Down Memory Lane

The bomb section at Roslin Glen during World War Two
The bomb section at Roslin Glen during World War Two

The Munitions Section of Roslin Gunpowder Mills was started some years before the First World War.

Situated in a field high above the River North Esk and above most of the main buildings which were down beside the river in Roslin Glen, it was known locally as the Bomb Factory. Many women were employed there during both World Wars.

Gunpowder for the Munitions Section was produced in the lower glen and transported in bogies across the river on a tram system thought to have been part of an old tramway or by road through the glen in carts pulled by horses or in specially constructed motor vans. As in the lower glen, the bogies ran on wooden, rather than metal rails between the buildings.

Extended during the Second World War, the buildings were mostly wooden huts, each with a veranda where the workers had to leave their outdoor shoes which might have grit on the soles and put on special indoor footwear. They had to be careful not to wear any metal jewellery or hairgrips, no suspenders, stockings had to be held up using elastic garters. Many of the ladies said they risked wearing curlers under their headscarves if there was to be a party later on but they had to make sure they weren’t caught.

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