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Saturday, 08 August 2020


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ARP Warden setting daily strict blackout London Blitz Strict Air Raid Precautions

Doodlebug | V1 Rocket | V2 Flying Bomb | Blackout

London Blitz | WW2 | ARP | Propaganda

Big Ben plunges into darkness as London goes dark for five years!

Big Ben's lights turned off for 5 years, 123 days and the country braced itself for the war. 

Little did they know what was to follow with the horrors of the London Blitz. 

Blackout Britain Big Ben in darkness vintage image archiveAir Raids Were Inevitable Strict Blackout Regulations Were Enforced

Everybody was prepared for the worst with the propaganda war in full swing from both allied and axis countries.

Turning the countries lights out finally drove home the reality of war with sweeping blackout restrictions which would be enforced rigorously.

With proven advancements in technology, the Air Ministry had warned the risk of air raids was inevitable with high civilian casualties and indiscriminate bombing.

This triggered the need to introduce blackout controls with heavy curtains or shutters required on all private residences and commercial premises.

ARP duties during air raids strict blackout imagesAir Raid Drills | ARP Wardens | Fire Wardens | ARP

Air raid precautions were marshalled by The Air Raid Wardens Service which was formed in 1937 and managed by the local authorities.

Its primary duties were to protect civilians from the danger of air raids which involved directing people to shelters, managing sirens, and bombing incidents.

They also patrolling for blackout infringements which could lead to a fine or court appearance.

Kerb were painted by air raid wardens war to help people see where they were going in the darkBlackout Precautions Implementation London Blitz

The blackout created a huge undertaking and manufacturing was stepped up to cope with the extra demand for blackout materials such as fabric and tape.

With profiteering, an offence and mass production in full swing these items were made affordable and readily available.

There was a mixed bag of problems from the domestic and commercial sectors ranging from the repeated chore of installation to health issue from the lack of natural light in factories.

Pathways painted during blackout air raid warden vintage imagesTravel in the Blackout

Travel in the dark by vehicle was made easier with central white lines painted in the middle of the road along with the kerb edging, lampposts and even livestock..

Speed limits were reduced to 20mph and pedestrians walked into the traffic wearing or carrying something light in colour or luminous armbands to help minimise pedestrian’s casualties.

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