WW1 factory explosion centenary events continue

Inside the White Lund munitions factory.
Inside the White Lund munitions factory.

Events to mark 100 years since the White Lund munitions factory explosion are taking place at Lancaster City Museum this month.

Talks and events include a free lunchtime talk at the City Museum on the history of the explosion (October 6), a free visit to Lancashire Archives in Preston to explore a range of original documents relating to White Lund (October 10) and a First World War Study Day, led by Regimental Curator, Peter Donnelly, which will focus on the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment as well as happenings in the local district, using items from the museum’s collection (October 26).

Free performances and a film made with local women and schoolchildren drawing parallels between the female munitions workers and their modern counterparts will be held at the museum from 5pm to 10pm on November 3 and 5pm to 7.30pm on November 4.

These events mark the centenary of the White Lund shell filling factory fires and explosions on October 1, 1917.

The explosions, between Lancaster and Morecambe, were so strong that they were felt as far away as Blackpool, Manchester, Burnley and Rossendale and cost 10 people their lives.

The Friends of Lancaster City Museum received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create the project called ‘Blasted’.

It reveals and preserves the story through community events, talks and visits, culminating in a performance during the Light Up Lancaster festival in November.

Trips to the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum (October 17) and to The Devil’s Porridge Museum at Gretna (October 21) take the story out of the local area for those interested to know more about munitions work and the work of fire services in this and other munitions disasters.

An exhibition marking the centenary called ‘Boomtown: From Front Line to White Lund’ is also running at the museum until November 12.

For more details on all the Blasted events, pick up a leaflet at the City Museum or go to