National Filling Factory No.2 – Liverpool

Facility Type & Function:

National Filling Factory (N.F.F.) –   Filling of explosives into 6″ high explosives howitzer shells, 18-pdr. incendiary shells and 60-pounder high explosives shells.

Brief History:

The area selected for this filling factory was close to Aintree Railway Station. It principally comprised 175 acres of Bland Park Farm. It was close to the marshalling sidings of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and also the terminus of the Liverpool Corporation Tramway. A dedicated railway spur was installed to serve the site.

The contract for Construction of the N.F.F. No.2 was awarded by the Ministry of Munitions to Bullen Brothers Limited. Work commenced in October 1915 and the site formally opened in January 1916.  The operation of the factory was invested in a local management committee.

By the end of the Great War the total output from N.F.F. No.2 equated to approximately 17 million shells, broken down as follows;

  •  5,400,000 – 18-pounder HE (High Explosive) shells
  • 6,900,000 – 18-pounder shrapnel shells
  • 39, 000  – 18-pounder incendiary shells
  • 386,000  – 60 pounder HE shells
  • 26,000 – 60-pounder shrapnel shells
  • 96,000 – 4.5 HE shells
  • 26,000 – 4.5 shrapnel shells
  • 126,00 – 5-in HE shells
  • 4,200,000 – 6-in How HE shells
  • 125,000 – 8-in HE shells

In addition  the factory also filled 180 million exploder bags, 2.5 million exploder containers, 2 million smoke bags, 16.5 million cartridges, 9.6 million primers and assembled 3.4 million fuses and gaines along with 292,000 106-fuses.

To the west of the Filling Factory  an Amatol explosives production factory was established in 1916. Over the course of the war this facility produced 24,000 tons of Amatol and 1,000 tons of smoke mixture.

The only known explosion at the filling factory occurred on 23rd, July 1918 when the explosion of a 6-in shell killed three workers.

In 1918 the N.F.F. No.2 (excluding the separate Amatol Factory) factory employed 468 men and 2,348 women.

Nothing now remains of the site although crop mark evidence has been recorded of its railway spur across Bottle Golf Course.

Location Details:

Bland Park Farm, Sefton, Liverpool Lancashire (now Mersyside) – National Factory Area No.2

Associated Token, Check & Pass Issues:

Type I

Function: Canteen Token

Material: Copper

Design: Bi-facial with a plain edge

Shape & Size: Circular,  25.9 mm

Obverse: Raised legend around inner and outer beaded borders and between rosettes reads N2 N.F.F.    Within centre field  the denomination 3D

Reverse:  A ring of rosettes within inner and outer beaded borders. Within centre field  the denomination 3D

Date: 1916 to 1918

Maker: Unknown

Published References:  


Type II

Function: Canteen Token

Material: Brass

Design: Bi-facial with a plain edge and secondary drilled centre hole (Note 1)

Shape & Size: Circular,  26.7 mm

Obverse: Raised legend within outer raised rim and between the tips of a laurel wreath reads N2 N.F.F. Within wreath the denomination ½D

Reverse:  A laurel wreath within outer raised rim and border. Within wreath the denomination ½D

Date: 1916 to 1918

Maker: Unknown

Published References:  


Notes:

  1. Other recorded examples of this token are also similarly pierced. The reason for this is unknown.

 

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