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    Bridgend the town by the river 

The Royal Ordnance Factory Bridgend


ROF 53 Bridgend
Located in Bridgend, South Wales, was the World War II ROF Filling Factory No. 2 and one of the largest in the UK and it was government owned. It was of great significance to the British war effort, at its height of production it employed around 40,000 people from Bridgend, the valleys and Cardiff. Island Farm was originally built to house the workers.

In 1935, it was agreed to keep armaments research at the Woolwich Arsenal in south east London. and the production would be moved to the two new factories at ROF Chorley in Lancashire which was filling factory No.1 and ROF Bridgend filling Factory No.2. It was soon realised that the original  plan was flawed  and additional  facilities would have to be built, resulting in the opening of just over 40 ROF's by the end of the war, about half of them ordnance filling factories. A number of private companies operated a similar number of ordnance factories but they were not called ROF's with  locations around the country.

Bridgend was chosen for the site of the largest munitions filling factory because it was on the western side of the country, away from the enemy bombing in the east of England.

Bridgend had a plentiful supply of unemployed labour and the area had excellent logistics, being close to Cardiff, Swansea and Barry's major ports, and the thriving South Wales coal fields more than able to supply fuel to power the massive facility.  Port Talbot steel works just a few miles west of Bridgend, supplied all the steel that was needed for the site.

In April 1936 as part of the new expansion program 900 acres of land in Waterton was compulsorily purchased by the government. It was the farmland next to the Great Western Railway, South Wales Main Line, which offered the benefits of rail transportation. The land was reclaimed marshland, and would on occasions resulted in the area being covered in mist or fog, which further protected it from the fear of bombing. Another large area of land was purchased in Brackla, with the further development of ROF 11 and ROF 41.

Remains of Bunker on South Road

 Great Western Railway began constructing the 24 miles of internal railway needed to supply the sites in April 1937, with a marshalling yard at the main site, sidings at Brackla Ridge, and Tremains halt near Waterton.  In all, the complex consisted of over 1000 buildings, 60 miles of roads and 24 miles of railway lines.

The site was in full production by 1940, with 40,000 people working there at it's peak.
  WWII Shell case 
Bunker entrance and steps out on South Road
Production was stopped in 1945, but remained open as a store until it was closed in 1946, when it was demolished and sold to property developers and became an industrial estate.
Now known as the Bridgend Industrial Estate
The administration buildings are now occupied by the South Wales Police headquarters.

South Wales Police

The land to the south of Brackla Hill, was developed as a housing estate, Called Brackla.

In 2009 a Plaque was placed at the end of Dunraven Place in memory of those who  worked and the 27 who died in the explosion at the factory.

This plaque is displayed by the steps at the end of Dunraven Place.

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42 Dunraven Place, Bridgend
Contact: Mike 07840 287 383
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Copyright 2017
Bridgend History

The Old Post Office Garage
The Old Post Office Garage

Royal cipher E VIII R. 1936

Bridgend ROF 53
Bridgend ROF 53

Hut 9
Hut 9

Hut 9
Island Farm

The Old Historic Bridge

Newcastle Castle

St Illtyds Church

Mason Williams clock c1890

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Bridgend Sandwich Bar.
Est: 1940