Greenham Common Bunker

From a World War II airbase to a nuclear missile holding site and now an Ultra Secure data centre, Greenham Common and more specifically the bunker situated there is synonymous with security. The site is steeped in history, culminating in the acquisition of the nuclear command and control facilities by The Bunker Secure Hosting Limited to provide Ultra Secure data centre solutions.




The queer archaeology of Green Gate: interpreting contested space at Greenham Common Airbase

John Schofield and Mike Anderton


This paper uses a well-known twentieth-century monument to examine contradictions in the material record and how they might be accommodated in protection and interpretative schemes at this and similar sites where contested space is represented. The archaeology of the later twentieth century at, and immediately outside, Greenham Common Airbase (Berkshire, England) is described as unconventional and atypical in its associations, mysterious and disquieting in its later Cold War context, as well as outlandish and unorthodox in what it can hope to achieve in terms of public perception and interpretation. Protest is the stuff of everyday life, yet it is rarely and barely recognised in heritage interpretation, particularly where opposition was directly aimed at the estab- lishment view or government policy. This paper explores these related issues.

Imagine a bomb up the bum of suburbia. But the bomb is made of organic flour, wrapped in ivy, painted in funky colours and thrown by pixies; half punk, half pagan. The spirit of the direct action protest movement is like this, half ‘spiky’, half ‘ fuffy’ – half politically hard, half warmly, humanly, soft. The movement boils with life lived to the brink, to the full, it’s emotion intense, raw and extreme.

(Griffiths, in Evans 1998)

Out of the Darkness

Greenham Song

no 1.

Out of the Darkness

Out of the darkness comes the fear of what’s to come
Out of the darkness comes the dread of what’s undone
Out of the darkness comes the hope that we can run
And out of the darkness comes the knowledge of the sun.
Out of the darkness comes the fear of the unknown,
Out of the darkness comes the dread of bleaching bone
Out of the darkness comes the hope we’re not alone,
And out of the darkness grows the seeds that we have sown.
Out of the darkness comes the fear, revenge and hate
Out of the darkness comes the dread of indifferent fate.
Out of the darkness comes the hope we’re not too late
And out of the darkness come the songs that we create.
Darkness is the place of life, darkness is the womb,
Darkness is the place of death, darkness is the tomb.
Death belongs to life, half af day is night,
The end won’t come in darkness
But a blinding flash of light.
[Written by Frankie Armstrong for a Greenham Common march.]

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

My other working title for this exhibition is and was The Labyrinth.

‘The prototype for labyrinth is in a word guts. Which means that the principle for the labyrinth is inside you. And that correlates to the labyrinth outside’.   ‘Another metaphor,’ I comment.   ‘That’s right. A reciprocal metaphor. Things outside you are projections of what’s inside you, and what’s inside you is a projection of what’s outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you’re stepping into the labyrinth inside. Most definitely a risky business.’”
— Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

‘People can’t be in two places at once, but I think its possible. In fact I’m sure of it. While there still alive, people can become ghosts’.

Peace symbol


Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts. He had been invited to design artwork for use on what became the first Aldermaston March, organised by the Direct Action Committee against Nuclear War (DAC). He showed his preliminary sketches to a DAC meeting in February 1958 at the Peace News offices in North London.
The first badges were made by Eric Austen of Kensington CND using white clay with the symbol painted black. Again there was a conscious symbolism. They were distributed with a note explaining that in the event of a nuclear war, these fired pottery badges would be among the few human artefacts to survive the nuclear inferno.

Gerald Holtom, a conscientious objector who had worked on a farm in Norfolk during the Second World War, explained that the symbol incorporated the semaphore letters N(uclear) and D(isarmament).
He later wrote to Hugh Brock, editor of Peace News, explaining the genesis of his idea in greater, more personal depth:
‘I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalised the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.’
Eric Austen added his own interpretation of the design: ‘the gesture of despair had long been associated with the death of Man and the circle with the unborn child.’
Gerald Holtom had originally considered using the Christian cross symbol within a circle as the motif for the march but various priests he had approached with the suggestion were not happy at the idea of using the cross on a protest march.