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Thread: Guard pillboxes for ROF Aycliffe Munitions store

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    Default Guard pillboxes for ROF Aycliffe Munitions store


    A very brief history of the area (more in depth can be found here http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/aycliffeangels/)

    ROF Aycliffe, (Royal Ordnance Factory, Aycliffe) was built on an 867-acre (3.51 km2) site off Heighington Lane, Aycliffe, County Durham, England during the early 1940s. The marshy location was ideal as the site was shrouded in fog and mist for much of the year providing cover against bombing by the Luftwaffe.

    It opened as ROF 59 (Filling factory 8) in the Spring of 1941. It operated 24 hours a day, employing some 17,000 workers in three shift groups and was operational for just over 4 years until the end of World War II in 1945, by which point it had produced some 700 million bullets and countless other munitions. The factory was designated as a 'Top Secret' installation and surrounded by high fences with barbed wire.

    The workers were mainly women and became known as the "Aycliffe Angels". During its existence, the factory produced millions of finished munitions including bullets, shells and mines.

    Workers were transported from surrounding areas onto the factory site by bus and train, with the most local workers arriving on foot or by bicycle.



    The factory was visited during the war years by Winston Churchill and members of the British Royal Family. Many well known entertainers of the day also performed at the factory for the workers.
    [edit] Post war

    After the war, the factory closed and the site was turned into the Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate in the late 1940s. Many of the original buildings are still standing today although most have been changed beyond all recognition

    1945



    Modern day



    you can still see some of the old buildings although some have been re-faced







    Right that's enough of that on to the good stuff (well...) I saw a photo of these pillboxes recently and have been looking for them ever since as they are not on the DoB. Eventually I messaged the guy who originally photographed them and asked for their location (cheeky I know but what the hell) and he told me where they were to which I am very very grateful. I must stress that although there is a footpath so far down to the site the pillboxes are on private land and the munitions stores are now in private use and there is 24 hour security and CCTV covering them, plus there are some nasty looking guard dogs on site. I got permission from the farmer who owns the land to photograph these although I was asked not to take any of the stores. There are 4 of these non standard type pillboxes but I found 2 large piles of rubble that could easily have been another 2 plus looking at the old photos one of the blocks of 4 stores has long gone

    1945



    modern day (white circles mark the pillboxes)



    alll these pillboxes are built the same, approx 9 foot x 9 foot and internally the roof height is about 8 foot

    The first one is the guard post for the main gates







    internals (again all 4 were the same so I'll only post one set)

    note the wooden gun rack in the corner







    roof detail



    The main gates





    Pillbox 2





    original fence posts



    pillbox 3



    if you zoom in on this photo you can see one of the remaining banks of 4 munitions stores



    pillbox 4





    possible pillbox demolition rubble and main fence



    well that's all from here
    thanks for looking

    Cheers Jon



    › See more like: Guard pillboxes for ROF Aycliffe Munitions store

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    Thanks given by: armin2265, chizyramone, footy, gushysfella, irishmanlost, meltdown, night crawler, oldscrote, RichCooper, stumartin, the_historian, the|td4, tigger2, Wallsey

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    Interesting report there mate,and a lot of effort and legwork

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichCooper View Post
    Interesting report there mate,and a lot of effort and legwork
    too much leg work mate as you know lol

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    Great work there well done.

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    Cheers NC once I'd seen them I couldn't help myself. I spent ages going over the maps of the area and trawling GE and thought I knew where they were so yesterday evening was spent walking miles and miles but to no avail. So when I got directions to them I couldn't help myself...school night pillbox porn was the order of the evening

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    Amazing stuff Jon,never seen anything like that before are they unique?

    this website seems to have a lot of info and photos about the place

    http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/aycl...ls/index.phtml
    To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain always a child....Cicero

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldscrote View Post
    Amazing stuff Jon,never seen anything like that before are they unique?

    this website seems to have a lot of info and photos about the place

    http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/aycl...ls/index.phtml

    that's the website at the beginning of the report mate, I'm not sure if they are unique mate but like you I've never seen anything like them before. My grandmother on my
    Mams side was an Aycliffe Angel but sadly she passed away before I came along

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonney View Post
    that's the website at the beginning of the report mate, I'm not sure if they are unique mate but like you I've never seen anything like them before. My grandmother on my
    Mams side was an Aycliffe Angel but sadly she passed away before I came along
    Oh bu#~er I really must read the blurb before going straight to the pictures.Amazing that your Granny worked there,the things people did to help the war effort never cease to amaze me.
    To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain always a child....Cicero

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    Something is bugging me about this place. I know that the munitions made here were transported via train to Salters gate munitions store and by truck to Brasside munitions store to be distributed from there and they have no defences to speak of. Why would such a small place have so many defences and why would they need a store there in the first place. I'm wondering if they were storing more unconventional munitions here or am I just being daft

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonney View Post
    Cheers NC once I'd seen them I couldn't help myself. I spent ages going over the maps of the area and trawling GE and thought I knew where they were so yesterday evening was spent walking miles and miles but to no avail. So when I got directions to them I couldn't help myself...school night pillbox porn was the order of the evening
    Think you need to borrow my Garmin GPS

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    Excellent job tracking these down Jonney. They are a standard type for ROF sites around the country, small and square with a long narrow embrasure, although they do vary from site to site a bit.
    It was me I ate all the pies.

    My Defence of Britain overlay for Google Earth - Download it here.

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    Cracking report, thanks for sharing.

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    Excellent report jon.

    The PB's don't look like they could take much more than small arms fire.

    Certainly comes across as a 'what were they up to here?' sort of place. We were stockpiling quantities of 'unconventional' weapons in a response to the perceived threat of their use by the axis powers.

    It would obviously be interesting to get a closer look at the stores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munchh View Post
    Excellent report jon.

    The PB's don't look like they could take much more than small arms fire.

    Certainly comes across as a 'what were they up to here?' sort of place. We were stockpiling quantities of 'unconventional' weapons in a response to the perceived threat of their use by the axis powers.

    It would obviously be interesting to get a closer look at the stores.
    There is the remains of a mustard gas store about 20miles away from here



    but if this place had anything to do with that I have no idea. The PB's concrete was only about 6" thick and didn't feel too safe when inside unlike the standard types. Think they were more of a sentry position rather than anything else. Regarding the stores I've pm'd you mate

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    Fantastic report Johnnies !! There are supposed to be a couple of similar structure just down the road here at Steventon but i cant trace them !!
    Keep that concrete coming !!!

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