THE INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF A NORFOLK VILLAGE (1945-1980)

TAVERHAM SHOTGUN CARTRIDGES

The cul-de-sac where now all is quiet and peaceful was once, not so very long ago, the factory where the Anglia Cartridge Company produced its explosive product including the “Blue Rival” cartridges shown here. The chain link fence which the council insisted be put around the factory remains as the border fence of a property on the site.The garden is an ideal place for an industrial archaeology dig. Such things as heavy springs from a clay-pigeon launcher, the brass percussion caps from shotgun cartridges and of course many shards from shattered clays still regularly turn up when the garden is being dug. These things date from before the factory, when the site was part of the shooting school. There still is a shooting school in Taverham (the Mid-Norfolk Shooting School) although it has moved about half a mile nearer to Attlebridge.The history of cartridge making in Taverham has been well researched by Brent Johnson and written up by him in the Journal of the Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society, Vol 8 No 2, 2007.

Any one who is interested in fortunes of the Anglia Cartridge Co  and its predecessor Rosson and Co should visit the Norwich Forum library where the NIAS Journal should be available, or if unable to do so I am sure they could buy a copy from the Society.  It is quite an exciting story, hinging on a huge order from Canada. Brent Johnson visited the site some years ago when he was able to see for himself what remains above the ground – the fence.

The past is recalled the names of some roads which now occupy the area. Roedich Drive and Rosson’s Road commemortate two men who were involved in the business. This advert (below) dates from 1964 and records the Roedich cartridges that were sold from the shop in Bedford Street in Norwich. By then the shop was owned by Darlow although it retained the Rosson name.

The factory in Taverham was called the Hero Works. By the time this advert was produced the factory in Taverham was making about 5,000 cartridges a day. But there was pressure for housing and in late 1964 all the land previoudly used by the shooting school was purchased for housing. Only the Works and a small amount of land surrounding it was retained for producing cartridges.

It was at this time that the fence, the only remaining reminder of past industry, was erected. In 1965 the shop in Bedford Street was acquired by Gallyons, who in later years bought Versator magnifiers (for resale) from me from time to time. They were used mainly for fly-tying, game fishing being another field sport (in addition to shooting) supplied from their shop.Eventually production of cartridges in Taverham ceased in 1980, and this land too was later used for housing.

JOSEPH MASON

THE BLOG FOR MEMORIES OF EAST ANGLIAN LIFE

joemasonspage@gmail.com

 

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