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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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Cordite Milling Section -
Shifting (Changing) Houses
:

Key Points :-

  • Located between and in front of each pair of Incorporation and Press Houses.
  • A total of six brick and concrete structures presumed of which five survive.
  • Square building with two walled-up exits towards the houses and one main entrance.
  • Internal concrete floor has marks for four rows of supports.
  • No apparent sign of wash facilities.
  • At this stage, no evidence of the knee-high 'dirty and clean' barrier survives.
  • Normal electrical light fittings - no special external-access safety lighting.
  • Some in use as cattle shelters.

Unit 1 Shift (Changing) House 1 from the west
Unit 1 Shift (Changing) House 1 from the west


Cordite Milling Section - Shifting (Changing) Rooms

This possible identification of the building illustrated has given some difficulty, mainly because of a lack of staff cleaning facilities. The rows of marks on the floor would tend to indicate supports for either shelving or a cloakroom arrangement similar to a school locker room. Against this is the ICI Drungans evidence of changing, locker, clothing and laundry facilities, beneath and in association with the Canteen. The writer had to downgrade the interpretation in the light of this information. The snag is, that there are few other possibilities; the building might just be to store low-risk materials such as vaseline, but its size and layout is more like a storage area for clothes, where duty staff could have donned special protective equipment rather than the standard official overalls

Archaeological Evidence for the Presumed Shifting Houses :

These buildings are part of the Cordite Milling sections of both Unit 1 and Unit 2. They are located at thew end of and between the Incorporation and Press Houses, and aree built of semi-engineering brick with concrete slab roofs that overlap the walls. They are lit above head height by frosted safety glass and have signs of roof-mounted lighting. No safety lighting (used in all process and magazine areas) was fitted to this building.

The Unit 1 Shifting Houses have a notice 'Stretcher Here' painted on the ends of the side walls nearest the other buildings. This indicates that the room did have a personnel function, maybe as an auxiliary First Aid Post in a crisis. It also explains some wall-lugs inside at that end of the buildings.

Unit 2 Shifting House 2 Interior
Unit 2 Shifting House 2 Interior


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© 2006 Richard Edkins, Dalbeattie Internet.