The Royal Ordnance Factory
Bridgend South Wales
 
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A Mammoth Management Job

The large Margam Steel Works in nearby Port Talbot employed 25 000 workers in 1945, but this was dwarfed by the 40 000 employed at the Bridgend Royal Ordnance Factory at it’s peak in late 1942.

Managing this size of complex was no mean task; the tasks were divided into divisions, each with its own superintendent, and management structure.

(See appendix 1, appendix 2, and appendix 11).

There was a sizeable number of foremen, overseers and leading hands, all had to work as a team, but they were often isolated from each other, with few having any knowledge what the other was doing; a necessary thing in a wartime environment.

A large number of admin staff were employed, from typists to schedulers, also many production clerks were needed to keep track of the day to day production material requirements. An extensive paper work and card indexing operation was needed to keep track of every aspect of the ROF operation.

Buses waiting to pick up the Shift Workers outside the Main Works Entrance.

 

Procurement of material and chemicals would have been a massive exercise to keep such a large work force fully employed with scores of lorries and railway wagons delivering the raw material daily. Equally, each day over 14 wagons of coal were delivered for the site heating boilers.

Plant and machinery maintenance was a full time exercise and an army of electricians and fitters were needed to keep the plant going.

Transport too was a major task that had to deal with the movement of thousands people every day besides the movement of raw materials and finished ordnance.

Workers leaving the ROF at the end of their Shift.

 

At the peak in 1942 the railways were catering for over 25,000 passenger journeys each day. Typically, ten trains would leave the station within 20 minutes of a shift change over. Combined with this, 144 buses would make over 800 trips daily transporting thousands of workers. (Bridgend Reference Library)

In such an integrated plant as the two sites were there are many other aspects of daily life that had to be attended to, and by way of example the ROF had it’s own fire brigade, it’s own bomb disposal group, it’s own printing facility, works police force, etc.
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