Marchers outside the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, 1958


In 1959, CND organised another Easter March, this time from Aldermaston to London. The purpose of the route reversal was to indicate CND’s intention to take its message to the heart of political power; to tell the government that a change of policy was needed. Thousands participated in the march itself and 20,000 came to the final rally in Trafalgar Square. According to an informal survey, over 40 per cent of the marchers were under 21.

A year later, in 1960, 40,000 marchers arrived in London, and up to 100,000 joined the rally in Trafalgar Square. Despite the hardship of four gruelling days of walking, sometimes in pouring rain, the marches were characterised by their good nature and friendliness. Jo Richardson, who was later to be a Labour MP, organised the catering for three of the marches and observed: ‘Everyone was there to show their opposition to the bomb: organisers, caterers, drivers and, above all, marchers. That’s why there really were no cross words and no problems that couldn’t eventually be solved, in that marvellous spirit of comradeship which is my abiding memory of the Easter Marches.’

What is The People’s History of CND?

To celebrate six decades of vibrant and powerful activity, this online exhibition displays photos and memories provided by our members and supporters. They selected the photos that best symbolised a significant memory from the past 60 years. The exhibition shows photos from demonstrations, vigils and blockades; significant sites, like Greenham, Molesworth, as well as photos of artefacts, like favourite badges, banners, and knitting.

The People’s History of CND homepage