RAF Fauld

Today, we visit a location which has become a bit of a legend. RAF Fauld, the location of the UK’s largest-ever explosion.The site was storing large amounts of munitions in what was basically a converted gypsum quarry. In November 1944, a significant quantity of those munitions exploded, taking away a farm and around 70 lives. The site today is a huge crater, well worth a visit (when we can go out) – but it can be very muddy. The crater remains secured, due to the volume of munitions which remain buried in the wreckage. Despite that slight set back, the depot remained functional into the late 1970s, still with an extensive 2’0″ gauge railway. The depot finally closed, and the railway equipment was auctioned-off. The photos were taken at the viewing for the auction – hence “lot no.” painted on many items – but the exact date is lot to history. It seems that most UK 2’0″ railway ended up with items from this location. The Ruston seen was one of several; this one is number 203031, which now resides in the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway museum at Gelert’s Farm, Porthmadog. Only one of the Greenbat battery locos survived, allegedly because of likely transport problems with moving the huge battery chargers which were sold as a “job lot” with the locos. The survivor is now in the care of the West Lancashire Light Railway.