Records of Bradford Peace Action Group

Archive reference: Cwl BPAG

One of several Commonweal Archives which tell the story of anti-nuclear campaigning in Bradford in the 1980s. Discover more via this article from our 100 Objects exhibition: The Day After: Bradford and the Bomb.

Bradford Peace Action Group

In October 1981, the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council declared itself to be a nuclear-free zone. Following the lead of Manchester in 1980, the councils of many UK cities were doing the same, in opposition to the Conservative government's policies. These councils resisted the deployment of nuclear weapons and the transport of such weapons or nuclear waste within their boundaries.

Bradford Council founded the Peace Action Group in 1982, to monitor progress made in establishing the zone, link with other nuclear-free zone local authorities and peace groups, and generate new ideas in peace education. Councillor Colin Hunter was instrumental in setting up the Group and was its Chairman. In April 1983, a hung council voted to withdraw the nuclear-free status from the city, and to disband the Group. A motion to re-establish the zone and the Group in 1983 was not carried, but in 1985, a further motion was successful.

The Group was reformed in 1986, generally now known as the Peace Action Group. A Nuclear Issues/Emergency Planning Select Committee was also established. Organisations represented in the later version of the Group include the University of Bradford, Commonweal Collection, Bradford College, Bradford Festival, and many local peace groups and branches of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In 1988, a change of council from Labour to Conservative resulted in the removal of the zone and of support for the Group.

The Archive

We believe this collection was created by Commonweal staff from material sent to Commonweal Library or gathered by participants at Group meetings. It contains agendas, minutes, reports and publicity such as the Peace Action Group Bulletin. The papers and bulletins contain detail about the work of other peace organisations and activists in Yorkshire. Minutes and papers of the Nuclear Issues/Emergency Planning Select Committee are also included.

The Archive was catalogued as part of the PaxCat Project, with support from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives.

Related collections in Special Collections include the Papers of Colin Hunter and the Records of Bradford Nuclear Disarmament Group.

Records of Bradford Peace Action Group description