By Dr Tim Jones.
Paradoxically the subject of this article is one that never actually happened- that is, that civil defence [CD] preparations for a nuclear war were never enacted when the Cold War was at its height between 1948 and 1968. And in the post-Cold War world it is easy to forget just how real the threat of a nuclear holocaust seemed at times during these years, and how much effort some Flintshire people put into trying to prepare for the worst situation that they and their fellow citizens could ever find themselves in. Although civil defence officials and volunteers were always a small (some would say well-intentioned but deluded) minority, they gave up much time and effort in a sincere attempt to help other people, and records of their activities provide a fascinating insight into the social history o f the County during this period o f unparalleled international tension.
Under the provisions of the 1948 Civil Defence Act and the 1949 Civil Defence (Public Protection) Regulations, local government authorities were empowered to appoint Civil Defence Committees and Corps, the former made up of local officials, and the latter of government employees and civilian volunteers. These agencies were to make arrangements in readiness for any national emergency, especially the threat of another ‘General War’, with the USSR being perceived to be the main danger. During 1948-9, surveys of potential wartime command and control bunkers were undertaken across Britain, and in the light o f the Soviet Union’s explosion of an atomic bomb (‘Joe 1′) at the end of August 1949, London urged all local authorities to appoint Regional Commissioners who might be able to carry on wartime local governance.’ Flintshire County Council [FCC], like others, was required also to assess potential targets within their locales and to draw up lists of these, as well as contingency plans for a wartime crisis involving air attack. The Council looked at the sort of steps that might be needed during the spring of 1949, (its Air Raid Precautions staff was in being until at least 1946), and by mid-1949 a new CD Committee was set up.
Creating a new CD organisation at the outset, the Flintshire Civil Defence Committee included the Council’s senior officer, the Clerk of the Council, Alderman T. Waterhouse, who was designated CD Officer. He was assisted by the County Treasurer, the County Surveyor, (who would be the officer-in-charge [0-i-c] of Rescue and Pioneer Services), the County’s Deputy Fire Chief, and the police Chief Constable, who became the Committee’s Chief Warden and 0-i-c o f the wartime CD HQ, (as and when this was founded). Others who were soon added to the CD hierarchy were the County Chief Medical Officer [MO], as officer-in-charge of the Ambulance Service, and the Principal Administrative Officer who was delegated responsibility for Welfare Services.
The Flintshire CD Committee first met at council offices in Holywell on 21 July 1949, and its members ruminated over the Clerk’s draft paper on ‘Future CD Organisation’. Regulations about Council CD tasks and arrangements had been set down by the Home Office and incorporated into the document, and this focused on the organisation of CD agencies, recruitment of manpower for them, and the training of CD personnel. Once the CD structure had been instituted, the County and District Councils were meant to start mustering volunteers and providing qualified instructors who could teach them. This would supplement central Home Office training provided for instructors and key selected volunteers. Initially they were to concentrate on General CD matters and Rescue Duties, which would be the easiest to get up and running in terms of both cost and material required for these courses. Evidently it was hoped that a momentum would develop and that the organisation would branch out into other areas as more people came forward. Both County and District officials were expected to lead the way in this regard, once they had sorted out their respective areas of responsibility. As in the recent world war, the County Council would be responsible mainly for population evacuation and reception, rescue, First Aid and disposal of the dead; while the District Councils were meant to deal with evacuation, billeting, re-housing and after-care services including information provision, repairs and water supply. The County Council also shared with the Borough authorities the tasks of providing intelligence about an attack, co-ordinating and controlling communications during a war, operating Warden Posts and Rest Centres for the displaced, carrying out rescue duties, decontamination and cleansing. The County CD Committee’s first recommendations were on staff training and related to Acting Inspector of Police, W.O. John, who would attend a course at the Home Office’s central CD Training School at Falfield, and Mr. R.W Bithell, a charge-hand in the County Highways Dept., who went on a Rescue Course.
At the CD Committee’s next meeting on 26 September 1949, it was agreed that officers of various Sections of a new CD Corps should be appointed, and that they should proceed with planning for training and other duties. It was noted by the Committee that Corps Sections would be :-
HQ: tasked with the identification and control o f toxic agents, (atomic, chemical and biological); control of the civil population and movement; wartime communications and administration.
Warden: damage reporting to the HQ; advice to the public; incident control; overseeing movement of the displaced.
Rescue: all non-fire rescues; First Aid.
Ambulance: casualty movement; First Aid.
Pioneer: debris clearance; ‘disposal of the dead or similar work’ ; decontamination of highways, vehicles, stretchers,
clothes; salvage and repairs; roads and sewers.
Welfare: care of evacuees and homeless; billeting. Rest Centres, shelters, cooking and veterinary services.
The Council arranged for adverts to be placed in local newspapers for CD General Duties Instructors, (who would be paid £450 per annum), and an appeal was put out for volunteers. The Council must have felt confident that it would get a good response, (as in the War), for initially volunteers had to be over 40 years of age, indicating the mature type of candidate that the Council sought. Recruitment began on 1 November 1949 and two volunteers were registered then for Rescue and General training.(3) In addition, on 19 October the County and District Councils had agreed to cooperate on the implementation of Home Office Circulars, and by December at least one Urban District Council [UDC]- Prestatyn- had enrolled three volunteers.(4) However, on 1st. February 1950, when the CD Committee convened at the County Buildings in the Hall Fields, Mold, it was noted that recruitment thus far had ‘been disappointing’ and had not lived up to the Council’s expectations. By then only 35 people had enrolled for service in the CD Corps, and seven of them were over 60! Flint and Buckley were particular black-spots of non co-operation for the powers-that-be (living up to their past reputation!), and so the County Council urged the District and Borough authorities to drum up more support. They were directed to apply Home Office advice on utilising the press, organising public meetings, poster campaigns, film and slide shows and personal approaches by CD and Fire Service personnel to prospective recruits, notably amongst the Women’s Voluntary Service [WVS], industrial managers and cinema owners. Despite the slow start though, the County’s first training courses commenced in January 1950 at Connah’s Quay and Rhyl fire-stations, followed soon after by Holywell. All the attendees were deemed to be ‘very suitable’ by CD officers, which is unsurprising in view of the fact that they included a good number of ex-ARP instructors, St.John’s and Red Cross personnel and even a Bomb Recce Officer.
In the spring of 1950, the Clerk o f the Council listed further measures that had to be taken to fulfil Whitehall edicts, including a joint exercise with the Districts to ear-mark properties for potential emergency usage, notably Residential Homes and Day, Nursery and Special and Handicapped Schools. Additionally, the authorities looked at the organisation of information provision services, radiation detection, decontamination and cleansing, ambulances and the setting up of Rest Centres and Care of the Homeless [COH] procedures, in co-operation with the WVS. A plan covering all these CD aspects was required by the regional CD co-ordinating body, the Welsh Board of Health, based in Cardiff, for which a dead-line was set at 30 September 1950.6 In April 1950 the Council received various extra government circulars on CD matters and these included a template table of organisation for Councils like Flintshire to follow 7 : –
A Board o f Health circular dated 18 April 1950 also pressed Councils to pencil in premises for use as Rest Centres that could accommodate 8% of the County’s population (which was then 114,000, therefore giving 8-9,000 as the number of displaced persons envisaged in the County following an attack). In addition, the County was asked to provide room for about 4,500 from surrounding areas, which was an unrealistically low estimate, given the close proximity of Merseyside. The Council planners surveyed all available space and they fixed on churches, village halls, schools and other buildings that would need to be equipped with feeding, nursing, First Aid and information facilities, including bedding, kitchen- ware and sanitation supplies. A supplementary memo noted that there must be a registration point for the displaced, transport arrangements, reception parties, escorts and childcare provision, all of which would take considerable time and resources to organise.( 8) In order to achieve these objectives, the FCC’s CD Committee highlighted the importance of acquiring more volunteers, and in the summer of 1950 the County was pressuring the District tier to do its bit in this effort, as well as in training and public information. On 7 July a draft agreement was drawn up by the County and District Councils at Mold, and some of the latter were commended for fulfilling their part of the bargain already. At least one, Hawarden UDC, had begun its recruitment campaigning on 24 November 1949, (ten days after a public appeal for volunteers by the Home Secretary), and a handful had come forward by the start of 1950. In March the UDC put up 50 advertising posters around the area, and Mrs. G. Barker of Penyffordd also wrote to the Council during the summer, offering to set up a WVS CD class. Advertisements appeared in the local press too, and by 19 October 1950 CD classes were being run at Penyffordd and Shotton primary schools.(9) Other Councils also enjoyed some success in their initial recruitment drives, and by May 1950 the CD Corps numbered 42. Prestatyn tried to boost its tally by writing to local employers to see if they could get people to set up CD schemes at work. Among those contacted were the Prestatyn Holiday Camp and the United Co-operative Laundries. To start with, the UDC offered one-hour classes running over 8 weeks, as well as introductory talks and a public exhibition sited in the local Ballroom. (10) In August 1950, the Board o f Health asked the County Council’s Chief Welfare Officer, Mr. Isaac Hughes, how the FCC’s plans for emergency welfare were coming along, particularly with reference to Rest and Feeding Centres for the displaced. The Council noted that it was making progress, but that it was worried at the prospect of an ‘influx [ of people] from the Liverpool district’, either during a pre-war crisis or in the aftermath of an attack.1 Still, the Council drew up plans for its CD infrastructure and at a conference on 29 November held in Mold on ‘Care of [the] Homeless Rest Centres and Emergency Meal Centres’, various organisations provided input to an overall County-wide scheme. Those attending included the CD Officer (Deputy Clerk of the County), Mr. Haydn Rees, Mr. I . Hughes, Mr. E.K. Jones o f the Welsh Board of Health and representatives of the School Meals Service and the Ministry of Food. ( If a Third World War broke out, then the surviving population would be obliged to face not only the ravages of atomic warfare, but school dinners as well!). Mr. Jones noted that the FCC were ‘probably further ahead than any other authority we have dealt with’ in their planning arrangements,(12) and in fact by the end of 1950 it had provisionally allocated emergency accommodation for 9,000 people in around 70 premises. The buildings identified by the County and Districts as suitable for CD use were mainly memorial, town and village halls and institutes, such as those at Bodfari, Broughton, Caerwys, Gronant, Gwernymyndd, Nannerch, Northop and Pontblyddyn. Additionally, there were many school halls listed like Ewloe, Flint, Mancot, Queensferry, Saltney, Shotton, St.Asaph, and Treuddyn. Further, there were some rather more unusual venues, notably the Dyserth Urdd Hall, Hawarden Gymnasium, Holywell Hospice, Mold Assembly Hall and Pilgrim’s Hall, Pantasaph. None of these places would have offered much protection against high-level radiation and alterations were required under the auspices of the Ministry of Works.(13) But undoubtedly these public shelters would have been havens for the scattered and traumatised homeless during a nuclear war.
FCC EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATION [20 Dec. 1950]14
[BC- Borough Council; RDC- Rural District Council; UDC]
CD Corps growth
By the end of 1950 more CD training classes were underway in Mold, Holywell and in Shotton, at the request of the John Summers Ltd. Steel Works’ St. John’s Ambulance detachment. New volunteers were kitted out with a uniform consisting for men of a beret, footwear, a great coat, blouse and trousers, and for women a skirt, beret, footwear, blouse and jacket. This cost the Council some £2,000, (from an annual CD budget of £3,000), and so there must have been only limited resources for further recruiting and training. Still, the County’s voluntary sector seems to have followed the Council’s good example and responded to its appeals to civic duty and national and communal solidarity. Further, at the close of the year a new CD equipment store was set up in the Hall Fields Air Raid Shelter adjacent to the County Buildings in Mold, (which was water-proofed at the cost of £40- radiation-proofing would cost a whole lot more!) 15.
At the beginning of 1951, the CD Corps’ establishment was set at 970, and at that point there were 253 volunteers (147 men, 108 women) on the Corps’ books. These were allotted by the CD Committee in February 1951 to the following Sections:- HQ: 14, Wardens: 43, Rescue: 12, Pioneer. 10, Ambulance: 19, Welfare: 114, (totalling 212, with 41 remaining to be allocated duties) (16). In an attempt to boost recruitment in their locales, some councils like Prestatyn UDC organised their own efforts to complement those orchestrated at a national level by Whitehall and by the FCC. Over 22-7 January 1951, the seaside area was treated to two free CD film shows and a display in the window of Bennett & Sons in the High Street. Recruitment Week also included a CD poster design competition, for which a grand prize of £10 7s Od was offered to the winner (17). The results of this effort are unclear, but when Holywell and Hawarden UDCs held similar pushes, they were disappointed with the response. Film screenings were held at Saltney, Higher Kinnerton and Treuddyn, but a CD signing-up event at Caergwrle Institute on 29 January was extremely poorly attended. (18) Undaunted, by the end of January 1951, the FCC ordered 250 uniforms for its volunteers, and 100 had done CD Basic Training at various local centres and at the Courtauld textiles plants on Deeside. Instructors continued to be sent to Falfield as well, and on 23 January 1951 emergency water supplying was discussed by the County’s Technical Officers in Mold . (19) The FCC also pressed on with Corps recruitment alongside the District authorities, and Prestatyn planned to use ‘flag days, street collections etc’ to try to drum up more public enthusiasm for CD. This was clearly lacking at Treuddyn, where in March classes had to be cancelled because ‘attendance had been extremely poor’. In fact Prestatyn and Mold were the only areas to meet their recruitment targets by mid-1951, and so the FCC suggested that Rhyl, Holywell, Flint, Connah’s Quay, Hawarden and Buckley hold Recruiting Weeks like their more successful neighbours. This would require a whole host of recruitment media, including leaflets at Post Offices, banks and stores, and the FCC directed Buckley to take the lead ‘in view of the small number of recruits so far obtained’ there.(20) In the meantime, the WVS had sent a representative, Mrs. Matthews, on a short Ministry of Health course on ‘Duties o f the Welfare Section’, held in Liverpool during April 1951, and this consisted of lectures and seminars about emergency evacuation, COH, feeding and shelter welfare.(21) After this course, the Ministry of Health and Home Office reminded the County’s Welfare Chief, Mr. Hughes, (who was based in Holywell), that he and the Districts should have Corps training, organisation of Rest/Emergency Meal Centres and COH procedures well in hand. Another meeting was arranged to this end by the FCC for 18 June 1951. (22) Prior to that, in May 1951, the County Surveyor looked at public Air Raid Shelter provision, and he estimated that 8,000 people could be catered for. He added that there would be insufficient money for further space for some years, with most building resources being allotted to new Report Centres. (23) Concern was expressed too about Welfare matters when, on 20 July, the Council welcomed representatives from Central Government, the Districts and voluntary bodies to Mold. Rhyl UDC’s officer asked for extra help to fulfil the town’s CD plans, (as Abergele had done), and the only progress made was in regard to the planning of a joint CD exercise involving the WVS, to be held in Conwy. (24) In the middle of 1951, CD training was underway in Prestatyn, Connah’s Quay, Rhyl, Leeswood and Gwaenysgor, but recruitment was still ‘very disappointing’. By 1 August there were 362 Corps members from the following areas 25 :-
Their stated preferences for CD training were:-
HQ: 49, Warden: 109, Rescue. 42, Ambulance: 33, Welfare: 74, Pioneer: 20, Any: 3S. 26
Recruitment was disrupted during the autumn of 1951, due to people focusing on the General Election that October, (which saw Churchill’s return to office). Nonetheless, at the end of the month, the County CD Committee invited five UDCs to form a recruitment sub-committee and to utilise links with industry and local cinemas, (where films like The Waking Point’ and ‘Fire is the Enemy’ were shown). Visits were planned to the De Haviland aircraft factory at Broughton, Tunnel Cement at Padeswood and Point of Ayr Colliery. ‘Flintshire was among the first Authorities to approach industrial organisations with a view to the formation of industrial CD units’. In addition, with twice as many male as female volunteers, it was decided to make a special effort to get the WVS more involved in CD. (27) Former WVS personnel were targeted, as were wartime CD staff, 1,272 of whom were contacted with a view to re-enlistment. Recruitment Weeks were held too in Holywell, Flint and Connah’s Quay, though again the response was ‘disappointing’. By 1952 another 152 people had joined the ranks of the CD Corps, (bringing the total to 502, or 3.45 per 1000 head of population), most of whom were WVS Welfare or industrial volunteers, notably from Courtaulds, Summers and Castle Cement. And only a handful came from public displays like those held in the last couple of months of 1951 involving gas exposure tests in a mobile ‘gas van’. (28)
In January 1952 the Home Office suggested that the FCC should establish seven Report Centres that could provide information in a crisis, and the County responded by recommending eleven. (29) Its officers’ enthusiasm for CD was commented upon by Mr. E.K. Jones of the Welsh Board of Health when he visited Mold on 20 March 1952. He found that CD training was ‘well advanced’ and that the Council was unique in Wales, in that its ‘officers have drawn up a programme and are going to take the major hand [in implementing it themselves’. Although he added in August that ‘no progress at all’ had been reported by the County’s WVS, the County Clerk apparently had been urging Mrs. Turpin’s ladies to make haste with their Welfare training, and Mr. Jones agreed that there was ‘room for a little tactful persuasion here’. Still, he felt that the FCC’s officials were ‘efficient and keen’, and in addition to allotting 78 buildings for the housing of 10,200 displaced people, during the summer of 1952 the Council arranged Emergency Feeding and Rest Centre demonstrations like that at Holywell on 26 June. This was attended by national officials and involved a dozen WVS women in an exercise that was ‘largely experimental’. The Welsh Board of Health was informed that Mr. Turpin, (of the Rhyl Trade Association), had ‘thrown himself into emergency meals planning with enthusiasm’ and ensured that the catering trade was co-operating with the School Meals Service. This was led by Mr. Parry, who fortuitously ‘had extensive experience o f outdoor cooking in the army in Burma’. (30) By the end of summer 1952 the WVS and the County Council had courses for Welfare Instructors on the Corps, Rest Centres, call-outs and emergency sanitation and accommodation. (31) Meantime, Prestatyn and other Districts undertook house-to-house canvassing, and on 3 December a county-wide roundtable conference was held at Holywell on the implementation o f the Home Office’s latest National Recruitment Programme. Prestatyn outlined its needs at the time as follows (32)
As appears to have been the case elsewhere, the key deficiency was in the CD Corps Rescue Section, (which incorporated the Pioneer Section later), (33) indicating that most people realised the extremely perilous and thankless nature of the task in a post-nuclear environment.
At the turn of 1952-3, (following Britain’s acquisition o f its own A-bomb), the FCC’s CD Committee reported that there had been a ‘steady improvement’ in manpower levels and that ‘this was a general trend throughout the County’. It and the Districts undertook a further new year campaign from 14 January to March 1953, (34) and at least one held a meeting of local agencies where chapels and churches were asked to convince their worshippers to join non- Welfare Sections of the Corps. At the same time, the WVS was urged to improve upon an organisation which hitherto had “been chaotic’! (35)The County CD Committee reported that by early 1953 some 334 volunteers had had some Basic General Training, with weekly classes held at Buckley, Caerwys, CarmeL, Ffynnongroew, Gwaenysgor, Holywell, Northop, Prestatyn, Rhosesmor, Rhyl, Sychdyn and later Connah’s Quay and Mold. In addition, 98 had Basic First Aid tuition, 22 were Rescue-trained, and other Sections had ongoing courses of instruction. Further, there was solid progress with the Industrial CD groups, with Basic Training for 108 at Courtaulds, 10 at R. Graesser chemicals at Sandycroft, and Rustless Metal Window of Saltney had been signed up too. Over and above this effort, the FCC implemented directives from Whitehall and Cardiff, including preparation of a CD siren scheme, and plans were passed to adapt the Mold Hall Fields AR Shelter into ‘storage ccommodation for the radioactive sources [used in exercises] in accordance with the Home Office specification’. In addition, the Council arranged for shelters that it had let out after the War to revert to its control in emergency, these being situated at Broughton, Connah’s Quay (two), Flint (two), Holywell, Garden City, Mancot, Oakenholt and Queensferry 6. The threat increases, and so does recruitment In January 1953 the FCC wrote to prospective CD workers, and the WVS “put on a demonstration at the Northop Institute.” But probably the biggest boost to recruitment came from the international situation in 1953. In March Stalin died, over the spring the US put pressure on the Chinese to end the Korean War, (under implicit threat of nuclear attack), and there was turmoil in both East Germany and Poland. In May the Flintshire CD Committee noted that it had 770 volunteers on its books, (350 men and 420 women), and of these 486 had received Basic instruction, (with 83 under training), 141 had First Aid skills, (30 training), and 22 were Rescue-qualified Around 80 of the newcomers were hooked by personal approaches, while a dozen were inspired to join after witnessing a Rest Centre and Floodlit Rescue demonstration in Prestatyn. However, Buckley still resisted CD propaganda such as the film ‘The Atom Bomb- its effects and how to meet them’, (cynics would say with death!), and a rescue exercise featuring radiac radiation detectors got an ‘attendance [that] was disappointing, despite a press announcement and the exhibition of special posters’. Undaunted, the County CD Committee planned other similar ventures in the hope of attracting graduates as Technical Recce Officers. 38 Flintshire’s emergency preparations were augmented on 19 June 1953, when a meeting of interested agencies was convened. Following on the recent development of the Hydrogen bomb, (with its vastly increased megaton yield and destructive capability), it was agreed by the Clerk, Mr. E.H. Jones, his Deputy, Mr. Rees, Mr. L.W. Bindon (Assistant CD Officer), and Mr W. Hughes, (Chief Rest Centre Officer), that their crisis accommodation ceiling had to be raised to 14,000, to try to cope with the anticipated increase in evacuee numbers. Indeed, they focused on those areas closest to Merseyside, namely Hawarden, Connah’s Quay, and Holywell, and they ruminated over an array of possible venues from Gwaenysgor to Bronington and Bettisfield. However, by 21 October they had earmarked only 65 buildings, with a capacity of 8,545,3 9 (actually less than in 1951), and this led to a rolling review, in an attempt to meet Home Office targets. Meantime, on 28 September all North Wales CD agencies sent representatives to a Rest Centre exercise at Conwy, incorporating reception, registration and clothing ‘of a bombed-out family’. There was a ‘playlet’ on billeting too, followed by discussions led by Captain Smith of the Home Office, Mr E.K. Jones of the Welsh Board of Health, and Mrs. G. Williams of the WVS. In autumn 1953 the Flintshire Constabulary stepped up its own Warden recruitment, and personal canvassing met with some success in Mold, Prestatyn, Rhyl and even Buckley. However, ‘the response in Holywell and Deeside had .. not been very good’. Additionally, the police were asked to interview all CD Corps non-attendees about their absences (!), and although CD training usually lapsed in the summer months when there were other distractions for the populace, there was progress at this time with the Industrial CD Section, including the Castle, Aber and Greenfield Works and the Deeside Mill.(41) Indeed, the FCC concentrated on improving the record of Holywell and Deeside during the autumn, especially in Connah’s Quay, where the turn-out for CD duty was poorest, and adverts were placed in local newspapers, (while Prestatyn used Welsh-language posters from July). At the same time, the County was pressing ahead with its infrastructural work, including plans for Rest Centres and another 1,500+ places in emergency accommodation. (42) Sirens were erected too, despite ‘excessively bad weather’ at Courtaulds in Flint and Greenfield, RMW of Saltney, De Hav’s, Graesser, and at the Ministry of Supply Depot at Rhydymwyn, (which unbeknown to most folk in the County was still one of Britain’s premier chemical weapons storage facilities). (43) Furthermore, the Council drew up a list of potential targets, and these included De Hav’s, Graesser, John Summers, the International Electrolytical Plant Co. in Sandycroft, Courtaulds, Mostyn and Darwen Iron, Point of Ayr Colliery, Tunnel Cement at Padeswood, RAF Sealand, and finally the Valley Works in Rhydymwyn. The Council Scheme encompassed details about Reception and Feeding Centres designed to cope with perhaps 25,000 persons from Wrexham, Liverpool and other towns and, to deal with this, the FCC planned to have the following:-
Emergency Feeding Scheme (n.d., c.1955) (44)
58 Rest Centres, (10,350 people)
10 Combined Rest/Feeding Centres, (1,200 people)
162 Emergency Feeding Centres, daily output of 25,150 meals (max. 29,300), with 827 staff.
7 District Control Area Centres, run by the School Meals Service.
In the spring o f 1955, the FCC commended new Home Office CD training syllabuses, as well as the constant flow of updated circulars on subjects like road control, rescue equipment, the Home Guard and the effects of nuclear weapons. By May the CD Corps (totalling 968) had 572 personnel fully trained in Basic Duties, 50 in Rescue, 67 HQ, 92 Wardens, 62 Welfare and 178 in Basic First Aid. This was the culmination of nine months of reallocating volunteers to training according to the needs of the Corps rather than to the choice of the individual, and the CD Committee deemed this initiative to have been a resounding success. 45 Recruits came from all walks of life, and Rhyl’s Register of CD Volunteers for 1950-5 gives an interesting vignette of the make-up of the Corps at this time. The majority were recorded as ‘house-wife’ or ‘married woman’, but others ranged from a road-sweeper, a paver and a hairdresser, to tradespeople, professionals and even a retired colonial policeman, Mr. G.E. Griffiths. There were many who had particular skills that would have been useful to the Corps, such as engineers and builders, but a whole cross-section of society was represented, most of whom must have shared a sense of purpose and belonging to this unique voluntary outfit. (46)
Over the summer of 1955, the County devised for its CD volunteers a CD Bulletin, which was first produced in Mold in September 1955. It defined Corps membership as ‘the plain Christian duty of helping fellow men and women’ and it stated that ‘there are far more CD-minded people in the County than is sometimes apparent’. Slowly but surely the organisation was approaching its target of 1,250, and the Bulletin continued that ‘enrolment during the past years has been entirely the result of the personal effort of existing members’. This somewhat overstates the point, though 498 of the Corps had been enlisted this way, not least in the Welfare Section by the WVS. This is borne out by figures for the Corps on 30 June 1955:-
The CD training programme in operation at this time consisted of the following:-
Welfare: Evacuation, COH, emergency cooking and feeding, improvised techniques, First Aid, and nursing. (29 hours total).
Warden: Reporting and Reconnaissance, Post control, First Aid. (53 hours total).
HQ: Control Room Procedure, Post control, Technical and Special Reconnaissance, Communications and Field cable-laying. (25 hours total). Rescue: Rescue, First Aid. (50 hours total).
Ambulance: First Aid, stretchering, ambulance operation. (49 hours total).
Above and beyond this specific training, all volunteers received instruction in general fire-fighting, CD organisation, nuclear warfare effects including fire, blast and radiation, dealing with an unexploded High Explosive bomb and with chemical/biological weapons, personal and house protection and radiation detection. Part of this curriculum centred on the H-bomb, and the fact that there would be 90% casualties up to 4 miles from Ground-Zero (where the weapon detonated), severe casualties up to 8 miles, and minor ones up to 20 miles away, while radiation could drift for up to 100 miles. However, in the typically up-beat tones of the day, the General training bulletin noted that ‘there is a happy’ aspect to all this, which was that radiac, rescue kits and emergency provisions were now available on ‘a very large scale’. (47) Some solace!
In August 1955, Flintshire’s CD Committee agreed to direct the bulk of its efforts over the coming year into Home Nursing, Rest Centre and Emergency Feeding preparations. It had 18 instructors ready to give courses in these subjects, and a growing number o f applicants for ‘all three ..[[which] are proving very attractive’. To try to increase recruitment further, an exhibition was placed at Rhuddlan school, including radiac and cooking equipment, and film evenings were held at Connah’s Quay and Saltney. In fact, five firms in Saltney, (RMW, No-Nail Boxes, E. Webb & Co., Montgomerie Stobo & Co. and St. David’s Manufacturing Co.) agreed to set up another Industrial CD Group. John Summers at Hawarden Bridge was approached about one as well, and FCC’s Mr. Bindon spoke to new units forming at Mostyn & Darwen Iron and Tunnel Cement at Padeswood. 48
It seems that public enthusiasm for the Corps waned somewhat over the winter o f 1955-6, however, for there was no progress with the John Summers and De Haviland Industrial CD organisations, and fewer than expected new recruits joined the Welfare Section. This state o f affairs occurred despite continued recruitment efforts including a CD display at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in Rhyl on 25-7 July 1956, when ‘every phase o f CD [operations] was shown’. This involved 178 Corps members and the production o f 180 meals per day for them. Mr. Bindon additionally gave talks to the Flintshire W.I at the Assembly Rooms in Mold on 24 October, and he attended a study period for billeting officers held in the town over 5-6 December.4 9 In view o f the poor signing-up rates, the CD Committee considered ‘an open invitation .. to housewives all over the County’ to join in Welfare activities and training. 5 0 Prior to that, on 31 October, Mr. J.G.W. Butcher of the Ministry o f Housing and Local Government [HLG] travelled from Cardiff to Mold, and he commended COH courses run by Mr. R.F. Williams. By the year’s end 347 people had been through these, 170 of whom were fully qualified and had been readied as 20 COH teams. 51 As for CD material preparations, by November 1956 (and the time o f the Suez Crisis and Soviet suppression of Hungary), the Council was directed to prepare Mobile Controls that could control given locales and co-ordinate the actions of rescue/equipment vehicles, a Land-Rover and trailer for cable-laying, a radio Land-Rover, ambulances and signals vans. By February 1957 the County recommended the establishment of a ‘complete Mobile Control Unit’ and a decision was taken to shift training resources from then on to ensuring its effective functioning. 5 2 By summer 1957 the Council’s CD road-show boasted a Mobile Sector Control Unit, radio and radiation equipment, and General War kit and respirators. This was seen at Rhyl, Prestatyn, St.Asaph, Overton, Mold, Flint, Holywell and Shotton. And in order to boost the CD Drivers’ pool, prepaid postcards were sent to all vehicle driving licence holders in the County (usually when their, licence was due for renewal), asking them to enrol. From 11,000+ cards, 203 enquiries were made, and 36 new faces were taken on. Although not a great result, the authorities pressed on with their annual October/November publicity blitz, hoping to coax people to the Corps during the long winter nights. This included twice-daily screenings of CD films at 11 cinemas. By the end of the year the Corps reached 1,220 members and training was ‘running concurrently’ in 29 centres. 5 3 In November 1957, Mr. Butcher and a Ministry of Food official arrived in Mold, and they noted that 369 people had been trained in evacuation and COH, 68 were under training and 320 were ready to undertake First Aid duties. Additionally, there were Rest Centre drills like that at Rhyl held on 25 January 1958, whereby the Corps could practice their skills on volunteer ‘survivors’. 5 4
National reorganisation and its effects
In May 1958, the County’s CD Officer reported that the ’emphasis for the past few months has been, and remains, on’ training in HQ Control procedures, signals, Welfare, cooking and COH, ambulance/First Aid and ‘rescue from crashed aircraft’. Current instruction included a film about the latter and another one on ‘Radiation Fallout’. On 20 May, the Home Office also informed the County that the new national CD organisation must be phased in, with new command, control and communications [C3 ] Group Areas (Wales being Group Area 8), and Sub-Regions (four in Wales, although North Wales- 8,1- appears to have been unique in the UK in not acquiring a Sub-Regional Control HQ).5 5 By September the Home Office also was instructing local authorities about the creation o f Welfare Section ‘Food Flying Squads’56, and at the start of the new year the County CD Officer was arranging military support from the TA Mobile Defence Corps and the regular army, (probably from garrisons like Kinmel Park, Sealand and Wrexham). 57
In the interim, training and recruitment endeavours went on unabated, and Welsh CD competition heats were run at the East Promenade Car Park in Rhyl on 30 November 1958, between Caernarfonshire, Denbighshire and Flintshire, under the auspices of the Cheshire CD Corps.3 8 In January 1959 the County’s Evacuation and COH contingent stood at 425; Emergency Feeding (EF] staff, 436, (with E/COH and EFS combined staff numbering 330); Full First Aid, 12; Full Nursing, 298 and the total strength was recorded as 1,431.5 9 This was a considerable figure, yet on 29 February Flintshire’s Chief Constable, Mr. R. Atkins, encouraged the Council to implement a fresh Warden recruitment campaign to make up the existing deficiency in this Section, as well as organising more training, lectures and equipment provision. He pointed out that extra help was needed by particular districts due to disparate population densities, so that there was a Warden Post for every 470 people in Bronington, but in Holywell it was only one per 9,070. It was noted too that a Road Control Plan was being prepared in conjunction with ‘the Military Authority’ and other agencies, which the Council would have to fit into its plans.6 0 In response to Chief Warden Atkins’ concerns, the CD Committee, meeting at Mold on 10 March 1959, discussed the points that had been raised, as well as considering numerous possible locations for a County Operational Control Centre. However, o f the few that were deemed suitable, like the Wesleyan Chapel in Chester Street, Mold, none were available then, and so it was decided that ‘the appropriate Government Dept. [should be asked] to make available a site .. at one of the Ministry’s establishments in the County’.
The CD Committee scrutinised a Warden Section Report on the completed Road Control Plan too, and it was noted that difficulties had to be overcome i f this was to be implemented, with 712 operational Wardens being required per shift in an emergency, while only 215 were available. Hence, more manpower and training was needed, the latter being offered by a police Inspector and Sergeants at Mold and Rhyl, focusing on recce and damage reporting, radiation measurement, Rescue, First Aid, information guidance, fire-fighting and ‘control o f (the] public in fall-out areas’, if necessary by the use of force. Within Flintshire there would be four Sub-Area Controls, (Rhyl, Holywell, Hawarden and Overton), and 13 Sector Posts, (Rhyl, Prestatyn, St.Asaph, Whitford, Holywell, Mold, Flint, Connah’s Quay, Buckley, Hawarden, Hope, Overton and Hanmer). Additionally, there would be 55 Warden Posts scattered across the County, along with many more Patrol areas. However, without adequate human resources to effect these plans they would not be viable, ( i f ever they were!), and so the foundation o f the whole wartime C system would be undermined and could well be rendered inoperative,6 1 (thereby eroding deterrence, which required that the Soviets believe that C3 and a retaliatory response to attack may be possible, hence making an assault less likely in the first place).
In July 1959 the FCC’s CD Committee commented that Warden recruitment and financing had ‘not been satisfactory’, but the lack o f new volunteers is unsurprising given the Government’s own lack o f enthusiasm for CD matters at this time. It and the public were becoming more and more aware of the growing H-bomb and, (after Sputnik), nuclear missile threat, which was graphically described in contemporary HMSO pamphlets like ‘Nuclear Weapons’ , which can have left few in any doubt as to the catastrophic nature o f all-out nuclear war.6 2 The CD manual outlined the nature of nuclear explosions by fission (atomic) and fusion (thermo-nuclear/Hydrogen) bombs, types of nuclear burst (air, sea, ground), the ranges of weapons and the various effects of them, ranging from fire-balls to radiation sickness, burns, ground shock, air blast, and water contamination.6 3 None o f this made for pleasant reading, but despite such telling facts, in August 1959 the Home Office produced ‘Civil Defence is Common Sense’, and for Welfare Sections it distributed new notes on ‘Emergency Child-birth’, proposing that ‘as a general rule, apart from tying the cord and making the mother comfortable, the less done the better1! The State was trying to cater for a circumstance that was becoming increasingly unthinkable, and to which insufficient resources were being committed. Nevertheless, the FCC continued to make CD preparations as required by central government, and on 15 October 1959 the County’s CD Committee was contacted by the CD Division in Cardiff, (under Major-General C.L. Firbank), about the construction o f a Rescue Section training set (or mock-up). He suggested that the County might cooperate with Denbighshire on its organisation, financing and operation, and Llay Hall in Cefh-y-Bedd, owned by the National Coal Board, was put forward as a possible site for i t . 6 5 Both authorities also sent delegates to a regional conference at Colwyn Bay on 23 October, and in the light of the Government’s recent down-sizing o f CD, various speakers called for greater direction from Whitehall about just what they should or should not be doing. London was criticised for lacking a clear policy on population evacuation, and it was said that many contingencies had not been covered properly by central government edicts. One example given was the situation wherein a town’s population may become convinced by rumours that an unexploded H-bomb lay in their town and decide to self-evacuate en masse. Another CD official added that it was difficult to deal with people when they were shocked and injured or dying, not least because ‘some .. are stupid even in normal circumstances'(!), yet this had not been taken into consideration. 6 Soon afterwards, Flintshire sent a contingent to another joint CD exercise, in Wrexham, on 14 November. This was designed to test EF and Rest Centre techniques, as well as to boost enrolments, and the scenario envisaged a nuclear blast over John Summers o f Shotton, resulting in an exodus from Wrexham and other towns.6 7 A few days after the drill, the Chief Fire Officer based in Rhyl asked the County Committee to appoint a CD Fire Station Officer to his HQ, who would be attached to the Auxiliary Fire Service [AFS], (which recently had been placed within the CD structure). The Rhyl AFS possessed 14 vehicles, 14 pumps and two field telephone trailers, and the bulk of the 89 AFS men there were said to be friends who had joined up together. This compared favourably with the other 8 AFS stations in the County which had a total o f only 43 reservists, and the CD Committee concluded that in general the AFS had ‘made little or no progress’ with its preparations for war to date. 6*
A new role for the secret Rhydymwyn site?
At this juncture, on 17 November 1959, the County CD Officer additionally reported that the Committee was considering two other options for a County Operational Control Centre. These were Bryn Celyn in Wrexham Road, Mold, which suffered from the disadvantage of not having any underground capacity, and the Govcrnmcnt-run site at Rhydymwyn, near Mold. Further details about its background and functions can be gained from other articles, but it is evident that by the end o f 1959, when the Valley Works’ role as a chemical weapons store was coming to an end, the County Council floated the idea of utilising part of the Tunnel Storage as a County Control.6 9 It was noted that the County HQ would oversee the activities o f the four Sub-Area Controls, each with two Staff Officers, one Scientific Intelligence Officer, one Signals Officer and seven others. They in turn would try to co-ordinate Sector Rescue Columns, consisting o f three Rescue Companies, (each Company being made up o f three Platoons, in turn comprising six 8-man Parties). Training for all these tiers and the other CD sections was reportedly boosted by ‘good .. attendance on the whole’ at this point, though there was ‘little interest.. in Industrial C D ‘ . 70 Jm the spring o f 1960, the County CD Committee reviewed its training and commented again on current ‘good attendances’. These may have been due to international developments, with the U2 incident and the failed Paris Summit, and superpower tension over Laos, Vietnam, Berlin and Cuba. Indeed, the Home Office seems to have paid more attention to CD as well, and it distributed another crop o f training films like ‘Recognition of nuclear explosions’ and ‘0 CD Operational Controt. The FCC also received the usual updates of existing training manuals, like that for Rescue Sections,7 1 and a contemporary Home Office/Ministry of Health memo detailed the organisation of new Forward Medical Assistance Units [FMAU]. These were to consist of four MOs and four nurses, along with three dozen Auxiliary Nurses. They were meant to treat serious casualties prior to their evacuation to hospital, and they were to co-operate with First A i d and Ambulance Sections. The latter were to function in Detachments o f six vehicles, while First Aid Parties had one ambulance and six First Aiders each, as well as a motor-bike despatch rider and radio. Further, the HQ Signals Sub-Section was to oversee emergency communications, including the use of wireless and field cables. 73
Another Home Office Circular o f spring 1960 outlined how an EF and Rest Centre was supposed to be run, with evacuees being assembled, en-trained, marshalled at de-training points, received, registered and fed, before going on to billeting, rehousing and information services. The sick and homeless would be dealt with too, while radiation sickness victims from ‘Z’ Zones were to be separated. Welfare Sections were directed to have both ‘home cover’ and mobile Companies and Parties (with a complement of up to 40) that could work in all areas as required.7 4 Moreover, in view of the changed nature o f the nuclear threat, the Home Office now envisaged a much more massive demand being placed on the County’s resources, with an initial influx predicted o f around 70,000 people, reaching about 300,000 later. The FCC increased the number of Food Flying Squads that it could provide to feed these people, (including one for Rhydymwyn), but other than this there was little new in the way of extra provision that the County could offer. 75 Hence, if the Home Office estimates were correct, Flintshire would be overwhelmed with evacuees during a wartime crisis, and they would be extremely difficult to control. Still, the County Council persisted with its interest in obtaining a part o f the reinforced underground bunker complex at Rhydymwyn as a County Operational Control. The CD Officer, Mr. Bindon, (who had taken over from Mr. Rees), wrote again on the FCC’s behalf to Whitehall, but in the tense atmosphere of the times evidently it was less than willing to provide the County Authority with a facility at the Valley Works. This is probably because the Government was pencilling in the Rhydymwyn site as a potential central government war citadel, and in fact it was no longer in the hands o f the Ministry o f Supply which ran the chemical weapons store, but was in the care of the Ministry of Aviation.
(It had absorbed the wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production, which had overseen the ‘Tube Alloys’ atomic warfare programme at Rhydymwyn between 1942 and 1945). Mr. Bindon wrote to it, asking i f the Council could use two of the ‘magazines’ where chemical weapons and materials had been stored, and the Ministry gave him permission to inspect two chambers on 18 May 1960. However, he was told that they would need major refurbishment at huge cost to the FCC, as well as the construction o f an access road, new fences and other amenities. In view o f what Mr. Bindon termed ‘the restrictions imposed by the Ministry’, the scheme was pronounced ‘impractical’ by the CD Committee in June, and no further action was taken by it, (though the government continued to hang on to the Rhydymwyn Depot). 76
Intensified CD exercising and recruitment In June 1960, the County CD Committee received a fresh circular about Welfare Sections, referring to the creation o f mobile reinforcements and Welfare Companies, (made up of Parties of 30-40 people and Detachments of 10-12). It had already been decided at a meeting in Holywell the previous November to develop 39 such Welfare Section Parties, and one was to be placed at each o f the new Warden Post Areas.7 7 To achieve this, the Council would yet again require more citizens to come forward to j o in up, and another drive to this end was planned for September 1960, with press and cinema propaganda. Meantime, training classes were going on ‘regularly’ across the County, besides central training and regional conferences like that at Dolgellau on 29 September 1960 for 64 CD Controllers and Officers from the North Wales Region and Sub-Areas. This was concerned mostly with area clearance following radiation contamination. And so as to make an exercise at RAF Sealand on 6 October more realistic, radioactive material was scattered on the site, (presumably coming from the County stock at Mold). The RAF Depot responded to these ‘air raid conditions’, which included ‘actual fires .. set up adjacent to the installations, [and] a radiation element’, with Rescue, Fire-fighting and Hospital Units. The Control Room Staff were commended for being ‘right on top of the situation’, while the ‘radiac teams were very good, especially in their predictions o f the future intensity o f radiation at specified times’ which is just as well for all those who lived and worked in the vicinity!7 8
Another exercise, designated ‘Connah’, followed on 20 November 1960 at the CEGB’s Connah’s Quay Power Station, testing local CD agencies and the Industrial CD Unit on site. The venture incorporated the deployment of a County Mobile Control Unit [MCU] with communications back-up, Rescue, Ambulance and Welfare Parties, Wardens and the local AFS. The scenario depicted a 5-megaton bomb attack on Liverpool, (around 250-times the Hiroshima blast), which unsurprisingly would seriously affect Deeside, (possibly through a tidal wave, above and beyond ground shock, blast and radiation). The Power Station would be crippled, communications and other services destroyed, and thousands o f casualties would be seeking assistance. During the course o f the run-through the CD Corps supplied field cables for the Station, with the MCU located half-a-mile away, while Rescue and First Aid teams got to work in the Station and the Welfare section dished out no less than 128 meals. 79
From January to March 1961, the County tried to bring in yet more new recruits by screening across Flintshire at fortnightly intervals two films about First Aid and one about CD. One o f the movies was said to be ‘in a lighter vein .. [being] a light-hearted approach to First Aid .. to show the essential co-operation necessary from all sections of the community’. Entitled ‘Goon Madness’, the film showed ‘the reactions of a well-known personality carrying out his first surgical operation’! (Probably Harry Secombe or Peter Sellers, given Spike Milligan’s anti-war sentiments). The enterprise was assisted by bodies like ICI, the NCB and the British Medical Association, and films were shown at Rhyl, Prestatyn, St.Asaph, Holywell, Northop, Flint, Mold, Hawarden, Caergwrle, Buckley, Nannerch and Overton, to a total of over 1,000 people. Few o f them signed up for service, though training continued to be well patronised at this time, particularly that for the Warden’s Section, which had an average weekly attendance o f 315, (303 of whom were in the County or Special Constabulary).8 0 The Wardens’ most recent pocket-book defined their duties as public guidance and control, battle recce and reporting, and ‘Z’ Zone clearance, in conjunction with Sector, Patrol and Street Leaders, FMAUs and the like, all o f which would have been very arduous tasks, even for police personnel. 81 The latest guidance on evacuations also highlighted the role o f the FMAUs and their co-operation with the various CD Sections, all of which were supposed to be held together in practice by Signals operators. 82
In October 1961, following the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion attempt by CIA-backed Cuban exiles, the intensification of the US effort in Vietnam, and the erection o f the Berlin Wall, Flintshire’s CD Officer, Mr. Bindon, reported that training was in full swing and that attendances were solid. He remarked that this ‘may be a reflection of the increased international tension’, and doubtless he was correct in this assumption. Training included Exercise ‘SandycrofV on 8 October, involving 320 AFS fire-fighters and two full Welfare Section teams, who under the direction of Mrs. W.M. Fletcher o f Mancot provided 360 meals for the participants.8 3 Soon after, the County CD Committee approved the development o f the Llay Rescue Training Set, and the Council considered once more where to site its new County Operational Control. Various possibilities had been mulled over, notably Nercwys Hall and Fulbrook House in Halkyn. But these were discounted due to the expense that would be incurred to furnish them with adequate air raid protection. Other proposals were Fron Hall in Mold, and an underground quarry near Holywell, (probably the Grange Cavern wartime ammunitions store). Again though, the costs of adaptation and refurbishment were said to be prohibitive. Therefore, the Committee plumped for what was thought to be the only viable alternative, namely Springfield Hall, Halkyn, which it was estimated would cost £8,750 to refit and protect. At the same time, the Council backed plans for a joint Group Control for Flintshire and Denbighshire, which was to be sited in the latter at the old Ruthin Gaol. 84
On 31 October 1961, Flintshire and Denbighshire CD officials met to discuss their E/COH arrangements, and while one member o f Mold UDC, Mrs. A. Snowden, called their CD preparations a ‘fraud .. [and] insanity’, Flintshire
was reported to have ‘the best training record o f all the Welsh authorities’, and so was perhaps the most prepared for another war by 1961. This did not mean that the FCC rested on its laurels, however, and Mr. Bindon was concerned about increasing the Corps’ manpower, especially in Maelor RDC and Buckley UDC.8 5 But evidently Flintshire was leading the way in terms of CD preparations in Wales, setting an example for Denbigh and others to follow, while hoping to enhance deterrence in the process.
The impact of national and international developments In March 1962, the Government undertook another review o f national planning for population dispersal and after-care, and the Counties and Districts drew up lists of people seen as a priority for evacuation. The disabled, children and expectant mothers were to the fore, and Flintshire was told to expect an influx of at least 135,000 people, many of whom would come from these categories at first. The County would be required to receive, feed and billet them, and each area was allocated the following:- 86
At this point, the Council also authorised expenditure on the Springfield for its new Operational Control, following Maj.-Gen. Firbank’s approval o f the scheme,( after rejecting the over-costly Fulbrook House option). In addition, the FCC pressed ahead with its recruiting, and Mr. Bindon gave a series of talks about nuclear weapons like that in Prestatyn on 22 May. This drive came about not least because o f the ‘surprising number o f the more elderly members of the Welfare Section (who had).. resigned on account o f age or physical disability’ since 1960.^The other main plank of the County’s efforts was its ongoing programme o f exercises, which were reported by the local press. This included one held at Colwyn Bay on 6-7 May, ‘Copx Gins IV, which was the fourth Welsh national CD operational study, organised
by Maj.-Gen. Firbank. It was implemented under the auspices o f the Lord-Lieutenant o f Flintshire, Brigadier H.S.K. Mainwaring, who was the designated Operational Controller o f Group Area 85 (Flintshire). The scenario for the event was a nuclear attack on Merseyside, leading to an exodus o f up to 300,000 people from there and the Midlands the day
after the attack, (or D + l , meaning D-day +1). The Group was obliged to deal with this situation by organising adequate resources for rescues, removal o f casualties, treatment, population control, and transfer to billets in the western areas of North Wales. The eventual total that the FCC might have to assist was estimated as 1-1.5 million people, which would put a massive strain on the Corps and CD authorities, which at Copi Glas IV included not only local personnel but also those from the Wales CD Directing Staff, Home Office, Ministry o f Housing and Local Government, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Hospital Board and the Emergency Services.8*
Other exercises during this period of heightened tension involving the Flintshire CD Corps included a demonstration of its Signals capability at the Mold Gymkhana and the town’s Road Rally, as well as the Royal Welsh
Agricultural Show at Borras Airfield, Wrexham, (home of the Royal Observer Corps [ROC], which was charged with undertaking recce and reporting of nuclear explosions during wartime). The Llay Rescue Training Set was opened too on 15 September 1962, and as part o f the effort to boost Corps manpower there was a CD ‘Open Day’ at Overton on 11 October, featuring the ROC, AFS and the police. At this juncture, the world’s attention was focused more than ever before on the possibility o f a nuclear war, as the superpowers played out the Cuban Missile Crisis, (and in fact war was
only just averted). At this time, besides the usual training done by the Corps, volunteers came forward to practice with it from the Red Cross in Rhyl and St.Asaph, industrial staff at RAF Sealand, the Conservative Party in Holywell and Ewloe, and the British Legion at Prestatyn and Leeswood.89
Fortunately the CD Corps was not called upon to put its training into practice, and this was revised in 1962 by the Home Office. The HQ Section was divided into the Intelligence and Operations Sub-Section, which would
concentrate on static and Mobile Controls, intelligence-gathering and operations, and the Signals Sub-Section, which would organise land-line and radio communications, field parties and despatch riders. The duties of the Warden, Rescue, Welfare and Ambulance/First Aid Sections were much the same, but another new development was the completion of the CD Carrier Line Broadcast System [CLBS], a secret emergency utility that was designed ‘to replace the telephone warning’ system used in connection with Air Raids. The CLBS was unidirectional, meaning that all CD establishments were linked up through the central Operational Control, thereby enhancing C3 , and it used the latest specialist equipment like battery-operated receiver telephones, (paid for by the Home Office).90
At the start of 1963, the HMSO produced a new booklet entitled ‘Advising the house-holder on protection against nuclear attack’, (a forerunner o f the 1980s Protect and Survive’) and this looked at ‘what happens when an H –
bomb explodes- Heat- Blast- Fallout’. It detailed for Flintshire folk how to protect a house from nuclear effects and to set up a fallout room with food, water and sanitation supplies, as well as limiting damage from fire and debris. 91 It made for grim reading, and early in March 1963 the County Council reported that training was going on apace, with 900 o f the current strength o f 1,475 carrying out drills based on past syllabuses, while the rest were preparing for new, more rigorous training. Following the CD Corps’ reorganisation, fewer permanent staff were to be held on its books,
and the emphasis was to be a volunteer nucleus that could be readily expanded in any pre-war crisis. Physical preparations for this included the acquisition of new CD equipment, which was stored at Fulbrook House, while the Ambulance Section had by this stage three vehicles at the old Ambulance Station in King Street, Mold, one at Overton and three at the old Fire Station in Rhyl. 92
As part of reinvigorated CD practices, on 25 March 1963 a County-wide Siren Audibility Test was conducted, which must have brought home to people the horrific prospect of war, and reminded them o f the importance of the CD structure and its ever-present need for volunteers. This was restated by the Home Office in May, when it circulated plans for its customary autumn recruitment drive.9 3 Simultaneously, Mr. A. Owen of the Welsh Board o f Health added that Councils should undertake their own publicity campaigns and encourage the co-operation of organs like the Women’s Institute, Townswomen’s Guild, the British Legion and even the Scouts and Guides! 94
In the spring o f 1963, the County advertised for a new CD Officer, due to the retirement of Mr. Bindon, following illness. He had made a major contribution to the County’s CD arrangements and readiness for war, and an officer of similar calibre was sought by the FCC. It received some 49 applications for the post and interviewed four candidates, before choosing Mr. R.H. Guy o f Farnham. He had been a CD instructor in Surrey and the Isle of Wight, and he was appointed in June with a salary of £ 1 , 180 . 95 His first task was to wrestle with the latest government changes to the CD structure, (following the outbreak of better relations between East and West), which he admitted were difficult to comprehend, the first page of the new Circular about them taking him ‘about six readings!’ In essence, the Corps would exist in future on an almost totally voluntary basis, which demanded even greater recruitment and retention than hitherto. To this end, Mr. Guy proposed a CD Social Association, and a revamped CD Bulletin was printed in Mold by September 1963. This outlined the County’s recruitment plans including films, exercises, (like that at Sealand on 8 September which encompassed 290 AFS and Welfare staff), and posters ‘in every shop and business in Flintshire’. This was considered necessary because ‘the general public [exemplified by the people of Prestatyn, were] .. most apathetic to CD [now] with the exception of the Welfare Section1. Less than 300 had expressed a desire to continue working for the Corps after reorganisation, and Maelor RDC and Buckley UDC remained particular ‘blackspots’, with only 14 CD members in the former and none in the latter, where even the WVS could get no co-operation! Mr. Guy hoped that the autumn campaign ‘would have the desired effect o f making people realise how short we are [in terms o f numbers!] and how interesting the training is’. A further incentive offered to try to get people involved was a £10 ‘bounty’ for those subscribing to 2-years Standard Training ( of about 11/2-2 hours per week).’ ‘ In September 1963, Welfare Section meetings were held at 20 locations across Flintshire, including Northop Hall, Gwernaffield, Sychdyn and Brynford, and there were two classes in HQ Intelligence and Operations, four in Signals, two in Rescue, and two in Ambulance/First Aid. Updated training for the latter covered the treatment of shock, haemorrhage, crush injuries, asphyxia, skull, spine and other fractures and burns. Home nursing instruction dealt with, inter alia, care o f the sick, ventilation, disinfection, artificial respiration, dressings, bleeding control and war gases. The standard course lasted for 10 hours, the full one for double that, and both were delivered by means o f lectures and
At this time too, the county reviewed its population dispersal plans, with reception arrangements featuring rail timetables for arriving evacuees. Four or five trains a day were expected at Connah’s Quay, (which would take 32,516 people in total), and at Prestatyn, (32,671), with five trains each at Flint (38,273) and Rhyl (38,655), as well as fourteen per day to Wrexham and Ruabon, (69,794 and 28,190 respectively). Concurrently, it is evident that the FCC rethought its decision to refit the Springfield, its CD Committee noting that the Home Office had granted permission to site a new Area Control under the Fire Station being constructed off Chester Street in Mold. Its reinforced concrete basement was to be kitted out with special ventilation, air filtration and heating plant, supplied by Mellor-Bromley (Air Conditioning) of Leicester, at a cost of £2,500.9 8 In addition, £6,000 was reallocated from the Highways Dept., (which took possession o f Fulbrook House in Halkyn at this point), for the establishment of a new dedicated CD Training Centre at Y Nyth, Holywell, (in addition to those already in use in Mold, Connah’s Quay and R h y l ) . 9 9 By the time that the CD reorganisation had been effected in 1964, the Corps numbered only 588 volunteers, though 56 more were acquired that January. Training continued at the usual centres, (totalling 27 classes a week), and plans for a new CD Centre at Pont-y- Garreg, in Wrexham Street, Mold, were approved by the Home Office. Exercises were held early in the year in the town and at Overton too, while a visit to the ROC in Wrexham was organised for 11 March.1 0 0 In 1964 the CD Corps also co-operated with the Territorial Army based in Hawarden and Deeside, during Exercise March Hare’, held on 10 March. Soon after, on 30 May, they participated in a convoy movement to Anglesey led by Councillor A. Jones, consisting o f 26 vehicles and 3 despatch riders. This featured Rescue, Ambulance/First Aid, Recce, Cable, and Wireless units, which were to practice joint operations, including an RAF nelivac’ o f casualties, as well as a mass cook for the 300 people committed to Exercise ‘Calan A/a;”.1 0 1 In addition, the Council was busy implementing new edicts about the CD organisation in Sub-Region 8,1 (N. Wales), which aimed for the creation of County Controls comprising 33 personnel from HQ, Mobile Control, Recce and other CD Sections, and District Sector Posts w i t h 5 Wardens and 11 Controls each.1 0 2 As part o f these never-ending refinements to CD plans and preparations, in June the Ministry o f Housing asked for the County’s newest railway schedules and transport plans for population movement, based on the figures below:-
Newton-le-Willows, Manchester VTA Chester: TO Holywell 5,100 a day. TO Connah’s Quay 2,350 a day. TO Flint 2,800 a day. TO Rhyl 32,000 a day. V I A Rhyl: TO Prestatyn 14,500 a day. Sale, Manchester V I A Chester: TO Mold 5,500 a day. Liverpool V I A Flint: TO Maelor, 4,600 a day. This would give a grand total o f 66,850 people per day entering the County through official channels, (not to mention all those who self-evacuated), and a further 25,000 per day from Liverpool were to be routed via Rhyl to Denbigh,
Abergele, Hiraethog and Aled Districts in Denbighshire.1 0 3 While the demands on the FCC CD Corps grew, however, its capabilities diminished, and in July 1964 the Council lamented that with only 20% of its War Establishment on its books at present, another major recruitment push
was needed. Consequently, there were yet more free film shows, three-day CD displays in various locations, talks, posters and on 2 July the Pont-y-Garreg CD Centre was opened in Mold amidst a flourish of local publicity. Further, a week before that, on 27 June, the County had its first visit from a full Home Office Food Flying Squad. With its mobile kitchens, canteens, store vehicles, water tankers and MAFF personnel, it provided a lunch for 200 at Connah’s Quay. And another 350 ’emergency’ meals were served up at the Flintshire and Denbighshire Show at Rhyl on 28 August, where another item on the menu was a message-relaying demonstration conducted by a CD patrol vehicle. Wellpublicised short exercises were enacted in other towns too, and a recruitment bus loaned out by Charleton’s of Mold was overturned at designated stops, filled with ‘casualties’, and then cleared and uprighted by the CD Rescue Section and Red Cross. A CD canteen accompanied the travelling display team, and a ‘running commentary-cum-recruiting speech [was] .. given .. over pa. [public address] equipment during each incident’. Apparently this touring caravan and emergency squad were unique in the country, demonstrating once again the initiative o f Flintshire CD personnel, who were at the forefront o f the drive to strengthen the CD structure in Wales. The first such display occurred at Flint on 14 September 1964, involved over 100 people, and it led to three new recruits signing up for the Corps. Indeed, it seems that all in all the campaign proved itself a considerable success, with many new District classes being set up and attendance among ‘irregularly attending members’ improving substantially thereafter.1 04 The FCC scheme also impressed Maj.-Gen. Firbank, who visited Mold on 8-9 October and recommended other authorities to base their own methods on those o f Flintshire. The reason for the General’s sojourn, however, was more to do with the latest restructuring o f the CD apparatus in Wales, for a Regional Control for the whole country was to be based now in mid-Wales, at Brecon. It would have a staff o f 250, while smaller groups would be assigned to Sub- Regional Controls for North and South Wales, (although the location o f the former was not stated). They would have CD Section leaders, junior ministers and other key personnel, and the Controls were meant to oversee the operations of the County Controls, each with representatives of various essential Ministries, the Armed Forces and other services. The Flintshire HQ was to be moved from the current base at the County Buildings to the new Fire Station in Mold, and from there instructions were supposed to be sent to Warden Sectors, Posts, Patrols and other CD units.1 0 5 As part of the attempt to bring in fresh faces to the Corps, and to test the new CD organisation, the Welsh Hospital Board organised the “biggest exercise ever to be held in Wales’. Termed, ‘Operation Fall Stage 3’, this was carried out on 10 October 1964 by CD units from Flintshire and Denbighshire, alongside many other emergency services. Among the 2,500 actors were 1,200 ‘casualties’, two complete Ambulance Columns o f 150 vehicles, complete FMAUs and all Sections of the CD Corps.’0 6 This must have been an impressive sight, and during that month more FCC CD training classes were opened. Those at ‘Ty Nyth’ incorporated Rest Centre and Emergency Meal quizzes, demonstrations and films, while CD Controllers attending a course on 16-17 December were taught by Mr. Guy and the Home Office’s Mr. R. Fournacre. Other arrangements made by the County during this period o f flux, (when a Labour government was returned to power under Harold Wilson), were for the reorganisation of Warden Posts in Prestatyn, Holywell, Connah’s Quay, Buckley and Mold UDCs, ‘the deciding factor [for their location] being the population and area o f the District concerned’. A joint meeting with Denbighshire CD officers on reception and billeting was held too, its focus being on the ‘earmarking o f schools’ and houses.1 08
Training went on into 1965, as did exercises like that held in June on Moel Famau and Halkyn Mountain, when about 25 people took part in a wireless communication test, using two Signals vehicles and Recce Land-Rovers at
each hill-top location. This was meant to demonstrate that Wartime Controls could stay in contact with each other during a war, though Mr. Guy commented beforehand, ‘let us hope that the weather conditions are favourable’, indicating that the system may have been less than foolproof during a nuclear war! The only other major event of note that year was another Audibility Test o f AR Sirens on Deeside and in Chester, on 20 October, which included those at Saltney, Hawarden Bridge, Sandycroft, Broughton, Connah’s Quay, Flint and Queensferry. Al 1 hospitals, schools, OAP homes, the Emergency Services, ROC Wrexham, RAF Sealand and Kinmel Park Camp at Rhyl were given advance warning o f the trial, and anybody who did not know about it before soon would have. Just prior to this, the County also updated its Reception plans again, with 169,650 people expected to arrive in eight days by train via Chester and Mouldsworth, as well as 33,500 by car from Liverpool, and an undetermined number by bus.1 09 During spring 1960, District CD Controllers and Clerks concentrated not on the upcoming World Cup but courses held at Y Nyth in Holywell. These covered national planning, information about the new administration’s Home Defence Review, local plans for mobilisation and Corps deployment, details o f associated services like the UK Warning and Monitoring Organisation (which replaced the ROC) and the functions of Districts in a nuclear environment.1 1 0 One o f those attending the course was the Clerk from Connah’s Quay UDC, and his locale was visited by the Corps’ ‘travelling circus’ o f vehicles and demo personnel in mid-1966. They set up a Mobile Control with radio and cable links, which supplemented the CLBS that was tested on 29 June 1966. It was just as well the CLB equipment was put through its paces too, for Mr. L . Williams, the Clerk o f Connah’s Quay UDC, informed Chief Constable Atkins that ‘no signal was received through the CLB Equipment.. and I can only assume that it is out o f order ! ‘ . ‘” Undaunted by this unimpressive secret test, the Corps continued with its public duties, including on 18 September Exercise DeelifV. This was designed to see how the Corps and other agencies might cope with the transfer of 60-70 casualties across the River Dee i f the bridges at Queensferry were unusable. Wardens were stationed at loading and landing points either side o f the river, HQ Signals set up a line from Pantasaph to Birkenhead, and 250 people from these and other Sections rounded off the day with a meal provided by the Welfare crew.1 1″
By the end o f 1966, Flintshire’s CD Bulletin could report that the County Control was almost near completion beneath the Fire Station in Mold, just in time for the announcement of yet another government reorganisation of CD in the new year.1 1 3 By this time the Corps strength was as follows:-
HQ Intelligence and Operations 12; HQ Signals 96;
HQ Science and Recce 16; Scientific Intelligence Officers 4;
Ambulance/First A i d 150; Wardens 42; Rescue 42; Welfare 337;
District Controllers 11; Instructors 71
The duties o f the various Heads o f CD Sections and other officials and their supporting staffs were contained in the County Council CD Directory o f November 1966, and these covered the Standing Orders currently in force. The HQ Intelligence and Operations Sub-Section was to deploy and co-ordinate Mobile Controls from the County HQ, (housing 49 staff beneath the County Fire HQ in Mold, with a back-up facility to be situated in the basement o f the new Shire Hall being constructed in the town). Signals had to try to maintain communications between the numerous Sections
and other forces, and Science and Recce Officers would be sent from Mold to various places in CD vehicles to carry out tests for radiation and other toxins. Additionally, the Warden Section would muster its manpower at Duty Stations in District Control HQs and Warden/Patrol Posts, and they would be at the sharp end of civil assistance, operating by bicycle in their areas and using fire-fighting equipment, First A i d materials, road lamps, tools, radiation dosimeters, vapour detectors and radios. The Wardens were meant to co-operate with other ground units like the Rescue Section, which was instructed to gather at six Stations in Overton, Holywell, Flint, Connah’s Quay, Mold, and Trelawnyd. Their kit included an array o f heavy tools such as axes, crowbars, shovels, lifting gear, tarpaulins, chains, floodlights and ladders, all o f which were stored at two Stations, each o f which also had three vehicles and a despatch rider, over and above the material at the Section’s 17 Posts. The Rescuers would assist the public, tend to casualties, give the able-bodied ‘crash’ courses in rescue techniques, and enlist their support in volunteer Parties with radiac equipment and vehicles in attendance.
Others who would be on the scene during a war from the beginning would be Ambulance and First Aid personnel directed by officers at Rhyl, Holywell, Queensferry, Mold, and Flint Ambulance Stations, and Overton CD HQ. They would liaise with hospitals and organised field Detachments and Parties, and deliver casualty care, before loading them for transfer to hospital or FMAU, using ambulances and vans that were to be converted for emergency
usage by the Holway Garage in Holywell, White Rose Garage in Rhyl, Pierce’s Garage in Queensferry, Drury Breakdown o f Mold, the Premier Garage, Flint and Watson’s Garage in Overton. The total number of vehicles that should be available was to be 108 ambulances and 51 others, which would be used by six Ambulance Platoons and four First Aid Platoons, (with a combined War Establishment of 474 people). Finally, after-care would be given at Rest Centres by the Welfare Section.
The County’s War Book o f 1966 detailed the County CD system in greater depth too, and it listed the District Councils that would co-operate with the County, and the resources that could be expected to command, as follows:-
The six County Sectors were based around Mold, Trelawnyd, Holywell, Flint, Connah’s Quay and Overton, and one o f the essential hems that they held were the radiac meters that would be distributed during a crisis. There were
30 at Mold, 29 in Trelawnyd, 26 at Flint and 27 each at Connah’s Quay, Holywell and Overton. Further, 66 were kept at Warden Posts, 150 at Patrol Posts and 20 per Welfare Section at each o f Districts B 1 to B11. Others were held by the Rescue and Ambulance Sections, the Flintshire Constabulary had 593, the Fire Service 50, the GPO 70, the Gas Board had 64 and MAFF personnel held 100, (the latter more than likely being housed at the MAFF emergency foodstuff Buffer Depot that had been set up in 1964 in the surface accommodation o f the Valley Works at Rhydymwyn, which in 1966 was run by the Property Services Agency for the central government).
The County CD Directory added details about Warden and Patrol Posts, the latter of which were to be established in places like hotels, pubs, vicarages, farms, banks, a Conservative Club, a T&GWU office, garages, schools and certain distinctive premises like the Castle Camp at Caerwys, Kinmel Park Camp near Rhyl, Cornist Hall in Flint, Courtaulds at Greenfield and Rhyl FC.1 14
Decline and fall In November 1966, County and District CD officials attended one of the ongoing courses at Brondyffryn Hall, near Denbigh, and received the usual indoctrination about the CD organisation and its functions, including films like, ‘The situation at D+15 Days’ and the apdy titled ‘Up the creek”) Other training in 1967 included courses on Civilian Warning Point Operators at the Police Divisional HQ at Prestatyn on 14 February and 2 March, and at police stations in Hawarden and Overton on 16 February and 1 March, and 27 February respectively. But, taking their lead from the government, the local authorities wound down their CD preparations over the rest of the year, and only one major exercise was held ‘to test the [County] Control and its staff’. This was deemed ‘a complete success’, as was ’emergency’ feeding o f some 400 firemen who were at the Kinmel Camp on 11 June. Then, on 5 September 1967, the Home Office announced yet another reorganisation of CD and recalled some equipment, disposed of other stocks and retained the remainder on a ‘care and maintenance’ or (moth-balled) basis.1 1 6 The writing was on the wall for the CD Corps in Flintshire, and the Connah’s Quay UDC for one planned to demolish its Air Raid Shelter in King’s Road at a cost of £150 . 117 Detente between the superpowers and the Labour Government’s determination to shake up British defence arrangements ensured that CD was put onto the back-burner, and the Corps gradually faded from the scene by 1968.
A church service and parade was staged at Mold on 31 March 1968 to mark the demise o f the CD Corps and the AFS, and this was attended by the Lord-Lieutenant, the Chairman o f the County Council and other dignitaries. On
the following day the CD Corps (Revocation) Regulations, 1968, came into effect, bringing to a close this chapter in the county’s preparations for a nuclear war. In fact, another one opened rather sooner than the Labour Government may have expected, when the Conservatives returned to office in 1970, but that lies outside the scope o f this article. Suffice it to say that in the 20 years o f the post-war CD Corps up to 1968, Flintshire set an example for the rest o f Wales, both in terms of enthusiasm for CD and in the skill of its volunteers, Council officers and other concerned agents. This meant that the County was as well prepared as anywhere in the country for another war,1 1 8 and in all likelihood the Rhydymwyn Depot could have been kitted out as a back-up central government war HQ, potentially giving Flintshire a key role in national survival as well. 1 1 9 Thankfully the County’s substantial resources were never called upon in this regard, but in the face of a terrible threat all those who participated in CD in Flintshire made a commendable effort over the years and one which stood out among all the local authorities o f the Principality.
- See the leading authority on CD matters, D.Cambell, War Plan UK (1983), 15. In this article ‘ Flintshire’ refers to the old pre-1974 county rather than the 1996 version.
- CD Committee [CDC] meeting, 21 July 1949, and Report by Clerk of the County, n.d., County Clerk’s Dept. CD Records, FC/16/259/1 18, Flintshire County Record Office, Hawarden [FCRO]. On local ARP plans in 1946, for instance, T.L.Jones, The Holywell workhouses
(Greenfield 1995), 51.
- CDC meeting, 26 Sept. 1949: FCC note, n.d.: Report of the Council, n.d., and CD ‘Delegation of Functions’ n.d. (c.April 1950), ibid .
- CDC, 18 Oct. 1949, ibid ; Prestatyn UDC Enrollments 3 Dec. 1949, AN 1679/125, FCRO.
- CDC, 1 Feb. 1950, FC/16/259/118, FCRO. On the turbulent history of Flint and Buckley see, T.L.Jones, Rioting in North-East Wales, 1536-1918 (Wrexham 1997) passim.
- CD Report by Clerk of the Co., n.d. (c. March 1950), FC/16/258/1 18, FCRO.
- CD ‘Delegation of Functions’, FCC Clerk, n.d. (c.April 1950), ibid.
- Welsh Board of Health [WBH], Circular, 18 April [950: Min. of Health ‘Memo on Evacuation’ (HMSO 1950), AN1679/123, FCRO. CDC .Minutes, 3 Vlay, 7 July, and 15 Nov., 1950,
- FC/16/259/118, FCRO. On the Hawarden UDC, CDCs,10 Nov., 8 Dec.,1949 and 12 Jan., 3 March, 14 Sept.,19 Oct., 1950, RD/A/1/35, FCRO.
- Prestatyn UDC Meetings, 27 may, 20 Sept., 8 Nov., 1950, AN1679/122, FCRO.
- W.H.Jones, WBH, to FCC, 24 Aug.; FCC Memo, 20 Sept., 1950, BD51/22, Public Record Office of England & Wales, Kew. [PRO].
- E.K.Jones Memo, 5 Dec. 1950, BD51/22. Incidentally, Mr. Flaydn Rees’ house, off Gwernaffield Road, Mold, was fitted with special communication lines for use in an emergency.
- FCC Vlemos, Dec. 1950, Accommodation Clearance Register, Jan. 1951, BD51/22, PRO; CD, 31 Jan.1951, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- FCC memos, ibid .
- CDC, 15Nov.ibid; FCC Emergency Accommodation, 20 Dec. 1950, BD51/22, PRO. Also on air raid shelters, for instance, Min. of Works, Technical guide on the provision of air raid shelters (Nov, 1950), FC/C/4/2/59, FCRO.
- CD Officer’s Report in CDC, 31 Jan., FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- Prestatyn UDC meeting, 22 Dec. 1950; CD Recruiting Week, Jan. 1951, ANT679/122; CDC meeting, 31 Jan. 1951, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- Hawarden UDC, 8 Feb., RD/A/1/36; CDC 31 Jan. 1951, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- CDC and CD Officer Report, 31 Jan. 1951, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- Prestatyn UDC, 9 March, AN 1679/122; Hawarden UDC, 8 March, RD/A/1 /36; CD Circular ‘ Recruitment’, in CD Officer Report, 1 Aug. 1951, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- W. Thomas, MO IT, to W. H. Jones, FCC, 21 March, BD/51/24; WVS Memo (n.d., c.March 1951 ). BD51/20: memo, 5 June 1951, BD51/24, PRO.
- W. Thomas. MOH. to W. E. Button, Denbighshire, 5 June. BD51/20: CD’ Welfare Functions’, 18 June 1951, BD51/24, PRO.
- CDC, 2 May 1951, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- CDCs, 1 Aug., ibid , 20 July, BD51/24; E.K.Jones, to W. E. Button, 1 Sept., BD51/20; CD Welfare Section note, 1 Sept. 1951, BD51/24, PRO.
- CDC, 2 May 1951, FC/16/259/1 18. FCRO.
- CDC, 1 Aug., ibid; and also on training, Prestatyn UDC, 9 Sept. 1951, AN 1679/122, FCRO.
- CDCs, 7 Nov. 1951; CD Officer Report in. 3 Nov. 1953, FC/16/259/T 18; especially re films at the Queensferry Plaza and Connah’s Quay Hippodrome, Hawarden UDC, 6 Dec. 1951, RD/A/1/36, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report/CDC, 6 Feb. 1952, and CDC 27 Jan. 1953, FC/16/259/118; Hawarden UDC, 14 Feb. 1952, RD/A/1/36; 246 people visited the gas vans in nine Districts. Also on recruitment, Recruitment for CD and Allied Services ( Home Office, )ct. 1950), AN 1679/122. FCRO.
- Hawarden UDC, 14 Feb. 1952, RD/A/1/36, FCRO,
- E.K.Jones, 27 Aug., BD51/20; Memo, 25 March, and W.H.Jones, FCC, to E.K.Jones, 19 June 1952, BD51/24 ‘Rest Centre Accommodation Survey’, WBH, (1952), BD51/22, PRO; CDC.27 Jan. 1953, FC/16/259/1 16, FCRO.
- Timetable of course for potential instructors of Welfare Sections (n.d.,1952), BD51/24, PRO.
- W.H.Jones, FCC, to Prestatyn UDC, 14 Oct., 14 Nov. 1952, and Prestatyn UDC meetings. 1 & 2 Jan. 1953, AN 1679/122, FCRO.
- At least one Rescue Party assisted in an exercise at Chester on 16 Nov. 1952, CDC, 27 Jan. 1953, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- CDC, 27 Jan. 1953, ibid ; Prestatyn UDC, 26 & 3 1 Jan. 1953, AN 1679/122, FCRO.
- Prestatyn UDC, 7 March 1953, ibid .
- CDCs, 27 Jan., 26 .May 1953, FC/16/259/118, FCRO; Hawarden UDC, 9 April 1953, RD/A/1/37, FCRO; CD Welfare Section Training memo, 5 Feb. 1953, AN1679/122, FCRO.
- WVS demo, n.d., and CD Welfare Training Section memo, 5 Feb. 1953, BD51/24, PRO; Hawarden UDC 12 Jan. 1953, RD/A/1/37, FCRO. By Feb. 1953, 219 WVS women had had Welfare training.
- CD Officer Report, CDC, 26 May 1953, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- E.H.Jones, FCC, ‘Rest Centre Provision’, 30 June and to WBF1, 8 Sept., ‘Number of Premises Earmarked’ 21 Oct. 1953, BD51/22, PRO.
- ‘North Wales Demonstration Day’,n.d. (1953), AN1679/123, FCRO.
- CD Officer Reports, CDC, 5 May, 3 Nov 1954, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- On recruiting, CD Officer Report, 3 Nov., ibid : FCC to PrestatynY;DC, 12 July 1954, AN 1679/125, FCRO. Re earmarking, E.H.Jones, FCC, to WBH, 26 March 1954, BD51 22, PRO.
- CD work in, CDC, 5 May 1955, and CD Officer Report, 3 Nov. 1954, ibid. On the Rhydymwyn Depot, see T.LJones.The role of Rhydymwyn in chemical warfare’ Clwyd Historian , 35 (Autumn 1995), 18-26.
- FCC ‘ Emergency Feeding Scheme’, (n.d., c. 1955), BD51/22, PRO. The CD Committee assertred that, in a nuclear attack on Liverpool, ‘existing air raid shelters in the County would afford adequate protection against the residual ratiation’, although on what basis is unclear! See. CDC, I 1 may 1955, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- FCC to CD Committee, 7 Feb., and CD Officer Report, 1 1 May 1955, ibid.
- Rhyl CD Volunteers Register, 1950-5, UD/F/1/127, FCRO. Others included a company director, hotel owner, clerk, joiner, teacher, grocer, electrician, building inspector, litter, bricklayer, cook, painter, labouror, taxi driver, chemist, engineer, scaffolder, caterer, accountant, disabled and unemployed.
- Flintshire CD Corps Bulletin # 1 (Sept. 1955), and HQ Circ, 15 March 1955, Standard Training Syllabuses, 1955, AN 1679/123; CDCs, 1 1 May & 31 Aug. 1955, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- CDCs, 31 Aug. & 1 Nov. 1955, FC/16/259/1 18, FRCO.
- CD Officer Report, 30 Oct., ibid ; Prestatyn UDC, 28 June, and W.H.Jones, FCC, to UDC, 15 Nov., AN1679/125; Ch. Billeting Officer, ‘Billeting Study’, Dec. 1956, AN1679/123, FCRO. W.H.Jones to WBH, 20 April 1956, BD5I/24, PRO.
- CD Officer Report, 30 Oct., FC/16/259/118; Welfare Training Section Note 4 (n.d., c.1956), and HO Circ., 2 Nov. 1956, AN1679/123, FCRO.
- J.G.W. Butcher,’Evacuation and Billeting’, 7 Nov., and CDC, ‘COH Training’. 31 Dec. 1956, BD51/24, PRO.
- CDC, 30 Oct., FC/16/259/118; L.W. Bindon, FCC, to M. Edwards, Prestatyn UDC, ‘ HQ Section Training’, 8 Feb., AN 1679/123; FCC to UDC, 8 Feb. 1957, AN 1679/125, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report, 5 Nov., FC/16/259/118; L.W.Bindon FCC, to M.Edwards, Prestatyn •UDC,’ HQ Section Reorganisation’, (n.d., c.mid-1957), AN1679/125, FCRO: J.Patterson, UDC, to W.H.Jones, FCC, 29 Aug., 13 & 14 Sept., and FCC Circ., 26 Aug. 1957, AN 1679/125, FCRO.
- Also on wartime water supplies at this time, Welsh 1TLG memo, 19 Aug. 1957, ibid.
- J.G.W. Butcher, memo, 3 Dec. 1957, BD51/24; FCC to Butcher, 10 Jan., BD51/22, PRO; FCC to Prestatyn UDC, 10 Jan. 1958, AN1679/125, FCRO. CD Officer report, CDC, 20 May, FC/16/259/118; HO Circ. 29 Sept. 1958, AN1679/123, FCRO. Regarding the Subregional HQ for N.Wales, see T.L.Jones,’The role of Rhydymwyn in nuclear warfare’ Clwyd Historian, 36 ( Spring 1996), 2-11. On the apparent lock of a N.Wales Control, Cambell, 75,82.
- HO Circ. ,29 Sept. 1958, AN 1679/123, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report, 20 Jan. 1959, FCRO.
- W.H.Jones, FCC, to VI.E.Edwards, Prestatyn UDC, 19 Nov. and ME. Edwards to W.H.Jones, 22 Nov. 1958, AN1679/123, FCRO.
- CD Training, 15 Jan. 1959, BD51/24, PRO; Flintshire County Herald (18 March 1960).
- Ch. Const., to FCC, 26 Feb. 1959, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- CD Warden Section Report, 10 March and CDCs, 10 March, 14 July 1959, ibid.
- CDC, 14 July, ibid ; Cambell, 82.
- Manual of CD Number I ( HMSO 1959 ), Llangollen UDC, UDD/B/1/43, Denbighshire County Records Office, Ruthin [DCRO|.
- HO Circ., 27 Aug. 1959; HO ‘Welfare Section Training Bulletin* 1- Emergency Child-birth’,(1959).AN1679/ 123, FCRO.
- CDC, 17 Nov. 1059, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- Colwyn Bay Conf. notes, 23 Oct. 1959, BD51/20, PRO.
- ‘CD Exercise’, Denbighshire County Council [DCC], notes, Nov. 1959, 14 Nov. 1959, BD51/20, PRO.
- Ch. Fire Officer, to CDC, 17 Nov., and CDC, 29 March 1959, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- On Rhydymwyn, T.L.Jones.C/wyd Historian Vols 35-6, op.cii. CD Officer Reports, 17 Nov. 1959, 29 March; CDC, 29 March 1960, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- CD Reports / CDC, ibid .
- HO Circs., 18 Feb., 29 April 1960; Home Office Rescue Section Training Bulletin # 2 ( HMSO 1960 ), AN1679/ 123; CDC, 28 June 1960, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- HO / Min. ol’ Health, CD Memo., c.May 1960, AN 1679/ 123, FCRO. Parties also had medical supplies, 64 blankets, 64 slings and 32 stretchers.
- Home Office HQ Training Bulletin # 3 – HQ Signals Sub- Section ( 1960), ibid.
- HO Circ., 30 may 1960, ibid .
- FCC, ‘Revised EF Scheme”, May 1960, which also lists emergency accomodation, BD51/22, PRO; CDC, 28 June 1960, FC/16/259/118, FCRO; Flintshire County Herald ( 18 March 1960 ).
- On Rhydymwyn and atomic research see, T.L.Jones, Clwyd Hisorian Vol.36. On the FCC and Whitehall, CD Officer, 28 June 1960, FC/16/259/118, FCRO. Sub-Regional Controls are listed in H / MoHealth CD Memo, (n.d.,c.May 1960, AN 1679/122, FCRO, but there is not one for N. Wales.
- CDC, 28 June 1960, CD Officer Report, 10 Jan. 1961, FC/16/259/118, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report, 25 Oct., ibid ; FCC to Prestatyn UDC 20 Sept. 1960, A.NT679/122, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report, 10 Jan, 1961 op.cii. The CD Ambulance Section’s fleet consisted of one MCU, one Signals van, one recce Land-Rover, one field cable and trailer, two equipment vans, one Rescue vehicle, one First Aid vehicle and two ambulances.
- CD Officer report, 11 April, FC/16/259/118; FIO Circ., 1 feb., ANT679/126; L.W.Bindon, FCC CD, to Prestatyn UDC, 25 Jan. 1961, ibid . – /123, FCRO.
- CD Pocket-book # 4 – Warden Section (FIO / FIMSO 1961 ), AN 1679/126, FCRO.
- CD Training Memo # 6 – the evacuation of casualties (HMSO 1961); CD HQ Sections – Signals Training # 3 (FIO 1961), AN1679/124, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report, 31 Oct. 1961, FC/16/259/118, FCR
- CD Officer Report, CDC, ibid .
- E / COFI Meeting Notes, D.L.G. Snook, DCC, 10 Nov. 1961, BD51/24, PRO; Liverpool Daily Post ( 31 October 1961 ).
- FCC Clerk Report, 4 March 1963, Appendix 2 (1 Nov. 1962) FC/16/259/118; Min. HLG Circs., 28 March 1962, AN 1679/ 123, FCRO.
- CD Officer Reports, 11 Jan. 1961, 6 Nov. 1962, FC/16/259/ 118; HO Circs., 2 May, 12 July 1962, AS 1679/123; L.W.Bindon to J.Paterson, Prestatyn UDC, May 1962, /126, FCRO; L.W.Bindon to J.G.WButcher, BOH, 6 Feb., 16 May 1962, BD51/24, PRO.
- HO CD Wales HQ, Copt Glas IV. (n.d. 1962 ), W.H.Jones, FCC, to J.Patterson, Prestatyn UDC, 23 March, 25 April 1962, ANT 679/126, FCRO.
- CD Officer Report, 6 Nov. 1962, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- 90 HO Memo on the CD Corps (1962): CD Syllabus for Local Training #1 – HQ Section ( Intelligence Operations) (HMSO 1962); Welsh 1Vlin. HLG, memo, 30 Oct. 1962, AN 1679′ 123, FCRO.
- CD Handbook #10 ( HMSO 1963), ibid .
- FCC Clerk Report, 4 March, CDC, 12 March, FC/16/259/118: HO Circ., 2 April 1963, AN1679/123, FCRO.
- FCC to Prestatyn UDC, 8 March, AN 1679/126; HO, G.H. McConnell, memo, 17 May 1963, /123, FCRO.
- Welsh BOH, to County Councils, 24 May 1963, ibid .
- CDCs, 21 May, 7 June 1963, FC/16/259/118; Flintshire CD Bulletin (Sept. 1963), AN 1679/123; FCC to Prestatyn UDC, 11 July, /126, FCRO; J.G.W.Butcher, memo, 19 July 1963, BD51/24, PRO.
- Re national reorganisation, Cambell, 87. On the FCC, Flintshire CD Bulletin (Sept. 1963); Prestatyn Public Health Inspector [PHI] CD Recruiting Campaign 18 Sept. 1963, AN 1679/123; PHI to Prestatyn UDC, 18 Sept. 1963, /124; CD Officer Report, CDC, 10 Sept. 1963, FC/16/259/118, FCRO; J.G.W.Butcher, memo, 19 July 1963, BD51/24, PRO.
- Flintshire CD Bulletin (Sept. 1963); BOH Training Syllabus and CD Syllabus for Local Training #8 – First Aid and Home Nursing (HMSO 1963); HO CD Circ., 2 Dec. 1963, AN1679/ 123, FCRO.
- CDCs, 10 & 24 Sept. 1963, FC/16/259/118, FCRO. Rail plans in, J.G.W.Butcher, to R.H.Guy, 26 Sept. 1963, BD51/23, PRO.
- CDCs, 5 Nov., 19 Dec. 1963 and 3 Nov. 1964, which recorded the overall cost of CD as £35,000 pa.,ibid ; MAFF Emergency Feeding – Accommodation 13 Jan. 1964; M.A.Crabbe, to FCC, 21 Nov. 1965, BD51/25, PRO.
- 100 CD Officer Report, 10 March 1964, FC/16/259/118; Flintshire CD Bulletin #2 (Jan. 1964), AN 1679/124, FCRO.
- 101 Flintshire CD Bulletin #3 (April 1964), ibid ; CDC,16 June 1964, FC/16/259/1 18, FCRO.
- 102 FCC Clerk Report, CDC, 22 Sept. 1964, ibid .
- 103 Min. HLG, memo, 4 June 1964; County of Flint (1964), AN 1679/124, FCRO.
- 104 CD Officer Report, 30 Sept., 3 Nov., & CDC 22 Sept. 1964, FC/16/259/118; FCC to Prestatyn UDC, 29 July and 2 Sept. 1964, ANT679/124, FCRO; Flintshire CD Bulletin (Summer 1964), BD51/24,
- 105 Clerk’s Meeting Extract, 8 Oct., & FCC to District Councils 10 Sept. 1964, AN 1679/124; CDC, 22 Sept., CD Officer Report, 3 Nov. 1964, ibid
- 106 CDC, 22 Sept., CD Officer Report, 3 Nov. 1964, ibid .
- 107 FCC ‘CDTraining Programme – Welfare”, Oct. – Nov. 1964, DD/DM/902/24, DCRO; Prestatyn UDC, to R.Guy, 17 Nov. 1964, AN 1679/124, FCRO.
- 108 Re Wardens, FCC, to Prestatyn UDC, 5 Nov. 1964, AN 1679/ 123, FCRO; D.L.G. Snook, DCC, CD Circ., 26 Oct. and Note of Meeting, 10 Nov., (12 Nov. 1964), BD5I/19 PRO.
- 109 Flintshire CD Bulletin (May 1965); Ch. Constable,” Air Raid Warning”, 12 Sept. 1965, ANT 679/124, FCRO.
- Flintshire CD Bulletin (Summer 1966); Wales : Courses for Controllers (1966), UD/B/1’43, FCRO.
- R.H.Guy to L.Williams, Connah’s Quay UDC Clerk, 29 July: Ch. Con. Atkins, to Connah’s Quay, 17 June; Connah’s Quay to Ch. Con.. 29 June 1966, ibid. FCC Dispersal & Reception Plan, 4 Oct. 1965, BD51/23, PRO.
- Flintshire CD Bulletin ( Summer 1966 ), ibid .
- Flintshire CD Bulletin ( Dec. 1966 ); HO Statement, 14 Dec. 1966, ibid.
- Flintshire County War Book ( 1966 ); FCC CD Chain of Command and Directory ( 2 Nov. 1966 ); CD Strength. Principal Officers. Radiac Instrument Requirements, Duties, Standing Orders ( 1966), FC/C/4/2/58, FCRO. On the County Control, Western Mail ( 21 Jan. 1967 ), which notes its cost as £18,000. Regarding the Rhydymwyn site, see T.L.Jones, Clwyd Historian 36.
- FCC to Connah’s Quay UDC, 12 Sept. 1966, UD/B/143.FCRO
- Flintshire Constabulary, to Connah”s Quay UDC, 3 March; Connah’s Quay UDC to R.Atkins, 6 Feb.; Flintshire CD Bulletin ( July 1967 ); HO Circ., 5 Sept. 1967, UD/B/1/43, FCRO.
- Connah’s Quay UDC, to W.J.Ross Plant Hire, 6 Oct.\961,ibid
- FCC, to Connah’s Quay UDC, 16 March; HO Circ., 29 March ; 1968, ibid . Records for the post-1967 period fall under the Thirty Year Rule, and will be released in due course at the PRO and FCRO.
- 1 19 T.L.Jones, op.cii .
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