

who had been employed at the

ROF at some stage transferred

to other organisations or joined

the Armed Forces during the

war and so it hasn’t yet been

established how many of those

associated with the site became

casualties.

ROF RECOLLECTION

“When I worked on Group 1 ‘L’ Lines in the early 1980’s,

outside the building where workers were allocated their jobs

each morning, the staff looked after a small flower bed (and I

was told) it was to remember a lady called Florence who died

in the war.”

ROF Chorley Former Worker.

Florence pictured with Husband, Victor and Daughter Mary.

It was reported after the war in

the late 1940’s that 134 people

from a total of 350,000

employees across all the Royal

Ordnance Factories were killed

in the line of their duties during

World War Two.

It has not been ascertained just

how many of these were linked

This page is in tribute to Florence, from her Grandson Michael Ryland and his family.


to ROF Chorley.

Even after the war employment

at the ROF was dangerous and

many people suffered work

related injuries in the form of

burns, lacerations and illnesses

because of the chemicals used

on site.

Tragically, even in the closing

stages of the factory there was

to be one more fatality. On 2nd

March 2005, Lynda Wilkins, an

experienced munitions worker

and mother of one from

Leyland, lost her life following

an explosion at what was then

BAE Systems Royal Ordnance

plant in Buckshaw Village. The

accident occurred at building 1

L 22 where volatile lead

styphnate was being prepared

for the sieving machine.

The explosion is believed to

have been caused due to a build

up of static electricity which

was ignited.

(Buckshaw Village has paid

tribute to the members of the

Armed Forces with the

installation of two memorial

benches which are located on

the green corridor pathways.)

61

Memorial Bench placed in the heart of Buckshaw Village.

“To have overlook and omitted this aspect in the history of ROF Chorley,

would have been a great injustice to those who have suffered illness, injury

or lost their life on the site over the years.

It is sincerely hoped that the inclusion of this chapter goes some small way,

not only in paying tribute to the casualties, but to also acknowledge the

service and risk taken by ALL the former employees of ROF Chorley.”

Stuart Clewlow & Harry Longworth

This page has been proudly sponsored by PP Building Services.


62

South Ribble Borough Council - We are proud to have some local history still here today.


63

Left - Leyland Market.

Above - Astley Hall, Chorley.

Below - Buckshaw Hall.

© Bernard Noblett Photography

HOW OUR AREA HAS

DEVELOPED

Please turn over for more information on pages 64, 65 & 66


64

Market Walk Development, Chorley Town Centre.

The site of ROF Chorley is now home to a thriving

community… but what is this made up of?

The landscape of our village has

seen huge changes over the last

century; from an area of simple

farming estates, through the

development of the Royal

Ordnance Factory, and to the

redevelopment as a residential

and industrial unit community.

In many ways our village and

community is unique in that it

straddles two local authorities, it

is represented by two Members

of Parliament, sits across two

Parish Councils, two separate

school sites and although in

many ways it sounds like a

community divided, it is very

much connected, tight knit and

shares the common heritage of

the Royal Ordnance Factory.

Very little remains on

Buckshaw Village that directly

reminds us of the heritage of the

site. This has been rectified in

some part with the ROF Lamp

Project and with some of the

local street names, but physical

features are very few. Along the

outskirts of the village, there are

still some stretches of the old

brick perimeter wall standing,

and as mentioned earlier in this

publication, some sentry/guard

posts remain intact. The village

did proudly boast a remaining

Pill Box within the village, but

sadly this was demolished in

2017 (see below).

Indirectly, a reminder of what

came before lies within the four

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP

This page has been proudly sponsored by Green Man Marketing.


65

large mounds; two to the north

behind the Sports facilities, one

to the east (now known as the

Moss Field Nature Reserve) and

one to the west of Central

Avenue, behind Buckshaw

Retirement Village. These

mounds are man-made and

consist of debris from the

ground work which cleared the

site in preparation for

redevelopment. The mounds are

made up of all kinds of material

from the former factory site. It

was then topped off with top

soil and a clay and recycled

garden waste compost mixture.

This compost was designed to

encourage the growth of trees

and shrubs. These mounds

literally contain a stockpile of

the history of the site.

Buckshaw is conveniently

located for people to commute

using the A6 and A49 roads and

also the M6 and M61 motorway

junctions. There is also the

benefit of the Buckshaw

Parkway Railway Station

(formerly ROF Halt –

mentioned on Page 43) and

close by are the railway stations

of Euxton (Balshaw Lane),

Chorley and Leyland. There is a

sense of being a semi-rural

community, especially with the

close proximity of the Pennines,

but still very much connected to

more urban areas.

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury, near Preston.

Buckshaw Village is certainly

not without its amenities as the

community benefits from

having Schools, two

Community Centres, a Health

Centre, a Sports facility, play

areas, Dentist, Pharmacy, shops,

takeaways, supermarkets,

business parks, industrial units,

Please turn over for more information on page 66


66

Pubs/restaurants, a Church and

numerous community and social

groups and organisations.

The community feel of life on

ROF Chorley has been very

much superimposed onto

Buckshaw Village. Although

the area has physically changed

and construction work will

continue until around 2021, the

sense of community has

remained, as people choose

Buckshaw to live, to work, to

raise a family and to retire to.

Buckshaw Village FactS*

Residential Properties: 3,600 Postcode district: PR7 Dialling codes: 01257 / 01772

Local Authorities: Chorley Council and South Ribble Borough Council

Civil Parishes: Euxton and Whittle le Woods

* Information correct at time of print, November 2019.

Oven Wizards - Transforming your home through our magical services.


PUZZLE ‘FILLING factory’

67

SpOt the house symbol - Pg 15

How many ROF House Symbol’s did you spot

throughout our magazine?

Fill in the spaces below with the page numbers where

you have spotted the famous ROF house symbol.

12

1 st : ________

3 rd : ________

5 th : ________

7 th : ________

9 th : ________

11 th : ________

2 nd : ________ 4 th : ________ 6 th : ________ 8 th : ________ 10 th : ________ 12 th : ________

WARHEADS WORDSEARCH

G N F R V N G G N F Z U Y Z W B V R

Z I O M A M V R Z Y C N X Y N H O D

T P U I E I M Z R H E I B J D E V N

T T P Z T W L E O R D N A N C E O U

R E E I J I L W M O B N U U D C U S

G X L T G L N I A R E M I R P H M C

R B J L I W S U J Y N R F U Z E E A

E U G T U S M D M R I N M O D X F W

N C R P I B Q J R M K K J C Q X Q F

A A R L R U M A O Q A F N D Q P J W

D F E L B R D U T E H P T J T U N Q

E O F O J H L V A V D Q N L G O R Y

W M Q J Y S T S N U L W A Q Q R R J

A H I R K D Y M O D Y H U M Z G G U

A X V E T H L F T G D X Z O R J T E

F R I B D K U F E L O K A A D A N S

K F F J W E R Z D B R A N B G B O T

O Y O W F H Y T Q A X T J Y B S K I

Through reading this

commemorative

publication we hope you’ve

learnt some interesting facts

and information that you

may not have known before

Using the information and

facts from within this

publication, can you find

the 12 words within this

Wordsearch?

Ammunition, Artillery, Bullet,

Detonator, Fuze, Grenade,

Group, Halt, Missile,

Ordnance, Primer & Railway.

1. 3 2. 19 3. 21 4. 30 5. 39 6. 43 7. 53 8. 57 9. 63 10. 66 11. 73 12. 77

Answers

This page has been proudly sponsored by 1st Rate Investments.


68

The British Commercial Vehicle Museum - Happy to support our local history.


BUCKSHAW VILLAGE

- CIRCA 2019

69

Image supplied by: Harrow Estates PLC

& Redrow Homes Limited


70

Buckshaw Retirement Village - Here to support the residents in and around our local area.


71

ROF REPLAY QUIZ

Well.. what better way to test how well you now know all about ROF

Chorley than to take part in our quiz. How many gaps can you fill in?

R

O

F

R - College which now sits on the former ROF

Site (7)

O - Ordnance Factory which many of the

workers transferred from (8)

F - Famous singer’s last name who performed

at the Gala Day (6)

C

H

O

R

L

E

Y

C - Prime Minister during WW2 (9)

H - MP for Chorley when the ROF Site

opened (7)

O - A pair of these were presented at the

25th Anniversary of the site opening (6)

R - King who officially opened the site in 1939

(6)

L - Name of the Hostel used by workers on

Southport Road, Chorley (9)

E - The site was built on Farmland mainly

belonging to this Parish (6)

Y - Name of the place where the 43 Acre

Storage Facility was created (6)

Answers

R. Runshaw O. Woolwich F. Fields C. Churchill H. Hacking O. Cannon R. George

L. Woodlands E. Euxton Y. Heapey

This page has been proudly sponsored by ‘Friends of’ Buckshaw Village.


72

Slimming World - Proud to be able to support our SW family in living their healthy lives.


73

ROF CHORLEY

HERITAGE PROJECT

In 2018, Euxton Parish Council discussed the fact that Buckshaw Village had

lost the vast majority of heritage connected to ROF Chorley. A decision was

made to bring something back to the heart of our local community.

Please turn over for more information on page 74


74

Euxton Parish does of

course cover a

substantial area of

what is now

Buckshaw Village. It was

therefore proposed that

something should be done to try

and track down something of

historical importance which

could be returned as a way of

celebrating the site.

The last area of the village to be

developed, known as Chorley

G1, revealed one of the last

original factory street lights

hidden amongst the overgrowth.

Euxton Parish Council was able

to obtain permission to remove

the light and ownership of it

was granted to the Council by

the landowners Persimmon.

Local Joiner John Sharples and

Local Historian Stuart Clewlow

oversaw the removal of the

street light from land opposite

Buckshaw Hall in Autumn

2018. It was hoped that the light

could be restored to working

condition and following talks

with the local property

managing agents RMG

(Residential Management

Group), a suitable place for

reinstallation was identified and

permission was granted by land

owners Barratt Homes.

Refurbishing the light to full

working order was overseen by

local Engineer John Sharples;

father of the aforementioned

John and making it very much a

family affair. As the light was

heavily corroded and damaged

from years of neglect and

construction work around it, a

large section of the shaft had to

be grafted on and the neck and

bulk head of the lamp had to be

stripped down and certain parts

reproduced from scratch.

Whilst work was underway on

the light, Stuart worked with the

Clerk of Euxton Parish Council

Debra Platt to produce a large

information board of facts and

photographs which would be

mounted next to the light. The

idea being of course to not only

acknowledge the installation of

the light itself but to also help

raise awareness of the heritage

of the site.

In February 2019, Stuart was

able to develop the project one

step further by securing

permission from Runshaw

College to remove one of the

few remaining ROF fire

hydrants from their Euxton

Campus. This operation was

carried out in March 2019 and

again, restored and reinstalled

by John Sharples (Jnr),

colleague Brian Mayor and

Stuart.

On 28th March 2019, the ROF

street light, fire hydrant and

interpretation board was

unveiled by Euxton Parish

Council to invited guests and

local residents, to commemorate

the 80th anniversary of the

official opening of ROF

Chorley.

This page and the hydrant has been proudly brought to you by Runshaw College.


75

“The community of Buckshaw Village should be very proud of

its fantastic heritage. We at J. Sharples Joinery & Building

Services Ltd have over the past few years helped to

commemorate this history thorough a number of local

campaigns and projects.

We have worked with a variety of community groups and I have

been especially privileged to have been able to work on many of

these alongside my father and Engineer, John Sharples. We look

forward to the next challenge”.

J. Sharples - It is great to be part of this publication which commemorates our area.


76

THE FACES OF

ROF CHORLEY

This page has been proudly sponsored by 1st Rate Investment.


THAT’s ALL FROM US

First and foremost, we hope you have enjoyed this special anniversary

publication and will hold on to it as a keepsake for future reference.

77

Since planning this

project, we wanted to

create an informative,

enjoyable, keepsake

publication to read and share

amongst people of all ages.

Although realistically we didn’t

intend to create a definitive

history of ROF Chorley, we’ve

hopefully created something

interesting and worthwhile

which pays tribute to former

employees from over the years.

Although the site was wrapped

in secrecy, with employees

signing the Official Secrets Act

and so on, there are resources

available to learn more.

If you’d like to learn more, visit

Facebook page “ROF Chorley

(Buckshaw Village)” and a

Twitter account @ROFChorley.

A book about ROF Chorley is

available in local libraries. “A

History of Royal Ordnance

Factory, Chorley” by Nevell,

Roberts & Smith.

There’s much more to learn

about ROF Chorley but that’s

for the next generation to

research and share. We hope

we’ve inspired our next local

historians to go out, ask

questions and uncover new and

interesting information.

It’s clear that our community

will continue to gel through

meeting new people at

community groups, schools,

Church etc and all having the

same community heritage in

common, ROF Chorley.

There are still some features in

our local area which help keep

alive the ROF story and act as a

reminder of what used to exist

before Buckshaw Village.

Whether it’s the street light, fire

hydrant or cannons, we’re able

to physically touch and connect

with the past to connect us with

our local history.

Whether you knew what was

here or not, we hope you’ve

found this publication

interesting; we’ve really

enjoyed creating it. We owe a

debt of gratitude to local

businesses, community groups,

charities and individuals who’ve

helped support this project and

enabled us to bring it to you

absolutely free of charge.

Our local community really

appreciates and acknowledges

its forebears, the community

and the area that was Filling

Factory No.1, Royal Ordnance

Factory Chorley.

Stuart

&

Harry

Green Man Marketing - For all of your marketing needs, think Green Man.


78

OUR SPONSORS

CARE SERVICES

Pg No

St Catherine's Hospice 28

Buckshaw Retirement Village 70

CLEANING SERVICES

Deepclean Services 28

Oven Wizards 66

The Wash Hub 15

DAYS OUT / ACTIVITIES

British Commercial Vehicle Museum 45, 68

Cheeky Monkey's 13

FOOD OUTLETS

KFC 50, 51, 80

EDUCATION

Runshaw College 22, 23

ESTATE & LETTING AGENTS

Forbes Estate Agents 29

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Chorley Building Society 36

FUNERAL DIRECTORS

David Cowburn 36

FURNITURE / CARPETS / BEDS

Buckshaws Carpets & Blinds 54, 55

Flooring Angels Nationwide 2

GARDEN CARE

Pg No

Taurus Landscapes 44

HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLBEING

Slimming World 72

HIRE SERVICES

One Stop Hire 24

HOME DÉCOR

Hyperion Candles 35

HOME IMPROVEMENTS / SERVICES

Harmony Blinds 32, 33

John Sharples Joinery & Building 75

PP Building Services 6

SJL Heating & Plumbing 48

LEGAL SERVICES

Birchall Blackburn Law 14

MARKETING & DESIGN

Green Man Marketing 4, 46, 47

ADDITIONAL SUPPORTERS

Chorley Building Society 36

Chorley Council 79

GA Petfoods 26

Lindsay Hoyle 58

RMG 40, 41

South Ribble Borough Council 62

Utiligroup 8

A huge thank you to all the local individuals, groups, businesses and

organisations who have supported us throughout this journey and helped to

turn our commemorative idea into a reality.

This publication would not be possible without each and every one of you

and on behalf of our readers, we would like to extend our thanks.

The above sponsors have enabled us to bring you this publication free of charge.


Chorley Council - We are very happy to support a great way of showcasing our heritage.

79


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