ONE of the legacies of the Second World War in East Lancashire was a commitment that the area would always be prepared for the worst should there ever be a repeat of the past war years.

Civil Defence was seen as a public duty and hundreds of volunteers would turn out on a regular basis for classroom training sessions, lectures and official training exercises.

These exercises were made to look as realistic as possible with derelict buildings being used to replicate homes destroyed by a bomb blast and others set on fire to allow volunteer fire fighters to gain experience of tackling a major blaze.

Often the volunteers would act as ‘casualties’ being attended to by first aiders or even being rescued by specially trained ‘sniffer dogs’.

Many towns in East Lancashire had their own Civil Defence force many of which were in existence well into the 1960s.

These wonderful photos we have found in our archives offer a fascinating glimpse into the commitment of those involved in civil defence at that time.