Submitted by Rosemary Crumplin: Click on the pictures to enlarge them
AHA Group broke with the normal practice of only having one visit per month and eleven members ventured out for the second time on Thursday 28th February. Once again, we returned to Greenham Common, but this time to visit the National Needlework Archives.
The NNA is a registered charity and relies on volunteers. We were greeted by a cheerful group of ladies and coffee/tea plus cake was quickly prepared for us all. We then began a general tour of the archives admiring some of the handicrafts made by the volunteers to sell to raise funds for their restoration work. Our highlight of the visit was to view ‘The Country Wife’ textile mural, which was designed by Constance Howard and made by her and her students of Goldsmiths College. Much of the craft-work features were made by the Women’s Institutes.
The museum display was small but informative. First learning the history of the site, and back in the day of William of Orange the battle of Newbury took place there. Coming forward to more recent times, the Army was based there from 1939 building the airfield in preparation of the USAF to arrive in 1944 alongside the RAF. During our life time, Greenham Common became a household name, which we came to know, due to the American Air Force being based there along with the Nuclear War Heads. This evoked an all female political demonstration known as “The Role of Protest in Society” against nuclear weapons being based there. These ladies camped out and caused quite a stir for years.
They have a thriving café. We learnt that the actual common is a heaven for wildlife and is now recognised for its nature walks. As we had some spare time, part of our group took a short walk and said that they would be revisiting.