ROF 59 – 1 Durham Way South, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6XN
The 21st century ROF 59 we see today is an Activity Centre in Newton Aycliffe just a stone throw away from the Discover Brightwater HQ. It’s a very special and unique venue; if you look beyond the trampolines, dodgeball court and foam pits you can see the ROF 59 complex has maintained some of the original elements of the building, including brickwork and signage and inside you will see memorabilia of the ‘Aycliffe Angels’.
Originally the Royal Ordnance Factory 59 was an 867-acre group of buildings built in the early 1940s, designed to produce bullets, shells, and mines for the war effort. ROF 59 employed more than 17,000 people, mainly women, from the surrounding area, who risked their lives every day to manufacture bombs and bullets during World War II.
The people who worked there became known as the Aycliffe Angels after English Language propaganda broadcasts by Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce), a traitor who worked for the Nazis during World War II. “The Little Angels of Aycliffe won’t get away with it,” he had said in numerous broadcasts, highlighting the importance of their work, before insisting the Luftwaffe would bomb them into submission.
Last year we were lucky enough to meet with Irene an ‘Aycliffe Angel’ and found out more about her fascinating story – (interview coming soon!)
The centre truly is one a kind and well worth a visit! There’s something to suit all ages, including a variety of climbing walls, toddler bounce, and even a 19m drop zone for those who fancy a challenge! If you would rather keep your feet on the ground, sit back and relax in the on-site restaurant or bar instead!
For opening times and visitor information please visit ROF 59’s website