We have been aware for some time that the wonderful building housing our salvaged treasures was originally a wartime munitions factory. It allows you to step into a world infused with heritage and coloured with nostalgia, just like the wonderful treasures which await inside.
However it wasn't known until recently that the site dates all the way back to WW1. This was an incredible discovery as it provides an entirely different identity to the building. A monumental time in history where for the first time ever, women were given 'man's work'.
These munitions factories were filled with female workers, and at its peak 6000 were employed at the munitions factory. However, this monumental milestone in women's rights, at a time when the suffragettes were on the rise, came not without its hardships. 4,000 of the 6000 female workers gained the name ‘Canary girls’ as a result of the jaundice they suffered from their important but hazardous work. Having just celebrated the 100th anniversary of women being given the vote we feel tremendously proud that the building housing our architectural salvage has so much historic significance. If only walls could talk...
The extensive WW1 site consisted of 27 miles of standard gauge railway, three miles of road, nine miles of guard fence, 10 miles of footpaths and sentry paths, and 370 buildings. For a detailed documentation of the site there is a fantastic book by John Edmunds’s called “The History of the Rotherwas Munitions Factory at Hereford”.