Refine your search

Type of Venue






Or Venue Name


image for Talk item typeBridgend Arsenal Talk at St Donats Arts Centre

Talk, Tue 5 Sep 2017, £7


To the Bridgend Arsenal they came every day, by train and by bus; from Swansea, from Maesteg, from the Rhondda, from Pontypridd, from the Cynon Valley, from Barry, from Merthyr, from the Vale. At one time there were more than 32,000 people working there, 75% of them women. The story of this factory is the story of thousands of workers whose lives were disrupted in a way that the generations that have come after can hardly imagine. Talk by Mike Clubb.

Most had no experience of factory work. They had not so much as filled a banger for November 5th - yet they had to work with volatile and dangerous materials. Inevitably there were accidental explosions. Some 27 died; many were terribly injured. But for the vast majority the experience was enjoyable - even liberating.

This talk about ROF 53 answers the big questions: Why was Bridgend chosen? What was made there? Why was the Arsenal never bombed ? How many people were killed?

And we examine the human side: what happens when your friends put a detonator in your boot? Why were magistrates worried about drunken women? What is the connection between Fry’s chocolate, the England rugby team, and the Arsenal?

As suddenly as it began it was ended. Those who worked at ROF53 went back to the roles they had before. Except that the experience had changed the lives of the people of south Wales for ever.

Coach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (with charge)Facilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsTelephone (public)

Event details

Dates Times
Tue 5 Sep 2017 19:30


Tickets: £7.00.


Box Office

01446 799100


St Donats Castle,
Llantwit Major,
Vale of Glamorgan,
CF61 1WF



Plan route to St Donats Arts Centre using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SS 935681  Lat: 51.40190 Long: -3.53239

A48 to Cowbridge town - take B4270 to Llantwit Major and at a roundabout before Llantwit, take the B4265 to Wick/Bridgend. After approx 2 miles turn left following signs for St. Donats and the Castle & Arts Centre.

The nearest train station is in Llantwit Major. Bus numbers 303 & 304 run every hour from Llantwit Major and Bridgend to the main gate of the campus.

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 3 miles from Llantwit Major station


  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)Credit cards accepted (with charge)
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Telephone (public)Telephone (public)