Dorset's Big Bang: Catastrophe comes to Holton Heath

One bright Summers morning in June was to become a day never to be forgotten to the people of Sandford and the surrounding area. Everybody knew about the 'secret' factory at Holton Heath and what it did. Moreover, those who worked there knew only too well the dangers they faced on a daily basis. The history behind the manufacturing of Nitroglycerine had a bad track record, its developmental pathway was paved with death and destruction. The oily yellow liquid had a bad characteristic; it was volatile, unpredictable and highly temperamental. It was said that if you made a mistake it would be your last; one slip up would bring with it a violent and horrific death.The Royal Naval Cordite Factory had a good record, tragically that was to end on that fateful June morning. That tragic day, that became etched into the very heart of a local community,  something indeed went very wrong and by the end of the day 10 men were dead. Amongst them was the head chemist, Nitroglycerine Hill's Foreman and his deputy.The talk will tell of what did go wrong and the resulting, exhaustive, enquiries that followed. Alarming facts were brought to light, details that highlighted the dangers involved in the creation of one of the worlds most volatile ageants. Along the way there was pathos, human tragerdy, heartbreak, and controversy;  ultimately though, it is a tale of 10 men who left their homes one fine day never to return.The speaker will be Rod HughesThe talk will be on Monday 26th February, at 19.30 in Sandford Labour Hall, Sandford BH20 7BD. Entrance and refreshments free (donations welcome)