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Peace News link to nuclear disarmament symbol

26 October, 2018

Plaque above Blackstock Road shop marking link to nuclear disarmament symbol

• I WAS pleasantly surprised to discover the report of the launch of a plaque to mark the “birthplace”, in Blackstock Road, of Gerald Holtom’s internationally-known nuclear disarmament symbol, (Blackstock Road plaque honours origins of worldwide peace symbol, October 12).

It was great to see the history of its origins (involving Peace News editor Hugh Brock and the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War), and its subsequent use by CND, told with rare accuracy. (Apart, that is, from its description as “the peace symbol” – there are many of those, and the one commemorated here was always intended to relate specifically to nuclear disarmament.)

As one of Hugh Brock’s successors – as a Peace News editor in the 1970s and 1980s – and currently a Peace News trustee, I’m sorry that we weren’t all aware of the unveiling. If we had been, Peace News would, appropriately, have been well represented at the event too.

While in “history mode”, can I point out to Tribune readers that only a year after the events commemorated, the Peace News office moved from that spot a few yards outside the north-east boundary of Islington to a few yards inside the south-west corner of the borough.

A building was bought – for Peace News, Housmans Bookshop and as many other joyfully subversive organisations as we’ve been able to fit in – here at 5 Cally Road.

And as the building reaches its 60th birthday next year, there will be lots more opportunity for the Tribune and its readers to celebrate key peace movement events which have taken place in this area of London.

Those wishing to undertake pre-birthday homework will be able to do so by reading the story of the building included in the 2019 Housmans Peace Diary.

Caledonian Road, N1


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