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Gas Masks Distributed at Bridlington - 1938

Mike Wilson, Local Author and Historian

From Bridlington Free Press, 1st October, 1938:

Gas Masks Distributed in Bridlington

Work Carried Out Smoothly and Expeditiously

The Positioning of Various Trenches

Work in connection with Bridlington's A.R.P. arrangements began in earnest on Tuesday. Motor lorries were sent to Nottingham for sufficient gas masks for the entire population, and approximately 100 men were engaged in digging trenches to provide air raid shelters in the open spaces in the town.

This intensive activity followed on a special meeting of the Air Raid Precautions Committee on Monday night. It was reported at that meeting that the respirators for the civilian population had not then been received in the Borough, but the Town Clerk was taking all possible steps to obtain them at the earliest possible moment. 21,000 gas masks were ordered.

As the matter was considered of such urgency, arrangements were made for lorries to go to the respirator stores in Nottingham and transport the gas masks to Bridlington without delay.

Arrival of Gas Masks

A substantial number of gas masks arrived at 2am on Wednesday, and they were immediately unloaded at the Electricity Works and a number of willing volunteers, including the Mayor and Town Clerk, straightaway assisted in the assembling of them. Special distribution centres were arranged in the various wards, and the work of distributing commenced on Thursday morning, proceeding smoothly and steadily.

The following were the distributing centres: Quay North Ward: Trinity Parish Hall; Quay South Ward: Christ Church Parish Hall; Old Town East Ward: Priory Institute; Old Town West Ward: Baptist Schoolroom; Hilderthorpe North Ward: Temperance Institute; Hilderthorpe South Ward: Emmanuel Parish Hall.

Late News:

Owing to the improvement to the international situation, it was decided at Bridlington on Friday morning to suspend the distribution of gas masks and the digging of trenches.

The Mayor and Town Clerk greatly appreciate the wonderful response there was to the appeal for voluntary helpers.