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A Photographer’s Journey Through Greenham Common


Greenham Common is a place with a rich history. Originally purchased by Newbury Borough Council in 1939, the government twice took control of large areas of the Commons for defense purposes from 1941 to 1997. An airbase was built here and used during and after the Cold War.

All images in this article are ©Carl Goodwin 2022 and are not to be reproduced or copied without express written permission by the author.



One of the most famous events that took place at Greenham Common was a women-led protest against American nuclear-tipped cruise missiles being sited there. In 1981, Ann Pettitt organized a march from Cardiff to Greenham Common, and some women stayed and set up a peace camp outside the airbase. The protest expanded to thousands at its peak, involving women from all over Europe.


The protest site at Greenham Common became internationally famous and attracted media attention. Nuclear convoys leading to the Greenham Common base were blockaded, missions were disrupted, and eventually, the missiles were removed.




One of my favorite shots is of the Observation Deck, where you can see across what was once one of the longest runways in Western Europe. It’s amazing to think that jet fighters and bombers once blasted their way along a 12,000-foot runway from this very spot.

But what happened to that runway? After the airbase was decommissioned, the barracks were demolished and the runways were recycled. The concrete was used in schemes such as building a local school and grassed over. There is still a small section of the runway that remains in the centre of the airfield.












Greenham Common has come a long way since its days as an airbase. It’s now a place where history, nature, and community come together. As a photographer, I feel privileged to have been able to capture its beauty and share it with others.

All images in this article are ©Carl Goodwin 2022 and are not to be reproduced or copied without express written permission by the author.

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