Plaque memorial for White Lund explosion victims

The new memorial plaque paying tribute to those killed or injured in the explosion at the old White Lund Munitions Factory in 1917.
The new memorial plaque paying tribute to those killed or injured in the explosion at the old White Lund Munitions Factory in 1917.

A memorial to mark the 100th anniversary of the White Lund Explosions has been unveiled.

The black granite plaque has been specially commissioned Tony Holmes, a local stonemason who works from the White Lund Estate.

The plaque, which pays tribute to the 10 killed and all others affected in the disaster, was unveield on Sunday.

The community came together for the candlelit ceremony organised by the Heaton with Oxcliffe Parish Council. The plaque is located at the corner of Northgate, White Lund Industrial Estate and Ovangle Road on the piece of land opposite Busy Bees Nursery and Asda supermarket.

One hundred years ago, during World War One, one of the biggest disasters ever to happen in north Lancashire occurred in the Parish of Heaton with Oxcliffe.

Between October 1-4, 1917 a large munitions factory, which covered most of what we know as the White Lund Industrial Estate, was destroyed by explosions and fire. At about 10.30 pm on the evening of October 1, 1917, there was a massive explosion in one of the melt plants.

Explosions continued in rapid sequence throughout the night until 6am and then intermittently until 3pm the following afternoon.

Ferocious fires spread from building-to-building, exploding filled shells.

Some explosions could be heard as far away as Burnley and Rossendale and the glare in the sky from the fires was reported to be seen from the outskirts of Liverpool.

Fire crews from all over the region were called in. The last fires were not put out until the early morning of October 4.