The Hartlepool Civil Defence Corps.
Exercise Mercury: Keith Rogers
"I was senior signals officer for Hartlepool Civil Defence. I won the Civil Defence Exercise Mercury competion at the Northern Tournament on my Royal Enfield 350cc motor bike. Every few years a tournament was held between all northern CD's. We had never won in any category, Ambulance, WRVS, Rescue or Signals.
For the competition we had to deliver a verbal message on our motor bikes at an average speed of 40 mph. Half way round the course they blocked the road so we had to find a new route using the maps provided. I realised that this would slow me down so for the rest of the way I rode flat out to maintain the average. Then there was an obstacle course which I managed without knocking down any markers.
When the results were announced I was mobbed by all the ladies in the WRVS. I was the first person ever to win for Hartlepool and I was presented to the Mayor in the Municipal buildings and presented with a replica cup."
Joan Forstad enjoys a quiet moment sitting on the steps of a Civil Defence vehicle. Volunteers - and later conscripts! - regularly visited local rural communities demonstrating the role of the Civil Defence. Born in 1933, Joan was to too young to be conscripted, however, like all the other members of her family, she volunteered for the Civil Defence.More detail »