Also know as Melchbourne Park is situated 9 miles north of Bedford was a Forward Filling Depot. The site included three 500-ton underground mustard storage pots and facilities for filing weapons. It also had 9,000 tanks, each holding 55 gallons of Y3 mustard under pressure.
After WWII Operation Inkpad involved the disposal of these stockpiles. This involved decanting the drums into burning pits, a process which took some eight months, after which the empty drums were decontaminated in a furnace. Again to hasten the operation a quantity of ‘safe’ stock was dumped at sea.
Long-term residents remembered clouds of black smoke emitting from the woods for months on end just after WWII. On one occasion, when the wind was in a certain direction their net curtains became discoloured and then disintegrated.
The operation was completed by January 1949. Some 18 months later the site was declared clear and placed under care and maintenance, however an inspection in 1954 revealed that the site was so badly contaminated that it would remain Air Ministry property for an indefinite period. In fact it was finally declared safe in 1988, except for 6 fenced off areas that remain in place today. The site is now used for the breeding of deer with numerous pens and feeding stations in the vicinity
Norton Disney Maintenance Unit No.93 (also known as Swinderby) was a Forward Filing Depot. The site included two 250-ton underground mustard storage pots and facilities for filing weapons
In the post war period large quantities of chemical weapons were sent to Norton Disney for disposal and decanting prior to disposal. This continued well into the 1950s.
At one stage a planning application was lodged to turn the site into a children’s adventure/play site
Presently the land is of mixed usage for crops and scattered woodland
Little Heath (Maintenance Unit No.94), near Thetford Forest, was a Forward Filing Depot comprising three 500-ton underground mustard storage pots. (Located in front of the small redbrick building in the background, righthand side) Decanting and burning of munitions also took place here.
Little Heath was part of a larger military base that was connected to RAF Barnham a nuclear bomb store that is still used for military training.
At one time the complex housed the East Anglia Tank Museum. The site is now being used as a wood processing facility.
In 1951 prior to the biological weapons test program, codename: Operation Cauldron 1952. A series of mock trials took place in Sandown bay on the Isle of Wight. The scientists from Porton Down conducted a series of preliminary trials in order to test whether their proposed trial would work
‘The Fluorescent Particle Trials’ were a series of tests carried out by scientists from Porton Down between 1955 and 1963. They were designed to help the Ministry of Defense assess Britain’s vulnerability if the Russian were to have released clouds of deadly germs over the country. In one of these trials zinc cadmium sulphide was towed along a road near Frome in Somerset where it spewed the chemical for an hour
While the Government has insisted the chemical is safe, cadmium is recognised as a cause of lung cancer and during the Second World War was considered by the Allies as a chemical weapon.
Merebank Road Avonmouth Bristol
During the latter part of World War I dichlorethyl sulphide or mustard gas was manufactured at the Ministry of Munitions site on the Merebank road.
When the plant was at full production 20 tonnes of mustard gas a day was being produced but none arrived in France until 2 months before the armistice.
During its production in 1918 there was thousands of incidences of chemical burns reported by the workers. The factory hospital had 30 long-term patients suffering from gas related illnesses and 3 deaths.
The plant in 1923 was absorbed into the National Smelting Company that went on to become the Britannia Zinc smelting works, which ceased production in the 1970’s
In 2012 the army’s bomb disposal unit were called into the site when 2 workers from Sita UK who were clearing the site reported feeling unwell and suffering from nose bleeds and respiratory problems when they uncovered what was suspected to be mustard gas shells on the site.
The site was closed off for a year while the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory from Porton Down conducted a series of tests on the site.
In late 2013 the green light was given for the construction of a 485,000 sq ft supermarket distribution centre run by the supermarket chain Asda and a recycling centre.
Whipton Decontamination Centre was one of three major centres set up in Exeter in late 1944-45 to decontaminate people affected by the elusive German chemical gas bombs that never appeared. For many years it was a printers, but now its empty. The centre is located between the Polsloe train station and Hamlin Lane Playing fields and is a popular and busy public through way
There is not much information after a lot of searching about this chemical weapons site, but I hope to give you an update as soon as I can. With thanks to David at http://www.davebellamy.co.uk for the only info on the web