Vital to the war effort was the manufacture and use of various rubber products. Dunlop Rubber, one of Britain's largest multinational companies by 1939, was at the forefront of this effort. Fort Dunlop, in the Erdington district of Birmingham, was the location of the original tyre factory and the company's main office. Thousands of employees worked at the site.
Accordingly, the business organised a large-scale internal ARP system and a large number of ARP badges can be found featuring Dunlop. Various colours are found, which possibly relate to different functions within the ARP services: wardens, rescue, control, fire and first aid. To date, no definitive record has been located that answers which colour badge was attributed to which ARP service.
The badges are quite small (smaller than a £1 coin) and are made in sterling silver. An identical design of the badge features "INDIA", a Scottish rubber company that Dunlop acquired in 1940.
Thanks to Adam for the image.
Curiously, another of the FG badges has recently appeared. This was acquired in the Maidstone area by a collector. Again, these badges are assumed to be for the Fire Guard Organisation and this one has "Maidstone Service" with the additional "SC" letters (which may correspond with either Street Captain or Sector Captain).
I've not previously seen this design of badge before and it would be interesting to know if others have previously come across examples. They do appear to be quite roughly made and the rear does have an odd fixing for the time period.
If you have any thoughts please leave a comment or fire off an email.
A curious-looking badge appeared on eBay that had "FG" letters plus "Party Leader" written on it. It's assumed that the badge is related to the Fire Guard Organisation. A Party Leader was in charge of roughly 150 yards of street or 30 houses and between 10 and 30 individual Fire Guards (organised into Stirrup Pump Teams of three people). The Party Leader was not a member of any team.
A peculiar fixing to the rear; it was suggested online that perhaps this could be slipped onto the lace of a Zuckerman helmet liner (the lacing passes through the helmet via holes), but it is rather small. Alternatively, it could pass through the buttonhole on the lapel of a suit jacket.
An interesting green enamel lapel badge for the Clay Cross Company based near Chesterfield. The business was founded by railway pioneer George Stephenson in 1837 and ran coal mines, ironworks, brickworks and pipe factories at Clay Cross, Derbyshire. Further details of the firm can be found on Wikipedia.
The badge is made by the Birmingham Medal Company and the meaning of the additional letter 'J' is not currently known (at the time of writing no other badges with any other letters are known to exist). If you know more about the use of that letter, drop me a line.
I've previously blogged about the Lord Mayor of London's Air Raid Distress Fund (which details two more commonly found charity pins) but had not come across this charity lapel badge before. Appears to be a simple circle of paper (perhaps with a gummed rear).
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