40th anniversary of Greenham Common women's peace camp: series of events to be held this weekend
A SERIES of events will take place at Greenham Common this weekend to mark the 40th anniversary of the peace protests that captured the world's attention.
Among the highlights is an exhibition called ‘Both Sides of the Fence’, which will explore the history of the protests through the stories of Newbury residents, the police and the military who served at the time, as well as the women who took part.
On August 26, 1981, a group of 36 women, men and children left their homes in Wales to protest against the arrival of US nuclear weapons at RAF Greenham Common.
The steps they took that day led to the formation of the Greenham women’s peace camp, which became the biggest female-led protest since women’s suffrage.
At its height, more than 70,000 women were involved and the demonstrations attracted media interest from across the globe.
Although the last missiles left the base in 1991, the camp remained in place until 2000 and only disbanded after protesters won the right to house a memorial on the site.
Last week, hundreds of people set off from Cardiff on a 130-mile march to recreate the steps of the 36 who made the journey in 1981.
They arrived at the common last night (Friday) to coincide with the anniversary celebrations.
The 'Greenham Women Everywhere' march, which has been organised in coordination with many of the women who lived and visited the camp, will stop overnight in the same places as the original one did – Newport, Chepstow, Bristol, Bath, Melksham, Devizes, Marlborough and Hungerford – with a “thank you ceremony” held in each location.
Lying empty after RAF Greenham Common closed in September 1992, the control tower was bought by Greenham Parish Council in 2014.
For more details about the weekend’s events, visit www.greenhamtower.org.uk/marking-steps/