CUNARD SHELL WORKS

Your place to talk about your Bootle memories
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BOBHAMO
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St Leonards church hall to the left
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group of women workers 1915
reproduced by permisson english heritage
bobhamo
bootle born altcar road
Kathy John Moorcroft
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Location: New South Wales, Australia

Great pics Bob, I presume the ladies are not in work clothes. :wink:

Good quality photos for 1915.

Kathy.
lily8
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Location: Far North Queensland Australia

Great pics Bob :P but it is a shame about the heritage site in the fact they have many photographs but few online, the purchase price is also quite high. They have a lot more of the Cunard works and employees which I am sure would interest rellies.
Lily
jddry
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Location: bootle most of my life

what a great pic bob to think there was an ammunition factory around marsh lane/peel road area during the first world war incredible. thanks bob
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BOBHAMO
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Just shows you shell factory next door mabe some of the girls where local
there was an aeroplane factory as well making wings wil find it later
bobhamo
bootle born altcar road
Sheelagh Tequila
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Hiya Bob,, great pics of the factory. Do you think its the site where St.Joans school and church were built ?.

Sheelagh :D
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BOBHAMO
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Hi Sheelagh in the photo it mentioned the building to the left
which was st leonards church hall which was at the bottom of
shakespeare street so it must have been oppaisate
cowper ,boswell street , a time bomb :lol: :lol: sorry about that :lol: :lol:
just waiting to go off , lots of the workers got sick filling the shells
but fancy living around there at the time no health and safety then
you just never know what else was made in bootle :lol: :lol:
bobhamo
bootle born altcar road
Sheelagh Tequila
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Thanks Bob, I think it must have been as I think the church was built about 1930 ish. The land must have been well cleared as I haven,t heard that there were any huge explosions when the church went on fire in the 50/60s.

Sheelagh :D
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BOBHAMO
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just checked back rimrose road from peel road 1911
just a paint factory
but 1938 from shakespheare street marshalls timber
murrys produse and on the enn on the corner of peel road
cunard white star catering stores

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so that could have been the site
bobhamo
bootle born altcar road
Sheelagh Tequila
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Location: Formby

Bob thats what I remember, it used to belong to Cunard up to the edge of the school playgound on Rimrose Rd. On your pic our house was the next block up from the parked car I can just see the edge of the window. The police box was at that junction and its were all the buses used to stop,,a very busy area.
Thanks for showing the pics Bob

Sheelagh
lily8
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Did they actually fill the shells at Bootle?
Lily
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Mack
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Loving this thread :)

Mack :)
lily8
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I had a look to see if explosives were held at the premises but it would on the face of it appear that only the casings were. Which some interesting facts appear in the following piece and the Imperial war museum has some of the casings but sad to say that are stamped as Liverpool.

Long before this the Cunard Company had
embarked upon yet another subsidiary enterprise
in the establishment of a factory for the manu-
facture of shells. This factory, which came to be
known as the Cunard National Shell Factory, was
established at Bootle, the building having before
been used as a store for the fittings and furniture
taken from such of the Cunard Company's vessels
as had been used as armed cruisers and in various
other capacities. A new floor was built and the
roof trusses were strengthened in order to carry
shafting. Most of the lathes and other machine
tools installed in the factory were of the type
suitable for marine work, and therefore, special
fittings were necessary in order to convert them
into lathes suitable for the production of 4 in.,
5 in., 6 in. and 8 in. shells ; and these special
fittings were designed and made by the Cunard's
Staff Engineers. The boring bars used tor the
8 in. shells were made from the piston rods of the
old Cunard liner Lucania, sister ship to the
Campania, the vessel, as we have seen, on which
Signor Marconi carried out some of his most
important wireless experiments. The ingenuity
displayed in this won a tribute of admiration from
all the engineering experts who were brought in
touch with it ; and the proof of their success is
to be found in the fact that the shells, ranging
up to 6 in. and 8 in. diameter, were entirely
completed by female labour.

The Cunard National Shell Factory was, indeed,
the first factory in Great Britain to produce 6 in.
and 8 in. shells with female labour, and was thus
the pioneer in the employment of women on shells
of large calibre. In order that the women might
be able to handle these heavy shells great attention
had, of course, to be paid to the lifting appliances ;
and it may, perhaps, here be mentioned that one
of the women operators worked throughout the
whole period from October, 1915, to November,
1918, without the loss of a single minute of time,
probably creating a record. To this factory also
several of the retired engineering officers of the
Cunard Company's ships returned to work in order
to assist their country in increasing the output of
shells, while the factory was self-contained in that
it manufactured all its own tools, jigs, and other
necessary appliances.

In this factory work was continuous, being
carried out in three shifts, one working from seven
in the morning till three in the afternoon, the next
from three in the afternoon till ten at night, and
the third from ten p.m. until seven next morning ;
while on Saturdays one shift worked from seven a.m.
till noon, and another from noon till five p.m.

In 1916 the Bottle Nosing Plant for the large
shells was instituted — a plant that turned out to
be a great success, while at the same time a system
for the mixing of gas and air to enable a furnace
temperature of 1,400 degrees centigrade to be
maintained was also installed — a contrivance that
resulted in a very considerable saving both in
upkeep and expenditure.

On an average about 1,000 people were employed
in this factory, of whom 80 to 90 per cent, were
women. The factory contained excellent kitchens
and dining rooms, so that hot meals could be
served both for the day and night shifts. The
welfare of the workers was scrupulously attended
to ; and a recreation room fitted with a theatrical
stage and all accessories was very popular with the
workers in their spare time.

When on November 11th, 1918, hostilities
ceased, upon the acceptance by the enemy of the
Armistice terms, work on shell production was
stopped. The factory being closed down on
Saturday, November 16th, each operator was
presented on leaving with a 4*5 in. shell as a
souvenir, together with a letter of appreciation
signed by the Chairman and General Manager of
the Company. A total of 410,302 shells of various
calibres was turned out during the months through
which the factory worked. Out of every 500 shells
made, one was selected by the Government to be
fired as a test, and of the shells manufactured at the
Cunard Factory not a single one failed to pass.

Lastly should be mentioned one of the most
beneficent minor activities initiated by the Cunard
Staff in the provision of entertainments for wounded
soldiers. It was in 1916, after the Company
moved into their great new building, that the staff
first approached the Management with a view to
obtaining permission to hold a concert for wounded
soldiers in one of the new and spacious rooms.
The suggestion was readily agreed to, and the
Company undertook to bear the cost, the staff
doing the work. So successful was this concert that
a second entertainment was given, this being followed
by a third, until these concerts became a regular
institution through the winters of 1916-1917,


Link to IWM Photo of shell casing:
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30021481
Lily
lily8
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From Macks archives of old documents a lovely letter re the Cunard Shell works:

http://www.bootlehistory.com/photos/old ... 17_jpg.htm
Lily
davybaby
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Dan
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Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON

Client: Cunard Steamship Company Limited
Photographer: Lemere, Henry Bedford: Bedford Lemere And Company

During the First World War many factories were converted to making munitions and equipment for the war effort. In 1915 the Cunard Steamship Company’s store and engineering works at Rimrose Road, Bootle, was converted into a munitions factory. Four-and-a-half-inch, six-inch and eight-inch shells were brought to Cunard's Shell Works to be finished, checked and varnished before being taken to another factory in the area to be filled with explosive. Cunard had two other sites, one on Derby Road and one in Juniper Street.


The kitchen belonging to the canteen at the Cunard Shell Works in Bootle, with fresh loaves of bread cooling on a table.
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Waitresses standing by in the canteen at the Cunard Shell Works in Bootle.
In the middle of the long brick wall is a display of the first six and eight-inch shell casings manufactured by 'Lady Operators' at the site.
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A group portrait of thirty-two female kitchen staff and waitresses and a manager from the canteen at Cunard's Shell Works
on Rimrose Road in Bootle, pictured wearing their uniforms against the backdrop of the south wall of the factory building.
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Dan
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Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON

Finished explosive shells ready for dispatch in a loading area of the Cunard Shell Works in Bootle, with two men in military uniform and two female workers standing beside a steam-powered road lorry loaded with munitions.
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Paul
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Location: Bootle

Great photo Dan

Paul
Born Kirk Street
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Dan
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON

Client: Cunard Steamship Company Limited

Photographer: Lemere, Henry Bedford: Bedford Lemere And Company

The exact location of this theatre building is not clear, but the Bedford Lemere daybook indicates that it is on the same site as the Shell Works
A small theatre or music hall at the Cunard Shell Works in Bootle.
The stage has a painted backdrop depicting the forward heavy guns of a First World War battleship, the size of gun that may have fired the heavy shells manufactured at the site.
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The medical room at the Cunard Shell Works, showing a staged scene of a doctor and nurse tending a woman with an injured arm.
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A fascinating interior view of the large shell workshop at Cunard's Shell Works in Bootle.
This photograph was taken from the upper floor, and shows three floors of large belt-driven lathes that were used to finish the heavy shell casings.
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Four-and-a-half-inch, six-inch and eight-inch shells were brought to Cunard's Shell Works to be finished, checked and varnished before being taken to another factory in the area to be filled with explosive.
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Dan
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON

A group portrait of sixteen male managers and office workers from Cunard's Shell Works on Rimrose Road in Bootle, pictured wearing smart suits against the backdrop of the south wall of the factory building.
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bjones
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Don't know how I missed this thread in 2012 when Bob (thanks Bobby) started it; I must have been on hols.

My maternal Grandma worked in the factory. As Granddad had a gammy leg and was already in his 40s I expect he wasn't eligible for enlistment so perhaps the shell works was their contribution to the war effort. Meanwhile my mum and her siblings stayed with their Granny in Dumfries for the duration of the war.
My Grandma died before I was born so I never met her but I've been looking at all the pics in the hope of finding an exceptionally tall woman who looks like a pic I have but no joy. :(
This is the link to the whole article from Historic England, worth a read;

https://heritagecalling.com/2023/06/01/ ... world-war/
Bee

"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
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Dan
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON


A group portrait of eighteen office workers, probably clerks and secretaries, from Cunard's Shell Works on Rimrose Road in Bootle, pictured against the backdrop of the south wall of the factory building.
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Dan
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON


A group portrait of 229 employees from Cunard's Shell Works in Bootle, pictured against the backdrop of the south wall of the factory building. The group is largely comprised of female workers in protective uniforms, with male managers wearing suits.
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Dan
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Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON

Artillery shell casings at various stages of completion, standing in a storage area.

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Dan
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Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON

The rear view gives a better idea of the layout of the site, and it shows the area where the employee photos were taken.

A motor car parked outside the Rimrose Road facade of the Cunard Shell Works buildings, previously the Cunard Steamship Company store and engineering works.
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The long rear side of the Cunard Shell Works buildings, previously the Cunard Steamship Company store and engineering works.
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Dan
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Date: 1 Aug 1917 - 30 Sep 1917
Location: CUNARD SHELL WORKS, Rimrose Road, BOOTLE, SEFTON


Workers manufacturing the detonators, or fuses, for heavy artillery shells.

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