Most of you will know what the Women's Royal Voluntary Service is.
Just before the war, Lady Reading was asked to mobilise the women of the country into a voluntary force. Many were called up or went to nurse, but there were a great many who had to stay at home to look after families etc. They flocked to her banner and were taught to do all sorts of things, one being driving ambulances, which they did in London during the blitze to great effect. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WRVS to find out more.
After the war (I think) the Food Flying Squad was founded, to do exactly what it said - get food quickly to where it was needed in an Emergency. I joined in 1956 and what fun we had! We had a fleet of lorries and I had to get an HGV licence (of a sort). Driving these things involved double de-clutching which is something all you babies have probably never heard of! We had a stores lorrie, 2 food lorries and a water tanker, as far as I can remember. We carried evil stove things - can't remember what they were called - which had to be lit and kept going to boil water. Also we built the original form of a barbeque - a sort of box built of whatever you could find that was fire-proof, with a grid over. We could produce sausages etc and also stew which was cooked on the stove thingie.
I was made Transport Officer and so had to learn the basics of engines, putting in anti freeze, changing wheels etc. We also had a tent and I remember shinning up the tent pole to get a toggle over the top if it, to the astonishment of the rest of the group who were all much older than me! Thankfully, we never had to go to a real emergency, but I remember feeding the police at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. They were married in York and the reception was at Hovingham so there was an awful lot of road to patrol. We got to see the cars go by - whoosh and they were gone! We were based near Hovingham and as our home was Croft-on-Tees, we had quite a drive and had to get up onto the hills. We did not try to go up Sutton Bank (1 in 5 slope, I seem to remember) so we had to go down to Ampleforth. Sorry about the geography - only a few of you will follow it I fear.
The WRVS Emergency Service does much the same as we did but does not have a fleet of lorries! You will have heard of them in this country, attending things like the Tube bombing, the Lockerby air crash, floods and many other things.