"Three civil defence exercises covering Bristol – in 1939, the 1950s and 1960s – not only have an eerie fascination for their word-pictures of a city plunged into imaginary wars; the written scenarios also throw light on what concerned the scenario writers. As the likely damage in war became more than the authorities could handle, so the planners’ responses took a sinisterly authoritarian turn"
The spring and summer of 1981 saw one of the most widespread and intense periods of 'widespread urban disturbance' in England in the 20th century. During the week of 6-13th July 1981 patterns of the disturbance diffusion emerge suggesting that major 'riots' in inner city areas of mixed ethnicity created numerous further incidents in other ethnically homogeneous districts, sometimes considerably distant from the original 'flash-point'. Ball investigates two examples two examples of Bristol-based unrest which shook the South-West.