Today is the last day of the summer break for Jellybeansgeokid (Cadence has been back for 2 days, poor girl) and with Smif247’s latest acquisition teamed with good weather, we decided that a bike ride for big kids would be a grand idea.

The agreed destination was Cliffe marshes and a geocache called Bang! This has recently become our nearest unfound geocache. Little did we know that we would be doing a round trip of almost ten miles…


…And for Smif247 and I, it was our first trip out on bicycles in more than twenty years. Anyway, I digress! There is a whole heap of history out on these marshes, some of which is why this particular geocache is called Bang!


The site of the cache is located within the grounds of an ammunitions manufacturer which closed during the 1920’s. The factory was situated within 60 acres of remote land but within easy access of the River Thames, for the transportation of explosives, including cordite and nitroglycerin.


The manufacturer, Curtiss Harvey, only made chemical explosives here while gunpowder was produced elsewhere. The site was originally for storage but at some point in its history it went over to manufacturing, at the height of the business it employed more than 2000 people, mostly women and young girls.


As I understand it the site closed soon after the First World War to an explosion, however there seems to be little information on this. I am surprised that there appears to be no association of the manufacturer with the Second World War, to me this seems like an ideal out post! If anyone knows different then please let me know.


The buildings are now derelict and nature is growing up around them. The land has been given over to livestock, who seem very happy roaming through, round and over the remains of the chambers that were once used to produce nitroglycerin.


All in all it was an enjoyable yet exhausting first trip out on our bikes. I’m fairly certain it won’t be our last, but ask me tomorrow when the muscle pain kicks in. Right now though I’m off to sit on an ice pack! I had forgotten how much a bike saddle could hurt.

My thanks goes to Drsdolittle for their research on Curtiss Harvey.


Categories: Geo Stories, UK History | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “BANG!! GC180JX

  1. This looks like an awesome place to cache. I’m gonna start saving up my allowance and head over to England and let you all tour me around. Awesome caching over there. Am jealous.

    • Dave you are more than welcome. Mark and I are happy to put you up and show you the caching sites that are local to us. We have several old forts, a lime kiln, this ammunitions factory, a battery tower in the estuary to name a few. All within a 10 mile radius.

  2. Blogbiscuit

    Brilliant piece, lovely blue skies and a great cache, great history too, hope somebody can reply regarding more history regarding the world war II, maybe there is a secret somewhere that some people took to the grave with them.

    Love your blog, and i hope the geokids enjoyed school whilst you were galavanting around the countryside.

    • Thank you Blogbiscuit

      I love writing about our adventures and I really enjoy sharing those stories. I’m glad you are enjoying them too.

      As for the photos, they were taken on my iPhone 4, it’s a great little camera and I’ve had some fantastic shots. Who needs expensive equipment eh!

      • Blogbiscuit

        HAHA I dont think an iphone would last five minutes with me, other half has a samsung galaxy s and he has dropped it and its still ok, now if he had had an iphone he’d have been on his millionth by now lol my htc takes a bit of bashing 🙂

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