It is an exciting time for the Devil's Porridge Museum, as lots of interesting objects connected with the HM Factory Gretna have started to come to light.

The museum has recently launched their 'Miracle Workers Research Project', to find out as much as possible about the 30,000 workers at the wartime cordite factory.

Objects from the public have led to new information about the people who turned the tide of the war at the factory in World War One.

One of the objects is a beautiful pocket watch. One side of it is engraved with the words ‘H. M. Works Gretna presented to J. C. Meldon by workers on Hill No. 2 July 1916.’

James Charles Meldon was a successful electrical engineer from Ireland. His involvement with Gretna is still something of a mystery. The Hill’ mentioned is shorthand for the Nitro-Glycerine Hill, which was where Nitro-Glycerine - a crucial ingredient needed to make cordite - was fed into the cordite making process by gravity. This suggests that JC Meldon was involved, in some way, in this particular area of the factory. The date engraved on the watch also gives an indication about Meldon’s time at the Factory. July 1916 was not long after the factory started production.

A brilliant photo of a cigarette case was also recently shared with the museum. This case belonged to Herbert Womersley, who worked at the Gretna factory in the latter part of World War One as a chemist. After the war, Herbert Womersley emigrated to Australia and became a renowned entomologist.

The Devil’s Porridge Museum would like to hear from anyone with objects connected to HM Factory Gretna. Contact them at on 01461 700021.

The museum is still recruiting local and remote volunteers for the project. The Miracle Workers Project will culminate in an exhibition to showcase the hard work of volunteers and sharing previously unknown stories with the public.

The museum hopes to include these new objects in this exhibition, and will also be interviewing people whose family had connections with the factory for a film.