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Report - Llanberis Munitions Store - Sept 08

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by northcave, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. northcave

    northcave blatant is the new covert
    28DL Full Member

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    Te disused Glynrhonwy Isaf slate quarry in North Wales which had closed in 1930, was deemed suitable for the storage of 18,000 tons of bomb during WW2. It consisted of a number of deep open pits, linked together by tunnels.

    The lower level and a conventional flat reinforced concrete ceiling which also formed the floor of the upper level which had an arched roof. Standard and narrow gauge railway lines entered the lower level of the depot through the original quarry access tunnels, while three electric lifts transported bombs to the upper floor.

    Overhead protection was given by forty feet of broken slate. In response to pressure from the treasury efforts were made to cheapen and accelerate the construction of Llanberis, but unfortunately the cost cutting had disastrous consequences only six months after the depot was opened. On 25th January 1942, two-thirds of the structure collapsed within seconds under the weight of the overlaying backfill, completely engulfing a train of twenty seven wagons which was in the process of unloading. The collapse buried over 14,000 tons of bombs which at the time represented 14% of the total RAF stock.

    In 1969 a decision was taken to clear the entire site of explosives and explosive debris. From 1969 onwards, the various pits and tunnels were progressively cleared. Members of the EOD Flight burrowed further and deeper into the debris and slate rubble to uncover such items as incendiary bombs and high explosive bomb detonators.

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    #1 northcave, Sep 15, 2008
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

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  2. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    Re: Llanberis Munitions Store - Sept 08, REPORT

    The train and bombs were recovered during the war, and the tunnels were mostly cleared after the war in 1956 when the depot closed.

    It was mainly the deep flooded quarry pits to the west of the depot that were used for burning and dumping redundant and dismantled ordnance. In 1969 a decision was taken to clear the entire site of explosives and explosive debris.

    The task was given to 71 Maintenance Unit EOD Flight RAF assisted by 33 EOD Regiment RE & 38 Field Engineer Regiment RE. The task was completed in October 1975.

    The following text was taken from the book 'Designed to Kill' by Major Arthur Hogben, ISBN 0850598656

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