Mexborough and Swinton Times, March 31, 1939
Scheduled as Danger Zone.
Mexborough, and Conisborough areas.
Presentation of Badges at Denaby.
Interesting details of the latest arrangements for Conisborough and Denaby area precautions protection in the event of war were disclosed by Mr J.A.Harrison, the Don Valley A.R.P. officer, one of the principal speakers at a gathering at the Baths Hall, Denaby, on Monday evening, when A.R.P.badges and certificates were presented to nearly 60 local authority volunteers from the urban district.
The presentation, which was performed by Cllr David Sheldon, chairman of Conisborough Urban District Council, was arranged by the Urban Council and Cllr Sheldon was supported by Mr G.O.Randerson (Old Denaby), chairman of the Don Valley A.R.P.Joint committee; councillors A.M.Carling, R.H.Shepherd, A.Wellings and G.Oldfield, Mr H Thirlwall (surveyor)
Significance of Badge.
Cllr Sheldon said that there was something in having a badge in their coats, because it showed that they were interested in what they were doing. He was pleased that they should be receiving the rewards that were due to them for the voluntary service they were performing and for making themselves efficient. He was proud of the people of Conisborough and Denaby who were coming forward to sure that they were willing to learn to do something to keep their country, the best, in his opinion, in the world, in the position in which it was that day.
Mr Anderson, who took briefly upon the international situation, said that they should not disillusion themselves that it was not a very serious business. It might fall that in the near future they will be called upon to answer a very great and serious call, and he hoped that if that did happen – they all hoped that it would not – they would all be prepared to do “their bit”
they had interested themselves in a.R.P.it was the greatest voluntary organisation that the country had ever known. They had all come forward of their own accord to obtain some knowledge of the new war technique – chemical warfare – and in the course of their instructions they would have, no doubt, been amazed to learn what danger laid in chemical warfare. Did it not suggest, he asked, the need for people to be trained to deal with any emergency in a crisis.
Mr Anderson added that as chairman of the Joint Committee he always felt proud to be present at such a gathering as that, and he wanted to tell the people of the area how much the members of the Joint Committee, appreciated the work done by the officials and the members of the Urban Council, together with the members from their area sitting on the Joint Committee, Messrs H.Gomersall and R.H.Shephard who took a very serious interest in everything that was likely to affect Conisborough and Denaby. In them the people of the urban district at two worthy servant.
New “School” for Doncaster.
Mr Harrison also offered his congratulations and mention that a school was being established in Doncaster in the near future to train instructors in dealing with incendiary bombs and I explosive bombs, and when they had instructors trained they will start courses.
Mr Harrison added that it would also be necessary to train women in the urban district as ambulance drivers, and for driving in the dark, and he had submitted a scheme to the authorities that a number of vans be purchased to enable this work to be carried out.
A scheme for report and sub control centres was also mentioned by Mr Harrison, who said that if the scheme was approved by the Home Office he was hoping that the necessary telephones will be installed by the end of April, and they would then be in a position to deal adequately with a crisis if it arose. They thought it would be in Doncaster, and the Don Valley area of 140 mi.² will be divided into four subareas which would be exactly the same areas as those controlled by the police inspectors in the Doncaster West Riding Division.
The Conisborough urban district will be in number four sub areas, comprising Conisborough, Edlington, Rossington, a certain amount of small villages and going as far as Bawtry. A sub control centre was going to be set up at the Castle Farm, a large empty house owned by Conisborough Council, and eight telephones will be installed and immediately that was done they would begin enrolling volunteers for that service.
There would be one First aid post at Conisborough (at the welfare Pavilion), and another at Denaby, and there would be a combined decontamination and rescue and repair centre at the Council depot at Castle Farm.
The area, Conisborough, Mexborough, and Dearne, was scheduled as a danger zone, and that meant they would have to have in double number of reserves for all the services; and the result was that more volunteers would be required. In Conisborough they had 150 volunteers, but they would want another 150 in order to make them up to strength. At present they are only 16 people enrolled for first aid parties, and they wanted a total of 55, but the St John Ambulance Brigade had promised them their support and he had little doubt that the number would be forthcoming.
58 people, and volunteered for the first aid posts, and 60 were wanted, 16, ambulance drivers and attendance at enrolled and 48, all women, were wanted. There were 18 drivers of cars for sitting casualties, and they had no volunteers to date, but for the decontamination squads they had 17 volunteers enrolled for the 14 positions required. 28 men had enrolled for the rescue parties, and 37 were wanted. For the report centres six had enrolled and 48 were wanted.
Mr Harrison said that they had only six messengers enrolled, but he had been in touch with the local Scout organisations and he thought they would get 16 or 20 messengers from them.
Mr Smith suggested that they who were present that night, the converted, should act as ambassadors for National Service. If they were only to bring along a friend each they would be able to fill in all their gaps at Conisborough.
A vote of thanks to the speaker was proposed by Mr Pickett, who said they in Denaby knew how they relied on their Nursing Division and how they never refused to do their duty. “I know,” said Mr Pickett, “that if a crisis comes they will be ready to do their bit.”
Mr R.H.Shephard seconded