A Sign Of My Times

Sixty years ago at Easter, my father dressed me in a warm coat and, with my grandfather — they were both Labour Party activists — walked me the short block to Chiswick High Street. There, we joined thousands of the curious to watch go by the first Ban The Bomb March from Trafalgar Square in central London to the Aldermaston nuclear weapons factory. Some in the crowd cheered, most watched in silence. My father and grandfather cheered and clapped and I cheered and clapped along with them.

This Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was a very new animal on our streets. A new Campaign needed a new symbol, and it was for this very march that Gerald Holtom devised the famous “peace sign”. He took the semaphore signals for “N”uclear and “D”isarmament and put them in a circle to represent the earth. And I was there at its public birth. If only my memory were sharper!


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