Second World War Wooden ARP Gas Rattle.
An air raid warden's wooden gas rattle, later Bristol Bulldogs speedway rattle. This gas rattle is made from beechwood with a turned handle and in original working condition. The top is stamped 'ARP W. Clements & Son, 1939' with later painted speedway team colours. 'ARP' stands for 'Air Raid Precautions' and the rattle was used to give warning of a gas attack or during gas mask drills. During the Second World War the British government passed the Air Raid Precautions Act, requiring local authorities to ready themselves in case of an air attack, with the air raid warden being at the for front. The warning was given by holding the handle and spinning the rattle around, emitting a strong distinctive clacking sound, the 'all clear' signal was given by ringing a hand bell. After the war the rattles became a common sight in the hands of supporters at football matches or other sporting events, they were also used as bird scarers. This rattle has been painted red and black with gold lettering, possibly the 1950's, in support of the Bristol Bulldogs speedway team. A wooden star has also been added.
The Bristol Bulldogs were a British motorcycle speedway team based in the Knowle Stadium, Bristol, England.
The club was formed prior to World War II. Their first trophy was the Provincial League title in 1937. The track operated a season of challenge matches in 1946 with the team known as Ex-Bristol. They competed in the National League Division Two from 1947. The team was promoted to National League Division One in 1950 after back to back Championship titles. The Division One Bulldogs team featured most of the Division Two men and as a result they reverted to Division Two for the 1954 season.
Bristol's team of 1949 has a rare record in that it whitewashed the visiting Glasgow Tigers 70 -14 in a fourteen heat National League fixture.
The Bulldogs were founder members of the Provincial League, winning the Provincial League Knockout Cup, but the track closed for the site to be re-developed and the team operated out of Plymouth for 1961 as Plymouth Bulldogs.
Speedway returned to Bristol and Eastville Stadium in 1977 in what was effectively the Newport Wasps becoming the Bristol Bulldogs for one season. Crowds of 7,000+ were averaged in both years, far larger than most clubs. The track operated in 1978 but was closed due to planning matters. A year or two after closing a Bristol Select team rode at Birmingham (for legal reasons they could not use the Bulldogs name). Over 1,000 Bristol speedway fans travelled up to Birmingham, such was their love for the sport. Stars of the former team included Australian Phil Crump, father of world champion Jason Crump.
Taken from wikipedia
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