Woodhall Spa has great potential as a venue for an air raid scenario. This is likely to be ‘the big one’ this summer. See www.woodhall-spa-40s-festival.com
The sirens will sound, and the current entertainer on stage asks the crowd to disperse as the show is cut short until the All Clear. Bombers are heard on the PA system, and bombs begin to fall. Smoke starts to appear from the roof of the Golf Hotel, and out of the window of one of the bedrooms. The alarm is sounded, and ARP wardens are first on the scene, as there happens to be an ARP post nearby. Quickly, they summon the NFS.
The hotel guests, a mixture of civilians and RAF, come out of the hotel front door, where an ARP warden with the hotel register calls out names to try to establish how many people and who are still inside the building.
The first vehicle to arrive is the K2 towing a trailer pump. At this moment, screams are heard from inside the building. The commander of the vehicle immediately calls for support, “Make pumps two; persons reported; Turntable Ladder requested”. The pump is then dropped off, and hand-manoeuvred into position adjacent to the 1000-gallon dam which is set up as an Emergency Water Supply in the car-park near the entrance drive.
Smoke is now pouring out of the window of room 103, and onto the balcony, and an injured casualty appears at the window. Meanwhile, three firemen come out of the K2 and get the ladder off its roof, and erect the ladder against the front balcony and go up to rescue the casualty. The first one is shaken, but able to come down the ladder with assistance. However, she tells us that her friend is unconscious inside. The fireman returns for her friend and carries her (this time a dummy, as we cannot safely carry a real person down the ladder). They are escorted to the First Aid Post, which is within the grounds of the hotel.
By this time, the TL arrives, and manoeuvres into position so that a jet can be sprayed between the two gables at the LH end of the frontage. The ladder is raised and extended with a man aloft. Hoses are run out from the pump to the TL, and two branchmen. But just before water on to the branches, an incendiary lands on the hotel roof, and a large shower of sparks is seen from behind the balustrade.
The Fordson Pump Escape arrived at the other end (the ‘exit’ end of the drive), and parks so the suction can be set into the 500-gallon EWS on the lawn to supply the branches. As the ladder is still in place from the rescue, the firemen decide to return to the roof with a hose so that the fire can be tackled better. An HE bomb lands on the roof (thunderflash), and the firemen realise they have just had a near miss – rather too close for comfort. But as they look round the ARP wardens see that a civilian bystander and a warden (or fireman or policeman) has been hit by shrapnel, and is lying on the ground bleeding. The wardens gather the casualties onto stretchers and take them to the First Aid Post, as the firemen hoist the hose onto the roof.
Once the water has run out, and the fires all extinguished, some firemen start to make up the kit, while others go inside to check that the building is clear. Another casualty is found, again unconscious. The stretcher that wraps round the the casualty (also a dummy) is taken in, and lowered out of an upstairs window by the TL.
The sound of the bomber is heard again, and the bomber makes a low pass across the site, machine-guns firing. Someone is hit and taken to the now rather busy First Aid Post, before everything is cleared up, and the all-clear sounds on the siren. The crowd gradually disperse and the entertainment resumes. The WVS may bring out refreshments for the exhausted firemen and ARP wardens.
Also, during the weekend, we plan to do some training drill with the Wheeled Escape, demonstrate the TL, and have a display of memorabilia in the Foyer of the Golf Hotel.
Evacuating the guests at a hotel that is on fire, role call and establishing who and how many people are still inside would be a major part of the scenario. So we would welcome a number of re-enactors, both civilian and RAF, to simply come out of the front door of the hotel for a role call by the ARP wardens using the hotel register. (Obviously, for this to work, your name must be on the ARP’s list…)
If you portray the Civil Defence organisations, and would like to get involved, please see our page on ‘Participants Invited‘ under ‘Events 2013’, and get in touch. This page will be updated as further details are agreed.