Daily Record - - NEWS -

T WAS 1958 and the Cold War was chill­ing. The UK had been work­ing with the US to de­velop nu­clear weapons since World War II. The RAF had the coun­try’s first atomic bomb – the Blue Danube.

The year be­fore, the Soviet Union had launched the Sput­nik satel­lite. The fear was that weapons could be launched on the West from space.

Across the coun­try, peo­ple were gath­er­ing to dis­cuss what they could do about this new, un­fath­omable threat. In Eng­land, plans were afoot to march on the Atomic Weapons Re­search Es­tab­lish­ment in Scot­land.

In Ed­in­burgh, on March 22, the Scot­tish Cam­paign for Nu­clear Dis­ar­ma­ment (CND) were formed.

The first meet­ing was held in Simp­son House in the city’s Queen Street. Long time anti-nu­clear ac­tivist Ge­orge MacLeod, the founder of the Iona Com­mu­nity, was there. So were writer Naomi Mitchi­son, Doc­tor in the House ac­tor James Robert­son Jus­tice and Whisky Ga­lore au­thor Sir Compton Macken­zie.

The first Al­der­mas­ton march, from the weapons in­sti­tute to Lon­don, took place in April, with a Scot­tish con­tin­gent join­ing the 52-mile protest.

A Scot­tish “Al­der­mas­ton” march was held in Glas­gow in May, with pro­test­ers gath­er­ing in Kelv­in­grove Park. Lo­cal CND groups sprang up in Glas­gow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Kirk­caldy and Ayr.

The is­sue did not go away. In 1960, West­min­ster did a deal to buy Sky­bolt air-launched mis­siles from the US. In re­turn, the Amer­i­cans wanted to base their nu­clear sub­marines in Scot­land. The bal­lis­tic mis­sile subs, called Po­laris, would be on the Holy Loch, just 25 miles from Glas­gow.

This was the call to ac­tion that the peace move­ment needed.

Iso­bel Lindsay was sit­ting her Highers in Hamilton when the news broke. She had grown up hear­ing about the hor­rors of nu­clear war from her fa­ther, whose mil­i­tary ca­reer took him into Hiroshima af­ter the bomb dropped.

He had brought back a melted bot­tle that had sur­vived the blast.

Iso­bel said: “I knew that nu­clear weapons were real. All of a sud­den they were ar­riv­ing in Scot­land in three months with no de­bate, no vote, no dis­cus­sion at all.”

She spent the sum­mer work­ing on the cam­paign to stop Po­laris com­ing to Scot­land. Iso­bel was far from the only per­son gal­vanised into ac­tion by the

MAK­ING WAVES A protest against Po­laris nu­clear sub­marines in the Holy Loch in Fe­bru­ary 1961 STRONG MES­SAGE Arthur West and Iona Soper with ex­hi­bi­tion signs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.