(All photographs by Jill Beauchamp; click on any picture to see a larger version in a new window)
There was the usual dawn rendezvous on the Embankment. We had an extra 4-footed passenger i.e. a medium-size dog. The coach driver was none too happy as he had been assured that it was a ‘small’ dog. Then we all jumped aboard and zoomed off to Sizewell.
Sizewell is approached down a narrow country lane flanked by fields. The setting of Sizewell-by-the-sea is all very picturesque with the additional idiosyncratic charm of the Vulcan pub!
On the dunes a very organised temporary Peace camp had been established by the local CND group, with banners, information boards & toilets. Hurrah! for the London Region, as we were the only coach party of supporters.
The local group had a timetable of events which kicked off with a rally outside the gates of Sizewell. Under the necessary protection of a parachute canopy and effective sound system there were informative and stimulating speakers, local and international.
The local speakers, including a councillor, were very committed in negotiating with local business and community groups on the detailed, long-term horror of having a nuclear reactor in their vicinity. The international speaker was a Taiwanese lady who has Japanese friends and is very involved in Japan CND and had visited Fukushima. She gave an illustrated speech which contained the observation and warning that the Japanese government/industrial establishment could be using civilian nuclear power as a way into developing military nuclear capability. Very alarming!
Of course it rained and the parachute canopy leaked.... The gravity of the speakers was leavened by the musical interludes and the funky dancing of Youth CND.
The local CND triumphed on the catering and fed, if not exactly the 5,000, at least a happy 50 doughty activists.We then trudged down to the beach and did a guided walk alongside both reactors — ancient and modern.
Full of dread and deadly information regarding the current and future lack of safety/effectiveness/destruction of the sea and coastal terrain, we gathered into the coach and swished back to Waterloo.
The final word must be positive. The Taiwanese have managed to reduce their dependence on nuclear energy.
Hinkley update: The Barn and hedgerows have been demolished and destroyed. Weep! (see photos from April demonstration )