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EAST CUMBERLAND NATIONAL SHELL FACTORY

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The East Cumberland National Shell Factory was established at a War Office Rifle Drill Hall on Strand Road, Carlisle, on 18th September 1915. This was lent free of rent for the course of the First World War and was supplemented by the nearby Territorial Force Association hall. A neighbouring dwelling house was also taken over and a mission hall was adapted for a canteen. The factory was administered by a Board of Management, acting in association with the Munitions Committee for East Cumberland and with an Area Engineer. The Board signed an agreement to produce 1,500 18 pounder shells weekly rising to 2,000. Despite the makeshift facilities they soon exceeded this target and by 1917 produced 4,000 shells a week. In addition they stripped, cleaned and re-made large quantities of proof-shot for the artillery. In October the factory employed 257 people, of whom 81 per cent were women. The total output was 304,600 18 pounder high explosives and 2,000 18 pounder smoke. The capital expenditure by the Ministry of Munitions to 31st March 1918 was £12,800.

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