Grangestone’s war

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A fascinating exhibition detailing the work undertaken at the Grangestone industrial site during World War Two is currently on display at Girvan’s Mckechnie Institute.

And one of the women who worked there at that time spoke to the Gazette this week to recount some memories of her time working there.

Margaret Blackwood who is now 90 worked in the ICI munitions factory during World War Two helping to make TNT.

She recalled: “I was part of the first group that worked there, the A group.

“There were 22 of us in that group and we worked making the TNT on the chemical side so we were dealing with acid.

“I was quite pleased to be one of the first A group who started in 1943 because otherwise I would have had to go into one of the services plus being in the first group meant you got the best uniforms.

“I remember the shifts starting at 7am and we used to work in three shifts.

“The others started at 2 o’clock and were on until about nine or ten, then the others came on.”

Margaret also detailed a lighter side to working during the war.

“We used to have entertainment evenings with singers and orchestra.

“It was the old music hall type of stuff that was played and we used to get taken down to the Grand in Girvan.

“The soldiers used to come up from Cairnryand and that was fun.

“We used to have nights in the Gaiety up in Ayr as well and we had comedian Tommy Morgan on who used to do this funny thing with a girl Sara I knew.

“He always asked her to bring up a box of sulphites and he’d go ‘oh Sara’, he was funny.”

The exhibition at the McKechnie runs until April 3rd.