Fiction: BLITZ PAMS: POLICE AUXILIARY MESSENGERS, by John Orton. Published by Consilience Media Ltd (email: £7.99. Softback.

THE setting is South Shields during September 1940, just as the Luftwaffe’s blitzkrieg is starting. The first bombing raids have hit the town and, preparing for worse to come, the police force needs to recruit young men to volunteer as PAMs (Police Auxiliary Messengers), who would be ready to take messages on their bikes in the event of a failure of telephone lines during a raid.
Through the voice of the novel’s narrator, Mossie Hamed, a grocery delivery boy, the author recreates the life and struggles of young people in conditions where they could feel they were making a difference in a time of crisis, and recognises the many other unsung heroes on the home front.