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Devils Porridge Museum

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The Devils Porridge Museum is situated 19 miles southeast of Dumfries, 4 miles northwest of Gretna, off the A75 road at the village of Eastriggs.

The Devils Porridge Museum is open Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM, also with a cafe. Postcode: DG12 6TF

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The museum is situated where one of the largest munitions factories was located, about 7 miles long, producing vast amounts of munitions during both world wars.

The area was mainly used for producing cordite, like cotton wool mixed with Nitroglycerin, a highly explosive liquid.

The cordite was used in large guns on ships or land, that fired up to 16 inch shells, weighing over a ton, up to 20 miles in distance.

A shell would be inserted into the gun, then a roll of cordite behind the shell. The cordite was then exploded to propel the shell.

The mixing bowl right shows the size mixed in each batch, as this was enough to blow a huge crater in the ground, and kill everyone in the unit.

Women were used to mix the concoction by hand so as to reduce the risk of explosions.

There were many small units spaced out over the seven mile long site. This was so if one exploded, it did not set off explosions in other units.

The women were known to develop health problems and were often seen loosing teeth, and their hair would turn yellow.

One of the most touching photos in the museum shows Second World War children arriving off trains in the Gretna area, with luggage tags showing who they were.

These children were moved out of cities into the country to avoid becoming casualties of German bombing raids on Scottish cities.

The children arrived only with small bags and gas masks.

The museum gives information on the two world wars and the worst train disaster ever recorded.

In 1915, five trains collided at a signal box at Gretna Green, including a troop train and an express, killing over 200 people, mostly soldiers on route to the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey.

The museum also gives information on the towns that grew up overnight to house the workers, working conditions, community spirit, and women's football that became famous world wide.

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