In Autumn 2018, The Heritage Lottery Fund South West awarded Cornish feminist theatre hub Scary Little Girls in partnership with women’s history publication The Heroine Collective, a 50k grant to bring a hugely important piece of feminist heritage into public access.
This was an 18 month project which saw us interview almost 100 of the women who formed the Greenham Common Peace Camp between 1981 and 2000.
The Peace Camp was established to protest nuclear weapons being placed at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire. Women from all over the world braved every weather and indignity to live together in order to protest peacefully and creatively about the threat to humankind from the nuclear arms race. In a time before the internet and mobile phones, the women and their supporters managed to organise thousands for actions like “Embrace the Base” in 1982, in which 30,000 women held hands around the edges of the common.
Though it was the largest demonstration in modern history, we have relatively little information about life on camp from the women themselves. In these in-depth and moving interviews, we learned the truths behind the tabloid myths, the anecdotal details, the political strategies and the personal stories of the women who championed peace.
Now we bring this incredible heritage right into your hands.
The interviews are deliberately authentic, and have only received light editing. This project is about the women telling those stories in the way they wanted to without us shaping, curating or altering their narratives.
We hope you enjoy exploring this archive. It is dedicated to all the women of Greenham. We cannot thank the women we met enough for their generosity towards us, but we are also eternally grateful to every single woman who went to Greenham, for her awesome contributions at camp, and for her ongoing commitment to making the world a better place.
This project was managed by Rebecca Mordan at Scary Little Girls and Kate Kerrow at The Heroine Collective. Thank you to Rachael Miles and Clare Johnson from The University of The West of England, sound designer Sarah Llewelyn, and photographer Christine Bradshaw for their professional expertise in design, sound, ethics, and photography. Thank you to all our partners who have been so crucial in getting this project off the ground.
And finally, a huge thank all the brilliant volunteers who gave their time, energy and enormous skill to work with us on this project. Your kindness and commitment was truly Greenham! We love you Sarah Learmonth, Alice Robinson, Josephine Liptrott, June Hughes, Sara Sherwood, Nicky Arikoglu, Kitty Gurnos Davies, Leslie Lyle, Tricia Norton, Emily Strange, Florence Weston, Isabelle Tracey, Jessica Layton, Emma Gliddon and Elaine Ruth White.