Presentation on theme: "What is special about Greenham Common?. You are lucky to live near an area that is so full of history… Did you know that... A stone age axe head was found."— Presentation transcript:
You are lucky to live near an area that is so full of history… Did you know that... A stone age axe head was found on the Common, showing that people lived there about 50,000 years ago! The area has been used by the military in many different ways for over 300 years. It was an important training ground for soldiers both in World War I and II. Greenham Common became famous for peace demonstrations when nuclear missiles were kept there in the 1980s.
We know that people have used the Common to live on because lots of interesting items have been discovered there. These give us a clue as to how people used to live in the area. These are remains of bronze age pottery. This is a quernstone. It was used to grind corn in Roman times and was found at George's Farm. This is a medieval seal. Letters used to be sealed with hot wax and this seal would have been pressed into the wax, leaving a pattern.
Later on in history, photographs can tell us about life on the Common... This photo shows the golf club members and their families outside the club house on the opening day of Newbury Golf Club, in May 1923. The golf course closed in 1941, when an airfield was built on the Common. This photo shows a picnic on Greenham Common in 1910. The gentleman on the right is John Henry Thompson, who became Mayor of Newbury in 1927.
How do you get to school? This photo was taken in 1951.Very few ordinary homes had cars and children would walk to school at Greenham or Crookham across the open spaces of the commons, or to collect bread. Bread was baked in a wood-fired oven at a bakery in Crookham. These children are having a ride on the baker’s cart!
This aerial photograph shows Greenham Common in 1944. It was a military airbase and soldiers who were fighting in World War II were based there. The lines you can see are the runways for all the planes that took off and landed there. In 1941 the Common was turned into an airfield
Important people visited the airfield … This is Eisenhower visiting Greenham in 1944. Eisenhower was an important General in the USA Army and was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, planning the attacks on France and Germany. This is Winston Churchill, who was Britain’s Prime Minister during the war years. This photo shows him meeting with some of the soldiers at Greenham in March 1944.
What happened when the World War II ended? In 1951, the US Army once again took over the airfield. They were using much bigger airplanes now and the runways were not long enough. In the late 1950s the runways were made longer. This made them the longest runways of any airbase or airport in Europe!
Nuclear Decisions In 1980, it was announced that 96 nuclear cruise missiles would be kept at Greenham Common airbase. Cruise missiles are like flying bombs. They can kill thousands of people and destroy whole cities! Many British people, especially those who lived near Greenham, were not happy about this…… they thought such a dangerous weapon should not be used and definitely should not be stored so close to people.
Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp To protest about the missiles, in 1981, a group of women marched from Cardiff to Greenham and then chained themselves to the railings. It was on the news and soon everyone knew about what was happening at Greenham Common. Lots of ‘Peace women’ joined the protest and a camp was set up outside the base. It remained there for nearly ten years until the missiles were finally removed in 1991.
Returning Greenham to the people! In1995 the restoration of the airfield began. It took nearly five years to remove all the runways and buildings and turn the area back into an area to be enjoyed by everyone. On 8 th April 2000, the area was opened to the public and they helped to cut down the perimeter fence that had so long surrounded the area... It was a great day! http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/abase/sange/greenham/_gifs/fence.jpg