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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 07:27 GMT
Peaceful Aldermaston anniversary
Aldermaston march on Easter Monday 2008
Campaigners are concerned about the expansion of the site
A protest to mark the 50th anniversary of a march to the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire passed peacefully, police said.

About 1,400 people gathered at the site at Aldermaston on Easter Monday.

The first march was held at Easter in 1958, shortly after the formation of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

People from across the UK, including some who had attended the original march, travelled to take part in the anniversary protest.

High profile faces, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and CND's 84-year-old vice president Walter Wolfgang, were also at the event.

In 1958, some 10,000 people marched from London to Aldermaston in protest at Britain's first hydrogen bomb tests 50 years ago.

The site is the headquarters of Britain's nuclear weapons programme.

Christopher Holden with the original placard he took as a 15-year-old to the march in 1958
Christopher Holden went on the original march as a 15-year-old

Christopher Holden, who was 15 years old when he went on the first march, said: "I just remember the great feeling of how worried everybody was about the nuclear issue during the Cold War.

"The issue hasn't gone away. It is still as important as it was then."

AWE provides the warheads for Trident - the submarine-launched missile system that constitutes the UK's nuclear deterrent.

Organisers of Monday's march said they wanted to highlight how the site is being expanded to develop the next generation of nuclear warheads.

More than 150 officers from the Thames Valley, MoD and Hampshire police forces, including mounted officers were at Aldermaston to "facilitate a lawful and peaceful protest".

Supt Chris Shead, of Thames Valley Police, said: "We would like to express our thanks to the demonstrators for their co-operation and consideration throughout the day."



SEE ALSO
March at Aldermaston 50 years on
24 Mar 08 |  Berkshire
Banned anti-nuclear camps 'go on'
10 Mar 08 |  Berkshire
Anti-nuclear protesters fight MoD
01 Feb 08 |  Berkshire
Marchers protest at nuclear base
12 Apr 04 |  Berkshire

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