A graphic including a hand holding a hammer with a heart on. The background is grey with lines of CND symbols on.

Exhibition

A Say in the End of the World: Solidarity and Nuclear Defence in the Cold War

This exhibition will be open from 4 March until 15 September 2024.

A portrait photo of Gareth Bryant

Author

Gareth Bryant

PhD student, Open University

Introduction

Thoughtfully curated by guest Gareth Bryant (PhD student, Open University), the exhibition explores networks of solidarity between groups campaigning on peace, nuclear weapons and national self-determination.

In the late 1950s, hundreds of thousands of people took part in demonstrations against Britain’s role in the nuclear arms race, sparking a movement that would continue until the present day. Over the decades, individuals from different classes, genders, races and religions would be united in their support or rejection of nuclear disarmament. At times of great political division, these alliances evolved to incorporate debates over industrial relations, social policy and British identity as a whole.

The exhibition approaches this network primarily from the point of view of peace and anti-nuclear groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). However, it invites you to consider how the interests and goals of any group can interact and intersect with one or more others. Also on display are the opponents of nuclear disarmament, such as Women for Families and Defence, hoping to foster a deeper understanding of the diversity of opinion that continues to characterise British society.

All of our collections are available for everyone to look at. If you’re interested in exploring further, take a look at our Peace and Internationalism collection highlight page.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

A CND protester marchGareth explores the CND from three perspectives – national self-determination in Wales and Scotland, solidarity in the trade union movement, and Christianity. Using the CND archives held at LSE Library for his PhD, Gareth shares the results of his research on these fascinating topics.

Pat Arrowsmith

Pat Arrowsmith stood with a group of men. Some are wearing flat caps.

Pat burst into my life 25 years ago, giving me a right telling-off for too much talk and not enough action! This was typical of the Pat I came to know and love. She was an inspiring and courageous woman who always chose the deed. She was as different from an armchair philosopher as it is possible to be.

Chair of CND Kate Hudson shares her memories of Pat Arrowsmith, the extraordinary peace campaigner who helped establish the peace marches at Aldermaston. For more about Pat explore her papers at the Library.

CAAT

People outside in a square with various posters/drawings on display.LSE Library are the proud custodians of the papers of CAAT, who commemorate the 50th anniversary of their founding this year. Founded in November 1974 by a coalition of peace groups which realised that while the arms trade intersected with all of their work, there was no organisation with this issue as the primary focus for its campaigns.

Women and Families for Defence

US President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office shaking hands with Lady Olga Maitland.

Lady Olga Maitland has loaned the Library these fascinating materials from Women and Families for Defence, an organisation formed in the early 1980s and chaired by Olga Maitland. It was founded in opposition to CND and Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, and argued against unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Exhibition credits

Curated by Gareth Bryant (PhD Student, Open University) with guests Kate Hudson (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), Charles Wright and Sam Perlo-Freeman (Campaign Against the Arms Trade), Lady Olga Maitland (Families for Defence), and Daniel Payne (Curator, LSE Library)

A person stood in the street, their face obscured by a megaphone. Beneath them is a sign with a CND symbol on that reads as follows "Vote Radical Alliance. Vote Arrowsmith".Archives of Pat Arrowsmith, LSE Library

Further information

How to find us

Exhibitions are held in the Library Gallery by the entrance to our building. 

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Organise a tour

The Gallery is a small enough space for a 15 minute tour — available on request.

Get in touch if you would like to arrange a tour.

Opening times

Open 4 March to 15 September 2024.

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 6pm

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