St Mary's logo St Mary's, Attenborough

Centenary Commemoration of the Chilwell Shell
Filling Factory Disaster late June to 1st July 2018


All events at St Mary’s Church and free unless otherwise indicated. Some events require tickets because demand is expected to be high.

Weds 20th June 7.30pm
Talk: Prof John Beckett ‘
The Chilwell explosion 1918 revisited’
Beeston & District Local History Society meeting
Chilwell Memorial Hall, 129 High Road, NG9 4AT

Mon 25th June to Sunday 1st July

St. Mary's Church

Mon 25th June 7pm
Talk: ‘
Canary girls on film’
Maureen Rushton, author of The Canary Girls of Chilwell, tells the story of the factory and those who worked there. Rebecca Harding, Imperial War Museum, introduces rare contemporary film footage.

Tues 26th June 6.30pm
Walk: Chilwell Explosion Memorial Nature Trail

Mike Spencer (Notts Wildlife Trust) leads a Nature Reserve walk
Attenborough Nature Centre, Barton Lane, Attenborough, NG9 6DY

Weds 27th June 6.30pm
Concert: Combined choirs
Including choirs from Chetwynd Primary Academy and George Spencer Academy as well as the Chilwell Military Wives Choir.

Thurs 28th June 2.30-4.30pm
Talk: James McCloskey ‘Chilwell, The Chetwynd Period – No 6 NSFF 1915 to 1918’

Includes photo opportunity near memorial. Ticketed but free. Arrive between 1.30pm and 2.00pm*
Chetwynd Barracks, Swiney Way, Toton, NG9 5HA

Thurs 28th June 6.30pm
Walk: Historic stroll around Attenborough
Prof John Beckett leads Beeston & District Civic Society walk – starting at St Mary’s Church

Fri 29th June 7.30pm
Play: Swan Canaries

Arletty Theatre Company. Performed at the Chetwynd Barracks in a hangar close to the site of the explosion.
Tickets £5. Arrive between 6.15pm and 7.00pm*

Sat 30th June from 2pm
Family day: Period tea party

Jazz band, children’s activities. Period dress welcome. Church grounds.

Sat 30th June to Sun 1st July

Including how local willow was used for transporting shells.
Attenborough Nature Reserve Centre.

Sun 1st July 6.30pm
Special Commemoration Service

Preceded by a short parade led by the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers and including a two-minute silence at 7.10pm, the time of the explosion. Ticketed but free. Please be seated by 6pm.

To secure tickets, contact St. Mary’s Church Office, 19 Church Lane, Attenborough, NG9 6AS (0115 925 4385) or email:

 * For events at Chetwynd Barracks, we need your first name and surname, address and post code and vehicle registration number. You will need to bring photo ID – driving licence, bus pass or passport – and arrive at the main gates well before the start time for document checking. Parking is available inside the barracks.


Download a programme here