Here's a rare an item, the appointment card belonging to David Jenkins, the Town Clerk and ARP Controller of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich (in south-east London). It appears he's signed his own card as Town Clerk. Not sure why the CIVIL DEFENCE wording has been crossed out in red ink. The card is from a grouping on eBay in which the photographs that accompany this card are photographs from the 1950s. I assume the card is wartime though as I am not aware of similar cards being issued post war. If you know more, get in touch.
Here's a nicely designed badge issued by Birmingham based Thomas William Lench Ltd., who made the 'ADMIRAL' brand bolts and fittings. The bolts making up the central part of the badge's design. The company had a large factory in the Blackheath area of Birmingham and a 1939 photo of the factory can be viewed here. The badge has no maker mark to the rear.
Personal recollections of air attacks bring home the devastation they caused. Jon Mills has shared the story of how his mother narrowly missed being killed on the evening of 7 November, 1943.
Aged 23 at the time, Jon’s mother was on her way to the Cinderella Dancing Club in Putney that evening when the air raid alert sounded. During the day she worked in Wandsworth Town Hall issuing ration books and identity cards but was also scheduled for part-time work in the Civil Defence Control Room and was due to be on duty that night if the siren sounded. She turned around and reported for duty, an act that probably saved her life.
The Cinderella Dancing Club was located on the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road. It is thought a Focke-Wulf FW-190 A-4 (on a so-called ‘tip-and-run’ raid) carrying a single 250kg high-explosive bomb was possibly aiming for Putney Bridge but released the bomb late and hit the dancehall at 2102 hours.
The dancehall, a milk bar below the dance floor, shops and the surrounding streets were busy and the bomb devastated the area. The aftermath of the attack left 81 dead and nearly 250 injured – the largest loss of life in a single incident in the Putney area during the war. The Civil Defence services were on site quickly and a local depot that contained several large ambulances relayed the injured to several local hospitals.
An interesting photo of a trailer pump squad from Putney, London shared by Jon Mills. The badge on the overalls says "Trailer Pump" and the ladies have Zuckerman helmets and what appear to be private purchase overalls (they appear to be a different cut to standard bluette overalls and have the revolving shank buttons).
There are two distinct types of the larger-sized ARP button - one with a "dish" (concave) rear and the other has a convex profile. The manufacturing method also looks to be different as the dish buttons have a prominent shine to them. The buttons on the central opening of my original bluette overalls have the "dish" style and I assume all loose dish ARP buttons come from the overalls (the examples I have all appear to have been made by Firmin). The convex style of buttons I assume were sewn to ARP Pattern 42 (Ladies' Warden Coat), Pattern 43 ambulance coat and ARP Pattern 71 tunic as well as greatcoats.
Note: only the larger size buttons have this difference. All smaller sized ARP buttons appear to have the same style (convex).
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