As Preston prepares to honour those who fought in the First World War the lid has been lifted on how the city supplied shells to the front line.Advertisement
The Dick, Kerr and Company factory on Strand Road, Riversway, produced up to 30,000 of the 3.3 million shells a week to be sent to Allied troops.
Ian Lawrenson, heritage manager for BAE Systems’ Military Air and Information (MAI) business which runs its facilities at Warton and Samlesbury, said: “At the outbreak of the First World War, the Allied Forces were unprepared for the scale of operations they were facing and needed to quickly establish manufacturing facilities.
“Dick, Kerr and Co was producing tram cars at the time, but when it placed its entire organisation at the disposal of the Ministry of Munitions, there was a lot of reorganisation required to make Strand Road ready for producing artillery.
“They used 94,000 tonnes of steel, 1,900 tonnes of copper and 15,000 tonnes of lead during conflict, so it was a significant operation to supply the forces.”
The pictures show the role Preston’s women played with many working on the production line at Strand Road.
You can see more historic pictures of Preston over on the Preston Digital Archive and also check out Blog Preston’s history and nostalgia section