Volunteer Car Pool (VCP)

Black Sheep Sunday – James Pearson Lonsdale (1909-1979)

James Pearson Lonsdale is my 4th cousin 1x removed. He was born on 28 March 1909 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. His parents are Thomas Lonsdale and Louisa Pearson. Our common ancestors are Isaac Kighley and Ellen Jackson – my 4x great grandparents.

Unfortunately James found himself in the newspapers two or three times at least.

The first time was in 1928, just a couple of weeks before his nineteenth birthday. On 12 March the Leeds Mercury reported the following story (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

James Pearson Lonsdale - Leeds Mercury 12 March 1928.png

FATAL COLLISION WITH TAXI

Fatal injuries were received at Addingham, on Saturday evening, by John William Hayton (28), of Woodgate Farm, Silsden Moor, as a result of colliding while riding a motor cycle with a taxicab, driven by James Pearson Lonsdale, 12 Gordon Street, Keighley.

The article does not suggest any blame was attached to James and I haven’t found any follow up articles.

By the time of the 1939 Register (taken at the outbreak of WW2) Thomas and Louisa Lonsdale and their children had moved from Keighley to Middlesex.

On 22 January 1944 the Middlesex Chronicle reported on a less serious offence (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

James Pearson Lonsdale - Middlesex Chronicle 22 January 1944.png

NO EXCUSE TO OFFER

James Pearson Lonsdale, 27, Lampton Road, Hounslow, was summoned at Spelthorne Petty Sessions, on Tuesday, for improperly using motor fuel at Church Square, Shepperton, on December 5th. He pleaded guilty.
P.C. Fleet stated that he saw a motor car being driven by defendant and stopped him. Questioned, Lonsdale said he was issued with petrol for journeys between his home and his work at Acton, adding that he had driven over from Hounslow to Shepperton and really had no excuse to offer. Told that the facts would be reported with a view to prosecution, he said: “Must you report it?” The distance between Shepperton and Hounslow was seven miles.
Defendant stated that he was called upon by the W.V.S. under the voluntary car pool system to collect a patient who had been suffering from flu. He acted on a telephone call and did not receive proper instructions for the journey.
Asked by the Chairman (County Alderman H. Fear) why he did not explain to the officer, defendant said he was too aghast at being stopped.
The Chairman: That’s nonsense.
P.C. Fleet said there was another man with Lonsdale, and they both left a hotel.
Defendant was find £2.

Petrol became the first commodity to be rationed in the UK after the start of WW2.

In July 1942, the Ministry for Homeland Security asked the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) to run the Volunteer Car Pool (VCP). By 1944, there were over 570 VCP schemes across Britain, involving transporting people to hospital as well as other duties. This evolved into the various services and now takes the form of Community Transport.