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Report - Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham, Berkshire - June 2014

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Lenston, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Visited with The_Raw, Lolly92 and a non member.

    The was site number 2 of the day, great history this place and amazing to walk around. More fences than you can shake a stick at.

    Some History

    For many, Greenham Common is synonymous with the Cold War and the peace protests against the siting of Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) at the former airbase during the 1980‘s. At the end of the 1970’s, NATO member countries agreed to approve plans to deploy nearly 600 nuclear cruise missiles in Western Europe. Greenham Common Airbase was identified as one of the first airbases to receive the weapons and it was aimed to have Greenham as an operational cruise missile base by December 1983. In 1980 the British Government announced that Greenham Common would see the deployment of 96 Tomahawk Cruise nuclear missiles and in 1981 work began, preparing the airbase to receive the nuclear weapons.

    Also in 1981 a peace group called “Women for Life on Earth” marched from Cardiff to Greenham at protest against cruise and on arrival a number chained themselves to the perimeter fence at Greenham. Within a few days they established the first peace camp. Also in 1981 a peace group called “Women for Life on Earth” marched from Cardiff to Greenham at protest against cruise and on arrival a number chained themselves to the perimeter fence at Greenham. Within a few days they established the first peace camp. In early 1982 the camp became entirely for women and children only.

    The world watches the peace women protest. International media attention was drawn to the protests at Greenham and the site became a world famous icon for protests against nuclear weapons. In December 1982 around 30,000 women gathered to join hands around the airbase in what was known as the ‘Embrace the Base‘ event. A 14 mile human chain linked Greenham with other nuclear sites.

    GAMA remains a very visible reminder of Greenham Common‘s past and the history of international conflict during the late twentieth century. The six hardened shelters were constructed to protect the GLCMs from possible nuclear and conventional attack. Each shelter was designed to withstand a thermonuclear airburst explosion above Greenham Common and Newbury or a direct hit from a 500lb conventional bomb. It is believed that the shelters, that stand around 10 metres high, were built with a reinforced concrete ceiling about two metres thick, below a steel plate, around three metres of sand, a further reinforced concrete slab, all covered with tonnes of soil. Each shelter had six bombproof steel doors, three at each end.

    The missile silos at GAMA, in which ground launched cruise missiles of the USAF‘s 501st tactical missile unit were stored - 25th January 1989. The INF Treaty, signed by presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987, meant that by the Spring 1991 Greenham‘s role as a base for nuclear weapons would be over and by 1990 the cruise missiles had gone from the airbase. In 1992 Greenham Common Airbase was declared redundant for military purposes by the Ministry of Defence and the fate of Greenham Common hung in the balance. The runway at Greenham lies deserted while its fate is decided. More site history: 1992 and beyond and the construction of GAMA.

    Protest Line

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    Today

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    Blast door and concrete slab blocking access to the bunker inside
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    #1 Lenston, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Really is an amazing place, especially the quick reaction bunker, the one with the exhaust vents hanging down.
     
  3. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    For sure, its well worth a visit :)
     
  4. Saul

    Saul Basterd
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    I love this place!
     
  5. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Big yes to that. Very interesting :thumb
     
  6. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Stonking report mate you've done the place justice and Nick's historical knowledge on the place made it infinitely more fascinating, now we just need to figure out a way of getting through one of those concrete blocks! ;)
     
  7. Morrisey

    Morrisey 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Tip top that pal.. It's a bit like Thunderbirds on acid!!
     
  8. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Love the look of this place man, proper doors those :) good photos!
     
  9. Songsofthedoomed

    Songsofthedoomed 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Superb report, this is a must see
     
  10. oli1212

    oli1212 28DL Member
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    How difficult is it to get in?
     
  11. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Nicely done mate its a great location !
     
  12. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Re: Greenham Common (Gama) Thatcham - Berkshire June 14

    Pop along and see mate ;)
     
  13. ol bailey

    ol bailey 28DL Full Member
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    Hi, Newby here and first reply I have written. I found your report very interesting indeed. I have been planning a trip down there with my son but heard that it was being used at the moment for filming the new star wars movie or something like that. Will probably have to wait until it dies down a bit. Great report and photos though.
     
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  14. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Cheers, filming has finished at the site now i believe.
     
  15. ol bailey

    ol bailey 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks Lenston, I think a visit might be imminent then. It will be quite a trek for me as I live in Northumberland but its a place I have wanted to visit for ages. When the Missiles first came to the country they were stored in Northumberland prior to being taken to Greenham.
     
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