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Helensburgh CND

2017 March

Last night we held our most successful regular Helensburgh CND meeting so far with 21 people attending.  Our speaker was Graeme McCormick, an SNP conveyancing solicitor who gave an insider’s view of construction inside the Faslane Naval Base.  This was quite timely given the recent ‘memorandum of understanding’ signed between the MOD and Argyll & Bute Council, and an excellent discussion went on till about 9.30!

Helensburgh CND group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7.30 in the Clyde Bar West Clyde Street. Please come along!

2017 January and February

January 9 and February 6 were short planning meetings for our conference Life after Trident. which took place on Saturday 11 February from 1-5 pm at Helensburgh Parish Church Halls.  Our speakers were Brendan O’Hara MP Argyll & Bute (Faslane as Scottish defence force HQ), Ronnie Cowan MP Inverclyde (standing in for Lesley Riddoch who was ill) (Coulport), Mike Danson Professor of Enterprise Policy Heriot-Watt University (Opening up the Clyde estuary to alternative forms of development) and Janet Fenton SCND (Wealth beyond measure).

The conference was chaired by Alannah Maurer of Navy Not Nuclear.  After a short opening speech by Ellen Renton of Helnsburgh CND the speakers gave their initial inputs followed by questions from the floor, then after the refreshments break each speaker led a workshop on his/her own topic.  This was followed by a feedback session to the main conference, then a short closing speech was made by Arthur west Chair of Scottish CND.

In spite of a few niggles on the day, Life after Trident was very successful.  We sold 120 tickets, and roughly 100 people attended on the day.  Independence Live had over 68,000 views on their Facebook post, and almost 16,000 viewed at least part of the conference on live stream.  Altogether Helensburgh CND made approximately £450 from the event, with costs running at about £350, so that went a long way towards paying for our new banner and placards.

It was always the intention to use both the speaker inputs and the ideas generated in the workshops to produce a Life after Trident leaflet for distribution in Argyll, West Dumbarton and Inverclyde.  To that end we have formed a small Steering Group composed of Ellen Renton from Helensburgh CND, Alannah Maurer from Navy Not Nuclear, Alasdair Jamieson from the SNP, Patsy Millar from the Yes Campaign and Rosie Montgomery from the Common Weal, initially to work on the leaflet and pursue funding for the distribution.  However we think that in the long term such a group could be important locally for the sharing and dissemination of politically relevant information, and also that it would enable us to be more proactive when it comes to issues such as the MOD policing of the peninsula.


Helensburgh CND Meetings 2016


Our first meeting was held on 5/9/16 in the new  Helensburgh Civic Offices, it was rather expensive so all subsequent meetings have taken place in the Clyde Bar on West Clyde Street where we meet for free on the first Monday of each month.  The first three meetings – September, October, November 2016 – were mainly social and educational, trying to build up the group numbers.  It was rapidly becoming clear however that we needed to offer more, and so on December 5 we invited Brian Quail to come along and talk about his experiences with the nuclear convoys and why he feels so passionately about what he does.  Fourteen people turned up at the Clyde Bar to hear him speak, including a substantial number from the Faslane Peace Camp, and we all had a really great evening.

Helensburgh CND

The revived Helensburgh CND group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7.30 in the Clyde Bar West Clyde Street.

We've had three meetings so far, and altogether thirteen people have turned up and provided their email addresses to the database.  In addition five people have attended from Faslane Peace Camp, where we have managed to establish relations with the activists.

Activities so far have included visits to the Peace Camp to talk about some of the current issues and how we might be able to offer support, and we are in the process of designing our new banner and other campaigning placards.  We have now re-affiliated to the Scottish CND.

Helensburgh CND Meetings


Starting a new Scottish CND group

A wee complication in our case was that there was a previously existing group which had petered out and disaffiliated from SCND in 2013.  However some members of the group were still active in the peace movement, and great care had to be taken to ensure that they were warmly welcomed in to the 'new' group.   Some of  these older members have been particularly helpful and we are very grateful for the experience they bring to bear.

Of the eighteen people who have attended our first three meetings, two were from the old group, five were from the Peace Camp, six were members of the local SNP branch and five people turned up in response to our advertising.  We advertise in the local paper, the community magazine and we also post the events on social media, the latter proving to be the most successful.  We have also established our own Facebook page.

Starting a new group is a bit of a steep learning curve, and it's obvious from the pattern of attendance that we need to be more proactive in attracting people to the group and providing opportunities to help them gel.  We are working on a schedule of speakers to provide more of a focus at our meetings, and plans for a Saturday afternoon conference - working title 'Life after Trident' - in February 2017 are well under way.