Helping to solve problems since 1939

Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau opened on September 4, 1939, the day after Britain’s declaration of war against Nazi Germany and the start of the Second World War.

The idea of a national information and advice service emerged in the years following The Great War (1914-18). Complex new regulations and the impact of the war on families made the need for information and advice apparent.

When war was declared on 3rd September 1939, the CAB Service was ready to mobilise its forces to allay the fears of those bombed-out, the families of the men who were called-up or of the children who were evacuated. Within the first month, 200 bureaux had been set up in houses, town halls, libraries and churches. Even horse boxes were converted for use as mobile offices; able to get into bomb damaged areas where the need was greatest.

A wartime mobile office

A Mobile Office

Stirling was among the first cities in Britain to see a local Bureau established. More than 60 operated in Scotland during the war.

“The bureaux were founded as an emergency service when it became clear that people would need a lot of help to cope with the impending chaos and disruption. The reality confronting wartime bureaux was grim. Sometimes mobile advice units were parked near bombed areas to advise people who had lost their homes. Many families had their incomes drastically reduced by the call-up and so bureau started to play an important role in giving debt advice. After the war ended in 1945, the CAB service worked alongside agencies like the Red Cross to help locate missing relatives.
So invaluable had bureaux proved that the service has continued ever since – from the rising consumer affluence of the 1950’s to the economic difficulties of the present day.” Airdrie CAB