I'm on a roll when it comes to CND ephemera. For the second time recently I've bought a CND-related item and found a CND leaflet inside.
Just recently I bought one of the first CND pamphlet's, historian A.J.P. Taylor's The Great Deterrent Myth - with on its cover a New Statesman cartoon mocking America's threatened use of the H-Bomb against the Soviet Union (hence the Russian bear).
Inside I found a press cutting, and a CND leaflet.
The leaflet seems to date from very soon after the launch of CND in November 1957. The famous CND peace symbol devised in 1958 is strikingly absent.
CND has still not achieved its goals. Britain remains a nuclear weapons 'power' - to its shame. But it has been one of the most effective of pressure groups, ensuring that the issue of unilateralism doesn't fade from public debate.
And the early CND was the political territory on which the British New Left developed - and that's quite something.
I bought an early copy of New Left Review recently. The journal started in 1960 with Stuart Hall as editor - and with a very different feel and format to the title it became (and of course NLR has been the great survivor and is still going strong). This issue is from early 1961.
Inside there was, in mint condition, a CND leaflet promoting the 1961 Aldermaston march. This annual peace march which was such an important rallying point for the New Left started in 1958. That first march was to Aldermaston; later marches started there and ended at Trafalgar Square.
So the Easter 1961 event was the fourth Aldermaston march. The 1963 march - during which a breakaway surrounded a supposedly secret Regional Seat of Government, a bunker prepared in the event of nuclear war - was the last large-scale Aldermaston event.
Aldermaston in Berkshire, the 'factory of death', was the site of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment - established in 1950 at a onetime RAF base and still going.
In 1961, there was a second march to London from Wethersfield in Essex, which was a United States Air Force base until 1970 and is now the HQ of the Ministry of Defence Police.
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