The Royal Ordnance Factory
Bridgend South Wales
 
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Why Bridgend

The choice of Bridgend for an ordnance factory had certain advantages, and some of these have already been mentioned. Its remoteness in the West would put it at the limit of range of the German bombers at that time, and so possibly out of harms way.

The Waterton and Brackla complexes lie in flat marsh land surrounded by low rolling hills, at these low levels the area is often covered in mists for a fair number of days in the year; good for camouflaging an ordnance factory.

The land too would also allow for considerable expansion as at the time it covered a considerable acreage of unpopulated farm land; at the time only used for cattle grazing, also the Brackla hill ridge could be tunnelled and could be used as a secure storage facility.

Easy road and rail access to the main arterial (A48) trunk road, and the railway network, plus the docks in Cardiff, Barry, Newport, and Swansea; each providing alternate means of transportation was not overlooked.

South Wales Map


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The nearby large steel works and coal mines in South Wales would have been a ready source of foundry steel; raw material for the site. As would the coal for powering the site’s two boiler houses to drive it’s electrical power stations as well as for generating steam for heating the ROF site.

But above all the government had specified that depressed areas should take precedence because of the high levels of unemployment and this certainly applied to South Wales in the early thirties.

Later on locating a P.O.W camp in South Wales near the Waterton Arsenal may have deterred the Luftwaffe from bombing the site for fear of hitting the Island Farm P.O.W camp.
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