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Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?

GUEST,beachcomber 31 Aug 09 - 08:43 AM
Newport Boy 31 Aug 09 - 09:32 AM
Newport Boy 31 Aug 09 - 09:43 AM
Desert Dancer 31 Aug 09 - 09:47 AM
Mark Ross 31 Aug 09 - 09:53 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Aug 09 - 10:28 AM
Desert Dancer 31 Aug 09 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Doc John 31 Aug 09 - 10:39 AM
Emma B 31 Aug 09 - 11:04 AM
Rumncoke 31 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM
Cats 31 Aug 09 - 11:44 AM
Jim McLean 31 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM
Geoff Wallis 31 Aug 09 - 12:32 PM
greg stephens 31 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM
Thomas Stern 31 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM
NormanD 31 Aug 09 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,beachcomber 31 Aug 09 - 04:22 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 09 - 06:00 PM
Herga Kitty 31 Aug 09 - 06:05 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM
Jim McLean 31 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM
theballadeer 01 Sep 09 - 08:09 AM
Jim McLean 01 Sep 09 - 09:25 AM
theballadeer 01 Sep 09 - 09:37 AM
Jim McLean 01 Sep 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 02 Sep 09 - 05:56 AM
Jim McLean 02 Sep 09 - 06:35 AM
theballadeer 02 Sep 09 - 12:30 PM
Penny S. 02 Sep 09 - 02:17 PM
Bert 02 Sep 09 - 10:44 PM
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Subject: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 08:43 AM

Having been a fascinated reader of the other FOLKLORE Thread "What did you do in the War Ewan" I came upon a posting by one of the leading protagonists of the debate in which he mentioned the CND and the link from it to some of the people who figured in the "Folk Club Scene" of 50s and 60s,
I have always wanted to know more about this organisation and especially it's London membership and their activities back then.
This is just purely curiosity on my part, and I have no connection with any organisation who might have opposed it
Can anyone enlighten me?
I did know a few people , all dead now, who were involved around 1959 and attended in Trafalgar Square where the famous Aldermaston March terminated. I remember Paul Robeson addressing the hugh assembly.
Were you there ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 09:32 AM

In London from 1995 to 1960, we heard of the first CND march from London to Aldermaston at Easter 1958. We joined the Aldermaston - London march in 1959, and again in 1960. In 1961, Anne was 8 months pregnant, and I drove a party up from South Wales for that year's march.

We were never involved with the London CND - all our activities were with Newport and Bristol CND - so I can't help you there. My abiding memory of the 1959 march is Peggy Seeger's voice and banjo leading the "H-Bomb's Thunder" from a loudspeaker van.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 09:43 AM

On the "who led, who followed" question - CND had a lot of local leaders, many of whom came from the churches.

I remember one march through Pontypool on a Sunday evening in 1962. Our attendance was not great - 14 of us, including 3 babies in prams. The march was organised by a quaker, who didn't know the meaning of fear. He decided that we should march in single file, 10 yards apart - to make the procession look longer. I was 2nd in line, with my guitar, belting out "H-Bomb's Thunder" as loud as possible. I couldn't hear anyone else joining in.

I did get one break - we encounterd a Salvation Army band coming the other way. Our leader did a smart U-turn and we joined the rear of the SA procession until they turned into their hall.

I think we were watched by a 'crowd' of about 20 during the half-hour march. Of such adventures is a life of protest made.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 09:47 AM

For those of us born about then, and across the pond... "CND"?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 09:53 AM

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, I think.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 10:28 AM

Indeed. The well-known Peace Symbol that resembles the Mercedes logo with an extra central tail began life as the CND badge, and is based on the semaphore positions for letters C N D. It was designed in the staffroom of Chesterton School, Cambridge (where I was later Head of Upper School for 12 years but it was still being talked of), when Peter Cadogan, one of the original leaders of the CND movement, taught there, with the help of some of his ex-service colleagues. Cross-ref to the Ewan·in·the·War thread, ref'd to by the OP of this one, for the story of how my flatmate, sci-fi writer John Brunner, wrote "The H-Bombs Thunder", the CND anthem already referred to at least twice on this thread. Our flat was visited in those early days by all those who later became prominent in the campaign — Cadogan, Pat Arrowsmith, Mike Randle...: tho I myself lost touch with the campaign, to which I was committed for folk rather more than ideological reasons, when I left London soon after my marriage not long after. I did take part in the first 1958 march tho, the one which went London-Aldermaston, which was reversed in subsequent years. I can be seen in first part of BBC Folk Britannia, playing guitar in Fred [as then was - later Karl] Dallas's group on that march.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for the clarification.

The H-Bomb's Thunder, in the DT.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 10:39 AM

That's interesting MtheGM: I always believed semaphore to be the origin of what is now called the Peace Symbol, although I read recently that it represented a person holding their arms in an attitude of despair.
Leaders were Bruce Kent (still around) and Canon Collins from St Paul's Cathedral. I think Bertram Russell was a member but formed the breakaway 'Committee of 100' I recall Pat Arrowsmith and a local guy called Sharpy Shaffer from the University (spelling probably wrong)
We had a small group in Rainhill (hardly the centre of the universe!) which is about 10 miles or so from Liverpool. The leader there was only about 16 or 17 but he invited the Spinners to give a concert at the local school. This they did for only their expenses. Nice to see sincerity and lack of greed for once!
Doc John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Emma B
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 11:04 AM

Although too young to travel on the Aldermaston march, as a fifth former I was in Manchester for a non-violent civil disobedience (or 'sit-down') organized, if I remember correctly, by the Committee of 100.

Bertrand Russell did indeed resign in October 1960 as CND president in order to head, along with Rev. Michael Scott, the Committee of 100.

The culmination of the activities of the C100 came with demonstrations at Wethersfield Air Base, Manchester, York, Cardiff, Bristol and Ruislip, the headquarters of the USAF in Britain.
The authorities zeroed in on six members of the C100, charging them with offences against the Official Secrets Act.
They were tried at the Old Bailey the following February and received prison sentences
With its main organizers in jail, from then on, the movement wound down.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM

The little round badge depicts, superimposed, the written down semaphore for 'complete' or 'total', the outer circle; 'N' the inverted V part; and 'D' - one arm vertically upwards.

Anne Croucher


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Cats
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 11:44 AM

Ken Stubbs, the folksong collector, who lived a couple of houses away from me, led the delegation from Lingfield and the surrounding area. I saw the banner in his house and I remember him explaining to me what the banner was and why it was important. A great man.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM

A few of us called The Glasgow Eskimos, demonstrated against the Polaris missile site in Scotland in the early sixties. This site CND symbol
shows a picture of an LP cover of Ding Dong Dollar and the CND symbol (next to my head) taken aboard the ferry to Dunoon on the way to a demonstration. Pete Seeger produced the LP and it was issued on Folkways in 1962.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:32 PM

I first came across CND when I was about ten years old and my uncle took me and my cousins to the Science Museum in Birmingham. On our tour I found a small black and white badge on the floor. This bore what I later discovered was the CND logo and, printed around the edge, 'Birmingham Outer Circle March, 1962'. I've still got the badge somewhere, but never discovered why CND would have chosen such a route or divined its purpose.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: greg stephens
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 01:28 PM

Didn't make the 1958 Aldermaston march(too young), but I slogged it out in 1961. And I can still sing the H-Bomb's Thunder!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM

While searching for information about RAY FISHER recordings,
I found the following:

1961 CND   anti-Polaris Singers
    Josh Macrae, Bobbie Campbell, Nigel Denver, Gordon Mc Culloch,
    Ray Fisher. Jackie O'Connor and Hamish Imlach

Please let me know if anyone has or knows of recordings.
Thanks, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: NormanD
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 02:41 PM

I'm NormanD's OH. I was in Birmingham CND from 1961 till I went to uni in 1966. I was on that march. As I remember, it was chosen because it covered a great deal of residential Birmingham, so wasn't just a march through the city centre, and it was a circular bus route. Everyone knew the Outer Circle and the bus route. It was likely to get more publicity than just another march. The Birmingham CND secretary at the time was John Minnion who some years later, wrote a book about his experiences in CND.

John Minnion and Philip Bolsover (eds.) The CND Story, Alison and Busby, 1983, ISBN 0 85031 487 9


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 04:22 PM

Thanks people, But any Londoners from back then 1959 ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 06:00 PM

I was on the 1958 CND march with my parents.
they were in St Marylebone CND.
I also marched to RAF Wethersfield, In either the late fifties or the early sixties,and went on later CND marches [1964][1965] .
I have a recollection [which may be wrong I was only a child],that either Duncan Sandys or Randolph Churchill,tried to interrupt[Or put an opposing point,or try to speak]at a meeting in Trafalgar Square,not sure which year,but one of the early marches.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 06:05 PM

I wasn't there in 1959, but I think my (then) next door neighbours, Christopher and Margaret Meredith might have been, because they went on the Aldermaston marches and were members of the Communist party, and owners of Paul Robeson records...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM

correction,the march was from Wethersfield 1961,and joined up with the Aldermaston marchers in London.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 06:41 PM

Thomas Stern, I don't know why Ray's recordings should refer to CND anti-polaris singers as she only knew us as friends but she was never involved and neither was Gordon McCulloch nor Bobby Campbell then. If you want detailed knowledge about those times, email me at jawmac@aol.com and I'll answer all your questions. I was a main writer of the Scottish protest songs of that period but never a singer. Jack O'Connor, Josh MacRae and Nigel Denver sang and recorded my songs but Ray and Archie Fisher kept clear of any commitment to political songs. See my posting earlier on for pictures of Josh, Nigel, Jackie O'Connor and myself. You can just about make out Hamish Imlach at the bottom left of the picture. He was an irregular singer/attender at the demonstrations. Regards.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: theballadeer
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 08:09 AM

Bobby Campbell, Gordon McCulloch along with Enoch Kent where members of the Exile and all 3 took part in the part in the Eskimo Republic Glasgow in the mid 1990s. Some of the original songs, mentioned by Jim (above), were sung at this show. Below is a link with information, as well as a video.

The Eskimo Republic

Information on the original album can be found here: Ding Dong Dollar

Nick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 09:25 AM

Correct, Nick, but they weren't involved with the original demos. As you say, the Eskimo Republic Glasgow concert was in the mid 1990s and neither Nigel Denver or myself, two of the original "Eskimos" were invited. It was compered by Jimmie Macgregor, MBE, who had the cheek to address the audience as "fellow Eskimos". Robin was, I think, a founder member of CND but Jimmie always stayed clear of anything political, hence the MBE.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: theballadeer
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 09:37 AM

Jim, wasn't Jackie O'Connor also alive at the time - and too, not invited.

Any thoughts on why? I remember you telling me once...they (the organizers of the 90s show) knew where you and Nigel could be found.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:11 AM

No, Jackie was dead by this time. In a sense I'm glad I didn't go as I couldn't stand by and see all those bandwagon jumpers. When Jimmie accepted the MBE, a cry went up "the ego has landed"!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 05:56 AM

I was never at the Holy Loch.
I got invited to be part of the 1990s Eskimos Glasgow concert because I and Ian Davison were part of the Scottish CND Buskers, who remade Eskimos songs in the 1980s. As Jim says, several singers on that stage had no or little connection with the marches. Some of them sang or joined in with the songs in folk clubs.
Ian Davison suggests there should be a term for those people who only think they were arrested at the Holy loch or Faslane, or whosaw 'Mandela Dance In The Square'.
I've suggested to Jim that there should be a category of 'Friends of the Eskimos' for those like Gordeanna MacCulloch and Ukes Against Nukes who actively supported the anti-bomb struggle, so showed solidarity with the Eskimo ideal, best expressed in Morris Blythman's song The Eskimo Republic.
Ewan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:35 AM

I agree with Ewan.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: theballadeer
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:30 PM

Sorry Jim, I was thinking of Jack Keir, who passed away in 2005.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 02:17 PM

One of the early campaigners was Hugh Brock, who was involved with the badge design in some way. Somewhere among my bits and pieces that I have come across while clearing is a newssheet from the village of New Ash Green showing his widow dedicating a seat in his memory. New Ash Green is organised in neighbourhoods, and he believed that these were about the optimum size for societies, that a lot of our problems were because we were identified with huge nation states which divorce the individual from the decision making. He was a lovely, intelligent, gentle man.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The CND, who led, who followed ?
From: Bert
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 10:44 PM

Here's a couple of stories.

1. My Ex's sister and her boyfriend went on one of the marches and we arranged to meet them Somewhere (I can't remember) in West London for breakfast.

We met at the scheduled spot and we had brought breakfast in the for of a good old English Fry up which we cooked on a Primus Stove out in the open.

A passing news crew were fascinated with our breakfast and spent a good few minutes filming it. They didn't know we had shipped it in by car.

2.Of course like all good folkies we had CND stickers all over our car.

Which was fine for a while BUT we were also Square Dancers and there was a dance to be held on the American base at Weathersfield. Now that base, being quite near London was a prime target for demonstrators and other activists who had tried to break in to the base several times.

Well of course we didn't want to scrape off all our CND stickers so we stuck Square Dance stickers over them on the outside. We sailed in past the security with no problem.

Halfway through the dance it started to rain and we had to keep our fingers crossed that the square dance stickers didn't get washed off. We couldn't go outside to check because they had let the guard dogs loose and one couldn't leave the hall without an escort.

At the end of the dance we received brief instruction on how to find the road to the main gate.

Of course Bert got lost and there we were driving around back streets on the base; eventually finishing up on this one real wide street - YUP it was the main runway.

We finally found the road out by sighting some headlights in the distance. Thankfully we didn't get stopped.


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