Looking back 80 years - Horsham 1939 on the eve of war

Eighty years ago the country was plunged into the Second World War, with the County Times covering all the local news at the time.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 10:52 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 10:56 am
World War II anniversary

Later in the year, nearer the actual date, we will mark the occasion with a special feature in the paper. However, as part of the County Times’ own 150th anniversary, here are some memories of 1939 as the Horsham district, along with the rest of the country prepared for war. Evacuees, air raid shelters, and gas masks were the order of the day but the year also saw some major local landmarks appear.

One of Horsham's three air raid shelters, at the junction of Kings Road and Station Road. The others were in Worthing Road and the North Street subway
The black-out was taken very seriously in preparation for possible bombing raids and the courts clamped down on anyone not observing the law
There was much speculation as to how the war would pan out. But contrary to the speaker's views Horsham was bombed and 22 civilians lost their lives
Life carried on in 1939 and the Crawley bypass was officially opened
An exercise was carried out in MacLeod Road, Horsham, on how to deal with a fire if a bomb hit ithe gas main
Another exercise, this time in Horsham Park, on dealing with an incendiary bomb
Special trailers bought for emergency ambulances
The memory of the First World War was still very much in people's minds
An example of a gas mask for a baby
Horsham Police Station was well prepared for any attack
Digging a trench at St John's School, Horsham.
The first evacuees started arriving in Horsham from London
Some advertisers used the situation to draw attention to their adverts
How to overcome the petrol rationing
Away from concerns about the war, the new Horsham Railway Station was opened
Notice of a black-out exercise across Horsham district
News that hundreds of gas masks for babies were on the way to Horsham
A demonstration of the baby's gas masks when they arrived
More evacuees arrive in Horsham from Croydon and Peckham
The Bishop spoke about the church's role in the conflict