ROF Chorley officially opened 75 years ago today

King George VI at the opening of ROF Chorley in 1939

Monday 31st March sees the 75th anniversary of the official opening of the Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton, near Chorley.

His Majesty King George VI arrived at the site’s dedicated railway station on the Royal train, to be met by Lord Derby and other dignitaries [pictured above].

George VI's signature in the site visitor's book

George VI’s signature in the site visitor’s book

The King then toured the site before signing the visitors book in the Headquarters building (now Runshaw College); his cypher is still above the main door [pictured below].

The site started filling artillery shells in December 1938 and went on to play a major part in Britain’s war effort, employing over 35,000 people on the 928 acre site during the Second World War.

A number of local men who had fought in the First World War found employment there some 20 years later, including three of the original Chorley Pals who survived the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Part of the Chorley Remembers Remembrance Experience in the Coach House at Astley Hall features the ROF from 1937 to 2007.

GR VI scroll Runshaw College