31 May 2012
EPISODE TEN: A LIFE ENHANCING EXPERIENCE
Helen stepped into the peace movement in 1981 when she and four other women chained themselves to the fence at RAF Greenham Common, in protest over the decision to store cruise nuclear missiles on the site. The ‘Women for Life on Earth’ group initially wanted a televised debate: upon this request being denied, the group began a women’s only peace camp that was to, in various forms, last the best part of nineteen years and at it’s height attract 35,000 women to the base. Between 1992 – 1993 the nuclear missiles, along with American military personal, returned to the US and a new focus of the women’s peace camp – to give the common land back to the people of Berkshire – began.
For Helen, the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, was life changing. Leaving her five children and husband behind, she began her new life as a passionate feminist and anti-nuclear campaigner. In this episode she talks about her decision to become a woman of Greenham and during this conversation I found myself wondering, whether behind every strong, determined and principled individual, lays a few regrets?
To find out more about the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp visit Your Greenham, where you will find a collection of short films, letters to the women and Greenham songs to give you a flavour of what life was like.
See archive footage of Helen at Greenham Common in the short film ‘March to Greenham’.
Hear Helen talk about her experiences of Greenham Common on Radio 4.
This episode could not have been put together without the support of the following people who very kindly donated photographs:
Liz Somerville at Photofusion
Thanks also to:
The Morning Star
Leon Rosselson who donated ‘The power of Song’.