THE HOME Office began published official air raid precautions (ARP) literature in 1935, with ARP Handbook: Anti-Gas Precautions & First Aid for Air Raid Casualties and Handbook No.1: Personal Protection Against Gas the following year (1936). Over the next decade, it also published a raft of official ARP circulars, manuals, memoranda, pamphlets and bulletins.
However, these were really meant for the ARP services, not the wider public, and some publications could only be obtained by official permission. To the layman, these government tracts must have appeared quite dry, word-heavy, with few pictures and no colour. Commercial publishers saw a gap in the market and began producing their own more reader-friendly booklets. The Home Office does not seem to have opposed or viewed these as rival journals – some authors even state permission had been granted to quote from official works – so, perhaps, officialdom just viewed them as helping spread the ARP message.