Saturday, 7 November 2015

Finding our recent history

The protest campaign against the sitting of cruise missiles in Britain during the early 1980s will be remembered by many and there will be plenty living here in Chorlton who will have supported and participated in the protests.

But I have yet to come across an account of how the campaign worked here on the ground.  And I guess like the work done to support the miners’ strike the story has yet to be told.  Now there are those who argue that recent events are not strictly real history and there has to be a decent time lapse to allow objectivity to surface.  
Which is all very well but in the process vital evidence is lost as memories fade, photographs and documents are mislaid and the sheer energy, anger and commitment get hijacked by everyday life, and of course people just move away.

I was reminded of the events when I came across these two pictures which date from the period which I remember not only because it happened on the Rec directly opposite us but because we were there and like most of the people sitting in the sun that day I believed it was the correct thing to do.

The other photograph I can’t date but those who posed for the picture will have memories of the organisation and may have gone down to Greenham Common, joining the Women’s Peace Camp which lasted from 1981 to 2000.

And this is the point.  History is not a record written from the top down or at least it shouldn’t be. It has to include all the little bits which help make sense of the big events.  And I never tire of knowing what people thought and what motivated them often overcoming great difficulties and making sacrifices for what they believed in.

Some written material is out there in  the form of news stories from the short lived Chorlton Green and I guess the Stretford Journal.  But there will be so much more.

Pictures; from the collection of Tony Walker and the Lloyd collection

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