1939 - 1945

Crosby Herald 10th August 1940
Valuable A.R.P. Service
WHAT is the Litherland Motor-Cycle Corps? Very few people knew that it existed until Monday evening, when the Chairman of the Civil Defence Committee (J. Lloyd Parry) drew attention to it in a brief report of the A.R.P. activities.

It was, however, inaugurated some time ago, when Litherland advertised with local authorites for men willing to join such a service. And everyone had great difficulty in getting them—except Litherland. Why? Perhaps the A.R.P. Officer for the district, Mr R. Arrick, has the answer.
   “ The secret is, I believe, in obtaining the services of a really keen club cyclist.” he said, in an interview with the Herald yesterday. “ If you do that he'll immediately get others, friends of his, to join. The others will then get more. In our case it was Mr Warburton, of Kirk-road, who started it. Quite a number of the men come from that area now.”
   Although the Corps is still in a preparatory stage, there are more that a score of members already. The first photograph of one of the units is shown above.


Corps' Qualifications
“ Qualifications needed by the men.” said Mr Arrick.” are a good geographical knowledge of the district, and of outside districts too, as they will then prove most useful as emergency quides to patrols going to the assistance of any outside districts. Litherland has been lucky there, in so far as the men have already travelled the roads for pleasure. They also have exercises. When they recently contacted
Ormskirk they delivered a message only a few minutes after a telephone communication would have arrived.”
   “ Then they must also take A.R.P. training and be prepared to perform about 12 hours part-time duty each week (all the service is voluntary). Mr R. M. Kerrigan, secretary to the men, has put in a lot of work there, formulating the rotas. And everyone must turn out immediately upon hearing an air raid warning; they have their headquarters in a large Council garage. Someone is on duty at each A.R.P. and A.F.S. depot each evening.
   “ The reason for inaugurating such a service is obvious. In the event of a breakdown of telephonic communication, reports can still be delivered. The men contact wardens' posts where there is always information regarding damage which may be caused, and carry messages quicker than the wardens can write them.”

The Men of the Corps
“ Then part of the Corps is allocated to the Auxiliary Fire Service. Their duty is to commence patrolling the streets in opposite direction to the pumps so that any fires there may be, reported immediately. There are many other ways in which the Service is proving useful.”
   “ All the patrol routes are predetermined, although it must be remembered that such organisations should be elastic to a certain extent; and the whole of the Corps is supple-
mented by messengers on pedal cycles.”
   What are these men like who after working all day—many of them on shifts, and nearly all in reserved occupations—volunteer for what is obviously a somewhat strenuous service? Well, most of them come from the engineering trades: there is even a crane driver, a bus and tram driver, a dock labourer and a baker. There is one man, for example, who works all day until 10 in the evening. He is on duty at 11 o'clock.
   “ And there is one thing,” said the A.R.P. officer, “ you can hear when a message is coming.”


Litherland & Ford Digital © Ronnie Cusworth 2002-2007