Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

The Explosion That Shook Staffordshire

The Community History Network, run by Leicester City Council, had another meeting recently, and of course I attended as usual.

The meetings are held on Monday evenings, every other month, at the New Walk Centre.

At each meeting, there is a speaker on a matter of local historical interest.

This time, the talk was by my old friend Norman Pilgrim, who can always be relied on to pick an interesting subject and present it well.

Norman's subject on this occasion was "The Explosion That Shook Staffordshire", the largest man made explosion before the Atom Bomb, hushed up at the time and little known today.

A worked out quarry in the tiny village of Fauld, near Tutbury, was taken over during the Second World War as an underground storage point for the bombs that were taken by Allied planes to drop on Germany.

In 1944, the disaster that might have been predicted happened. It is believed that a worker let a spark drop, and this set the whole dump off.

Seventy people were killed, and twenty eight of the bodies were never found. It must have been a terrifying experience for everybody in the vicinity.

The Community History Network is open to anybody in the Leicestershire area who has an interest in any aspect of local history.

I give talks to the group from time to time, and during the Summer will be delivering "Dionysius, Hardulph and Egelwin: The Church Dedications of Leicestershire and Rutland".