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Thursday, November 4, 1999 Published at 18:13 GMT

UK: Wales

Peace campaigners win memorial battle

The camp was established by Welsh campaigners

The remaining residents of Greenham Common peace camp - set up by south Wales campaigners - have won a planning battle to build a memorial to their struggle.

Only three campaigners still live rough at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp outside Newbury in Berkshire.

They plan to stick through one more winter before finally leaving next year - 20 years after the camp was set up.

The camps were established after a handful of women marched from south Wales to Greenham in 1981 and chained themselves to the nine-mile perimeter fence around the US airbase.

[ image: The missiles left the base in 1984]
The missiles left the base in 1984
At the height of the protest two years later, 50,000 women joined hands and formed a human chain.

To mark their world-famous protest, they asked for permission to build two sculptures and a memorial garden next to the former nuclear missile base.

They are now one step closer to seeing their plans become reality after the scheme was approved by West Berkshire Council's Newbury Area planning committee on Tuesday.

Ann Pettitt who led the women's march from Wales said it would be impossible to say what affect the peace women had on the course of history.

'Special meaning'

"For every woman who ever went there - and they came, at times, from all over the world - it has a special meaning."

The memorial will feature a brass flame sculpture surrounded by standing stones to symbolise the campfires which campaigners kept burning during their protest.

Nearby would be a Japanese-style garden to Helen Thomas, a campaigner killed in a road accident outside the base.

The nuclear missiles were eventually removed in 1984 and destroyed.

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