To keep heat flash out

One in Five‘ was an information leaflet issued by the Women’s Voluntary Service for Civil Defence in February 1957. A starkly terrifying document, it attempted to reduce the impact of the hydrogen bomb by suggesting that a bit of intensive house-work and careful organisation could somehow minimise the immediate effects and aftermath: ‘the nation would be strengthened if one-in-five women knew the simple things they could do to mitigate effects of nuclear warfare.’ Our copy is annotated in a precise hand by someone attending a well-meaning talk on ‘things to do’. ‘Drifting dust is known as the fall-out’, she writes, ‘every particle gives out gamma rays. There will be Royal Observer points at intervals of about 10 miles. To Keep Heat Flash Out. 1. Lime wash windows and skylights (3 coats on outside) 2. Or have shutters (white washed) or angle boards. A fire retarding solution can be bought for materials (or can be made).’ And so on.

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