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Throwback Thursday: Harpenden preparations for World War Two air raids

PUBLISHED: 17:54 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:55 30 May 2019

A Harpenden Civil Defence Service exercise taken in August 1942 behind Park Hall in Leyton Road. Picture: From the collection of John Cooper

A Harpenden Civil Defence Service exercise taken in August 1942 behind Park Hall in Leyton Road. Picture: From the collection of John Cooper

Archant

World War Two Civil Defence classes went some way to protect civilians around Britain from air raids which were ravaging swathes of the country.

This is a picture of one of the Harpenden classes, where wardens could practice giving first aid to a 'bombing casualty'.

It was taken in August 1942 behind Park Hall in Leyton Road.

An organisation within the remit of the Civil Defence Service was the Air Raid Precautions (ARP), which had many duties including ensuring the blackout was maintained.

The Harpenden ARP controller was a member of the Urban District Council and managing director of Harpenden Diaries in Station Road, a Mr FN Gingell.

The only Harpenden house to be destroyed by a bomb during World War Two was 10 Crabtree Lane in 1940, but even in that instance the mother and daughter inside escaped without injury.

This picture is published as part of our Throwback Thursday highlight, which aims to show just how much the town has changed over time, using old pictures of what it used to be like.

It is from the collection of John Cooper, an author who pens pictorial history books about Harpenden.

He has written A Postcard from Harpenden, Harpenden Through Time, Harpenden: The Postcard Collection, and Harpenden: A Village in Wartime.

His newest title, Harpenden History Tour, is coming out on June 15.

Do you have an old picture to share? Let us know at enjoyhapendenmore@archant.co.uk

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