The Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) Ranskill was a United Kingdom Ministry of Supply, World War II, Explosive ROF. It was built to manufacture cordite and the site was located adjacent to what is now known as the East Coast Main Line railway at Ranskill, Nottinghamshire, just north of the town of Retford.
Cordite production ceased in 1945, but the site was retained by the ministry on "care and maintenance" basis for another 30 years. Few of the war-time buildings survive and site has been used as a waste disposal site for years.
Construction and production
Approval for the construction of ROF Ranskill was given was granted in 1940; and it was built with the Ministry of Works acting as Agents. It was designed, as an almost self-contained, explosive factory producing Cordite, with its own acids plant. It was connected to the national railway network, with its own private sidings.
It was the last Cordite-producing Royal Ordnance Factory to be built in the UK in World War II and was the smallest of the three Cordite ROFs, covering about 494 acres (200 ha). The other two being ROF Bishopton and ROF Wrexham. Cordite production at Ranskill commenced in March 1942; and the site took 18 months to reach maximum production. It employed, at maximum production, some 4,000 people.
Care and maintenance
Production of cordite ceased in 1945, at the end of World War II, but the site retained by the ROF organisation until 1975 on a "care and maintenance" basis, firstly under the administration of ROF Bishopton and in the latter years by ROF Bridgwater. Cocroft notes that an RDX plant was installed there sometime in the 1950s. The production plant at ROF Ranskill was broken up from 1975 with useful spares for (presumably) the RDX plant being sent to ROF Bridgwater before the site was handed over to what was to later to become the Defence Estates for disposal.
- Hornby, William (1958). Factories and Plant. History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Civil Series. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office and Longmans, Green and Co.
- Cocroft, Wayne (2000). Dangerous Energy. The archaeology of gunpowder and military explosives manufacture. Swindon: English Heritage. ISBN 978-1-85074-718-5.