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ICI Powfoot Membership Card

By April 13th, 2022No Comments
Group of Broom Lassies.

This card was issued to a worker at ICI Powfoot which was built during the Second World War. The worker which the card was given to lived in Annan. The Museum has a display within it all about ICI Powfoot and the Broom Lassies who worked there during the Second World War.


This is the front of the Membership Card which was given to all of the workers at ICI Powfoot.

In 1940 the government were looking for somewhere to build a munitions factory, they once again looked towards the Solway as an area to build their factory due to the easy access to water and good railway access to transport munitions to other parts of the country. The Ministry of Supply was responsible for ensuring there were ample supplies of  explosive  propellants  for  filling  guns,  shells  and  rifle  cartridges  at  Royal Ordnance Factories across Britain. Thus, the Ministry worked closely with the experts   of   the   privately-owned   Imperial   Chemical   Industries (ICI)   to manufacture the required propellants and high explosives.


This shows the inside of the Membership Card and the details of the worker who owned it.

In  early  1940,  the  Broom  Farmhouse  and  outbuildings  near  the  Victorian fishing  village  of  Powfoot,  was  requisitioned  by  the Ministry  of  Supply  to  be used as the site for ICI Powfoot. Construction began in Spring 1940, with Edinburgh based firm A.M. Carmichael contracted to build the factory, drafting in over 600 tradesmen from both sides of the Border to ensure the site was operational by Spring 1941.


This is a photo of ICI Powfoot from above and what it looks like today.

At its peak the factory employed over 4000 people, most of which were female. The female workers at ICI Powfoot became known as the Broom Lassies as the factory was built on Broom Farm. almost  90%  of  single women and 80% of married women were employed in essential work for the war effort. Many women in the Annan area were forced to leave their jobs in other  industries  and  were  conscripted  to  work  in  local  munitions  factories, predominately ICI Powfoot.


The following books/booklets on this subject are available from the Museum’s online shop:

The Solway Military Coast book


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