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Reference number: 1396

Date: 1940 - 1942

Director: [filmed by Archie Craig and ? Nisbet]

Production company: The Half Crown Film Unit

Sound: silent

Original format: 9.5mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 30.42 mins

Description: A drama / documentary about the Civil Defence services during wartime Edinburgh, this film contains shots of the messenger Corps in action alerting all services during ARP - including the system used for alerting all services in the event of a air raid, "Action Stations" during and after a raid, inside the Report Centre and Civil Defence Operations Room, National Fire Service in action, rescue services and first aid.

Two reels of orig three reel film, started c.1940, on ARP services in Edinburgh. Action shot in Davidson Mains area of Edinburgh. The Report Centre was in Roseburn Park. ARP post a re-inforced shop at Blackhall. "Incident" staged at Craigleith Quarry. Film-maker Archie Craig was one of the messengers on motorbike.

Shotlist: [shotlisted from VHS, manual control track. Please note overall running time at actual speed of 18fps = 30.42 mins]

[REEL 1]
title and credits (0.23) Messengers meet regularly for training which follows closely that undergone by the Warden Service people arrive by motorbike and cycle, note the gasmasks worn at all times. They enter building (1.03) That's a "D.R." - that was! C.D."Commandos" in training gvs same, includes shots crossing river on bicycle (1.56) Bridgeless rivers present no difficulties to these "Tough Guys" (2.38) ALERT c/u siren and gvs action stations at the ARP Main Post, as people gather from the surrounding area (3.33) Inside an Action Station during and 'Alert' ints office where man puts on helmet (3.52) Wardens, Messengers, Home Guard report for duty signing in procedures, men arguing over telephone numbers (6.06) An Incident in a Raid gvs of building collapasing, there appears to be a man on the roof (6.24) A Warden phones his reports:- a) to NFS Headquarters b) to Report Centre gvs same (7.06) 'Phones are out of action! gvs as men try to operate phone (7.28) The Messenger Service goes into action messages are distributed (7.39) Operational Control is applied to Messengers. Destination, time out is noted ints control room as information is logged on blackboard and paper (8.32) A messenger is sent off with an 'Express' message gvs same, ints control room where maps are consulted (10.05) The Head Warden decides that this particular incident requires special precautions and issues instructions accordingly ints control room (10.15) A Typical Message c/u paper message, messages are distributed to messenger team (10.52) A Messenger becomes a Casualty shot of injured figure lying on ground (11.03) A Warden "Goes to It" - the message is found and sent on gvs same (11.27) A Messenger renders First Aid - his training includes it gvs same (11.47) -blank-

[REEL 2]
(12.05) men in the messenger service do paperwork (12.23) Messengers arrive at Report Centre men race to arrive on time, carrying their bicycles if necessary (13.05) Identity and Appointment Cards must be carried entrance, cards are checked (13.22) You will get through when you produce your Cards entrance area (13.42) Phones being out of action, the "IN" telephone girls write out six copies of each message and these are passed through the appropriate hatches to Operations Room ints same, note there is a poster on the wall reading 'Our Allies, the Colonies' (14.18) Operations Room at Report Centre ints same, including Officer in Charge (14.33) An Officer plots the incidents [oof] gvs same. Huge wall chart is used to record data, as well as blackboards recording such incidents as 'Blocked Roads' (16.34) [focus returns] The essential services write out messages calling out their parties message forms are filled, from, for example, First Aid, Ambulance, Casualty Service, Rescue and Repair Services, Piublic Utilities, Police - these messages are all sent through the "Out" box (17.30) These Messages are carried by Messenger Service the messengers leave on bicycle 'Mind My Bike!' (18.01) The N.F.S. Arrives fire engine approaches, gvs scene of incident and quickly set up hose to douser flames (18.50) The Rescue Service gets to work gvs same (19.48) First Aid Party stands ready gvs same, as ambulance arrives. Everyone gets to work digging etc (20.42) A Casualty is brought out [slightly oof] gvs same (21.27) "Raiders Passed" signal has been heard ints control room where the men are happy to hear the signal, they light up cigarettes (22.06)