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Studioarc Design Consultants

For centuries the quiet rural area around the tiny hamlets of Gretna Green and Dornock in Dumfries-shire lay undisturbed. Then one day in 1915, the men from the Ministry of Munitions arrived and everything changed. Within a period of 12 months the government had taken over the farms and in their place stood ‘the greatest munitions factory on Earth'. Today, the remarkable story of the factory and its Munitions Girls is celebrated by the royal opening of The Devil's Porridge in Eastriggs.

Our work on this project took us into the archives of the Imperial War Museum to reveal the stories of the extraordinary lives of the Munitions Girls who worked there. Stretching for nine miles, HM Factory Gretna employed 30,000 workers to manufacture RDB Cordite, a new type of munitions propellant. Whole townships, complete with state-run cinemas, shops, hostels and reading-rooms, were quickly built to house the workers, many of them young girls, for whom HM Factory Gretna would prove the ultimate wartime experience.

Richard Brodie, Chairman of the Eastriggs & Gretna Heritage Group, commented: “We chose to work with Studioarc because they made a connection with us – they understood our needs and we were confident that they would produce a result which would make us feel proud. Our confidence was justified in both the museum design department and in the project management. They went the extra mile to ensure that every detail was just right. The result is a great museum experience which our trustees, volunteers and staff really appreciate. Visitor numbers have doubled and our customers record a high level of satisfaction with the whole experience.”

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