Devil's Porridge

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Devils Porridge

This fantastic exhibition tells the story of the Greatest Munitions Factory on earth that was constructed on the Anglo-Scottish Border between Dornock in Scotland and Longtown in England. During 1915, Britain was at a disadvantage during the early part of the Great War through lack of a continuous supply of quality ammunition. 

That is until 30,000 women and men came from all over the world to work in this massive factory, purpose built by the government on the northern shore of the Solway Firth, specifically to manufacture cordite, a smokeless explosive, made from nitro-glycerine and nitro-cotton. H. M. Factory, Gretna was part of David Lloyd George's master plan to kick start munitions manufacturing in Britain during 1914-15. 


What is the Devil's Porridge? 

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, visited H. M. Factory, Gretna, one of the new National Factories, during 1916, he described the highly explosive paste which was being mixed by women, who worked in the factory, as the 'Devil's Porridge.' An appropriate name for the highly explosive mixture of nitro-glycerine and nitro-cotton. The dried paste, or Cordite, looked very similar to 'uncooked spaghetti.'

Cordite was a highly explosive product and used as a propellant in shells and bullets. When the Cordite was ignited by the firing pin of the weapon the explosive force inside the barrel of the weapon forced the shell or bullet out of the barrel at high speed towards its target.

Opening Times for 2012.

We open on Saturday 31st March 2012, and close on the 28th October 2012.

Opening Hours.
Monday to Saturday 10am until 4pm.
Sunday 12pm until 4pm.

Admission Prices.
Adults £3.50. Over 60's £2.50.
Family (2Adults +3 Children) Only £8.00.

Larger Groups Welcome.
Please Phone - 01461 700021

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We are 'Acccess for All' friendly.