1914-25 | 1938-39 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945

KEY:  Rhydymwyn  UK  Europe  World

1914

Jan

Shift work in the Ambulance Room began.

8 Jan

Food rationing began: the ration was 4 ozs ham; 4 ozs bacon; 4 ozs butter per adult per week.

Mar

Meat was rationed to 1/10d worth a week for adults (about 1lb in weight); 11d worth for children.

9 Apr

Germany invaded Denmark and Norway

Apr

The design work on the assembly unit was agreed along with other outstanding points before design work proceeded.

May

It was agreed that 10 x 65 ton bulk storage tanks would be sunk in a field opposite the railway in two rows 150’ - 200’ apart as temporary storage pending completion of the tunnels. This was known as Antelope Temporary Storage. The advantages of this scheme were that 650 tons of Pyro or Runcol storage was available to enable production to continue at Randle.

May

The Ministry of Supply (MoS) requested that a scheme be prepared to double the bomb-proof storage capacity by widening C chamber and lengthening A and B chambers by approximately 60% and installing 24 additional lead-lined Mild Steel (MS) storage tanks in the C chamber. The scheme was approved by the Ministry and the Treasury sanctioned a £105,000 budget.

May

The Air Raid Patrol (ARP) organization was inaugurated nine months after construction work on the site began. The chief officer of the Mold Fire Brigade was employed by the AFC. Fire Brigade HQ was fixed at the Old Farm House near the Antelope Railway Gates.

10 May

Germany invaded the Netherlands.

10 May

Chamberlain resigned. Churchill formed a National Government. The Home Guard was formed.

15 May

The total estimate of the extended factory amounted to £2,142,200. This now received Treasury approval.

20 May

Proposals for an emergency bulk storage at Antelope and the Denbigh Moors was discussed. (Source: Secret letter from I.C.I. Special Products Weston Point, Runcorn.)

21 May

Approval was given for storage on Antelope field at an estimated cost of £3,500. (Source: Secret letter from Sir Keith Price, MoS)

23 May

A meeting was held by MoS at the Adelphi, London, which discussed bulk storage and stated that if a direct hit was made on one of the storage tanks it would only take three weeks to decontaminate the site.

24 May

A three week lead time was given to make the Antelope storage available (Source: Secret letter from H. Gaskell, I.C.I., acknowledged and approved by Sir Keith Price MoS.)

27 May

The Antelope completion and storage details were confirmed (Source: Secret letter from H. Gaskell to MoS.)

29 May - 3 Jun

British forces evacuated from Dunkirk, France.

8 Jun

British forces evacuated from Norway.

11 Jun

Italy declared war on Britain.

14 Jun

The Germans entered Paris.

19 Jun

The first material was transferred from Randle to Valley. This was to No. 1 tank on Antelope Field. The journey took 1 to 1½ hours and the emptying of each tank took roughly an hour.

22 Jun

France capitulated.

24 Jun

No. 1 tank was filled.

29 Jun

Germany invaded the Channel Islands.

Jun

A 500 gallon per minute Dennis pump was acquired and housed in building W1.

Jun

The Ministry of Supply requested that consideration be given to the provision of additional bulk storage at a point remote from habitation and a scheme was prepared for bulk storage capacity of 540 tons in nine lead-lined MS tanks at a point 3½ miles by road from the Valley factory. This storage area later known as Woodside was sanctioned in July 1940 at a cost of £23,000 and was originally laid out to accommodate 11 tanks, two of which were for storage of Larmine.
The Woodside depot was also arranged with two temporary charge buildings TK3 and TK4 similar to TK1 and TK2 at Antelope field and which again were intended to provide some charging facilities to be available until the main charging buildings K4 and K5 of the factory were ready. Woodside was intended as satellite storage to the main factory and Randle.

Jun

It was agreed that the temporary charging buildings TK1 and TK2 be provided at Antelope. Charging machines were installed for charging 250lb bombs, 30lb bombs and SCI (2 machines), the necessary services and lavatories were provided. In order that the temporary charging buildings could be used in an emergency two additional tanks were placed adjacent to TK1 and TK2.

Jul

A second 500 gallon per minute Dennis pump was acquired and housed on the bank of the river diversion. The Fechlas culvert, which runs under the works near shelter No. 1, was partially dammed to serve as an emergency water supply.

Aug-Sep

The material from Antelope Field was transferred to the tunnels. When the tanks were empty they were transferred to the tunnels.

13 Aug

The Battle of Britain began.

28 Aug

The first major air raid on Liverpool, in which 160 German bombers attacked the city.

Autumn

Some process men were sent to Randle for training in toxic work.

Sep

The original startup date for R4 was delayed because services were not available.

Sep

The authority to extend Woodside by 19 additional tanks (16 initially) was given.

7 Sep

The Blitz began.

15 Sep

At Antelope six tanks were filled with Pyro M and four with Runcol.

17 Sep

The Battle of Britain was won.

17 Sep

The first load was delivered to Woodside and by the end of November nine tanks had been filled.

Sep-Nov

London was bombed every night. Over 3 million homes were damaged or destroyed and 30,000 were killed.

28 Oct

Italy invaded Greece.

Oct

Process took over the A.R.P. and a control room proper was located in the main offices.

Nov

Sufficient tunnel excavations had been carried out to enable storage tanks to be positioned in D Chamber South.

Nov

The Temporary Effluent Pump was put into use.

Nov

The first completed plant R4 (Runcol) was handed over to Process.

5 Nov

The Ministry of Supply proposed a 15 ton/week DC (Tear Gas) plant which was approved and £165,000 was sanctioned in December 1940. (V/SPS/13 dated 17/2/41). Work was commenced in March 1941 and in April when it was 75% completed the work was suspended and later cancelled.

27 Nov

All the tanks at Antelope were sampled and No 1 (Runcol) and No 9 (Pyro M) contained moisture.

28 Nov

A shell from a naval gun-boat on the River Mersey exploded in an excavation for an alcohol storage tank for building P4. No damage or injuries were incurred.

28 Nov

The first of Valley’s long air raid alerts, lasting from 7:37 p.m. to 3:55 a.m., took place.

Dec

The Acid Concentration plant attached to R4 was started up and attended by a representative of Simon Carves, who constructed the plant.

11 Dec

The first load of Pyro M ex-Randle was delivered to the underground storage and discharged into US tank No. 1. Material was then transferred from Randle to either Woodside or the tunnels depending on what space was available.

17 Dec

The two tanks were found containing moisture on 27 November were now dry.
The first Pyro M was shipped from Randle to Woodside into No. 1 tank.

20-22 Dec

365 people were killed in the intense Christmas Blitz of Liverpool.

20 Dec

US tank No. 1 in the tunnels was now filled.

21 Dec

There was an air raid alert of 9 hours 39 minutes from 6:23 p.m..

21-22 Dec

The record air raid alert, of 10 hours 41 minutes, from 6:39 p.m. took place.

 

The Rhydymwyn Valley History Society is funded by:

Heritage Lottery Fund Subterranea Britannica Flintshire County Council Welsh Government
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