Royal Ordnance Factory No.10 – Hooton

Part of the R.O.F.  No.10 site prior to demolition showing a works shed with a “Consol” type Fire Watchers Shelter on an adjacent steel steel tower.

Facility Type & Function:

Royal Ordnance Factory (R.O.F.) – An engineering/manufacturing facility established in WW II for the production of 3.7-Inch QF type heavy anti-aircraft (HAA) guns.

Brief History:

This site, of approximately 30 acres, was also know as Roften or Willaston. It was constructed between 1940 and 1941 and was primarily engaged in the manufacture of 3.7-Inch QF HAA guns. During the second World War this was Britain’s principal heavy anti-aircraft gun. It was produced in six major variants, two versions (mobile and fixed) and in considerable numbers. The Mk VI ordnance used only with a fixed mounting gave vastly increased performance. 

 

 A defensive pillboxes guarding the perimeter of the R.O.F.  No.10 site prior to demolition.

 

The site was served by its own narrow gauge railway which interconnected its sprawling sheds and warehouses. It perimeter was protected by a string of pillboxes.After the war the factory closed and the site sold. It was later occupied by a division of British Steel and later a Roften Galvanizing Works which closed on the 1990s. In 2012 planning permission was given to redevelop 18 acres of the site for private housing. 

Location Details:

Hooton, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England.

Associated Token, Check & Pass Issues:

Type I

Function:  Tool check (Note 1)

Material: Brass

Design: Uniface with a plain edge.

Shape & Size: Circular,  32.1 mm

Obverse: Raised die stamped legend around outer upper edge reads  * R.O.F.  No.10  * and around bottom, TOOL CHECK . Stamped identification number within a raised border circle in centre field reads 0022  .

Reverse:  Blank

Date: 1941 to c.1945

Maker: Unknown

Published References:  Yarwood, J. – Military Tokens of the British Commonwealth. Page 107 – MMT052. Private Publication. 2006.


Type 2

Function:  Cigarettes/Canteen Token (Notes 1 & 2)

Material: Brass

Design: Uniface and bracteate with a plain edge.

Shape & Size: Rectangular,  38.8 mm x 18.9 mm

Obverse: Raised die stamped legend in three lines CIGARETTE / TOKEN  / R.O.F. 10  with a large letter “A” either side of the first line of the legend.

Reverse:  Blank

Date: 1941 to 1945

Maker: Unknown

Published References:  Yarwood, J. – Military Tokens of the British Commonwealth. Page 107 – MMT052. Private Publication. 2006.


Type 3

Function:  Cigarettes/Canteen Token (Notes 1 & 2)

Material: Brass

Design: Uniface and bracteate with a plain edge.

Shape & Size: Rectangular,  38.5 mm x 18.7 mm

Obverse: Raised die stamped legend in three lines CIGARETTE / TOKEN  / R.O.F. 10  with a large letter “B” either side of the first line of the legend.

Reverse:  Blank

Date: 1941 to 1945

Maker: Unknown

Published References:  Yarwood, J. – Military Tokens of the British Commonwealth. Page 107 – MMT052. Private Publication. 2006.


Notes:

  1. During WW II there were two separate Royal Ordnance Factories given the designation of R.O.F No.1. These were the Engineering/Manufacturing Factory at Hooton in Chesgire and a Shell Filling Factory locate at Queniborough in Leicestershire. The tokens above can all be fairly confidently attributed to the R.O.F. site in Hooton as they have been known to turn up together in groups originating from that particular part of the United Kingdom.
  2. Based on parallels seen in other parts of British industry around the mid-twentieth century the present author believes that these tokens may have been issued by work’s supervisors to staff as a “perk” for working overtime at  the end of their normal shift hours.  The tokens could be exchanged in the work’s canteen for a fixed quantity of cigarettes. A similar system of both free issue cigarettes or free canteen meal tokens are known to have been used for similar purposes at several British collieries during this and later periods in history. The exact meaning of the prefix letters “A” and “B” on these tokens is not clear. They could denote either a shift or work’s canteen designation letter indicating either which shift supervisor had issued them or at which canteen they could be used in respectively.

 

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