Tuesday, 8 March 2016

YCND: When it was all kicking off in Aberdeen

(Extracts edited and expanded - it was a minimalist sort of diary - from diary entries by a 17-year-old first-year student at Aberdeen University in the mid 1960s)

CND-related Diary 1964-65: From a small student society to an active group in the town 

            Year                 Date                 Event/Note
"One should always have
something sensational to read..."
October    1964             Wed. 14th         CND Hop

November 1964             Fr. 2nd              Lumpentrot (Marxist Soc. hop)
November 1964             Thu. 19th           CND Meeting
November 1964             Mon. 30th         Anti-Apartheid Meeting 7.30

Feb.     1965                 Th. 4th              CND Meeting

March   1965                 Fr. 5th               Meeting that wasn't; leaflets; Vietnam; Apartheid debate
March   1965                 Sat. 6th             Vigil 3.30 - 5

April     1965                 Fr. 16th             CND bus from Aberdeen to start of Easter March

April     1965                 Sat.16th            Easter March: High Wycombe - Uxbridge, 19mls.
April     1965                 Sun.17th           Easter March: Uxbridge - Wembley - Ealing Common, 14mls.
April     1965                 Mon.17th           Easter March: Hammersmith - Hyde Pk. - Trafalgar Sq.

May      1965                 Sun. 2nd           May Day March, 2.30; CP: "A merry May Day, comrades."
May      1965                 Tue. 4th            Meeting of Students' CND with Students' Christian Movement
May      1965                 Sun. 9th            Afternoon with YS comrades
May      1965                 Mon. 10th          Press & Journal re. Cowdray Hall heckle & walk-out
May      1965                 Fr. 14th             "Helping the police with their enquiries." 
May      1965                 Tue. 18th           CND AGM
May      1965                 Thu. 20th           Leaflets. Oxford Union debate, majority of 27
May      1965                 Fr. 21st             Vietnam meeting 7.30

June     1965                 Sun. 6th 2.30     YCND in Trades Halls, Adelphi; folk-club; visitor from C100
June     1965                 Sun. 13th 2.30   YCND; folk-club, Martin Carthy
June     1965                 Mon. 14th         YCND bods in Falkland (Cafe) - also later mentions
June     1965                 Wed. 16th         mini-van; "working for the party in darkest Mastrick"
June     1965                 Sun. 20th          YCND, Civil Defence sub.cmte; folk-club
June     1965                 Mon. 21st         YCND at St. Mary's Youth Club
June     1965                 Wed.. 23rd        "St. Mary's Folk Song Clique"

June     1965                 (Fr.) 25th           Dundee stopover on way to Glasgow
June     1965                 Sat. 26th           FASLANE; Demonstrators fined at Dumbarton, 

Aberdeen student at Faslane in June 1965
(not the writer of this diary or blog)

June     1965                 30th                  Lobby of Parliament re. Vietnam

August  1965                 3rd                   Court cases in Dumbarton
August  1965                 6th                    HIROSHIMA 20th anniversary
August  1965                 Sun. 8th            "RSG"
August  1965                 Mon. 30th         Freedom: Scots Against War again

September 1965             Sat. 11th           PORTON; London
September 1965             Sun. 12th          London: Hyde Park; CUCaND* meeting, Housmans (Tariq Ali)
September 1965             Thu. 16th           London: Freedom Press

October    1965                 Fri. 1st              YCND, Falkland
October    1965                 Sat. 2nd            Students' Societies Morning. "Reception for Wilson at Dyce"
October    1965                 Tue. 12th           CND meeting
October    1965                 Fr. 22nd            Lumpentrot (Marxist Soc. hop)

*CUCaND = Colleges and Universities Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Looking back 45 years later, the diarist as above recalled "the mid-sixties Aberdeen YCND, a phenomenon worthy of being written up in its own right":
"Attracting 70 or 80 to meetings at its height, its activities included white-washing slogans on the streets, a money-raising fast for War on Want, raids on the nearest Civil Defence centre, leafleting at Edzell USAF base, a protest fast at Rosyth naval dockyard, producing 2 or 3 issues [more, actually] of a magazine, Megaton, and, for some of us, supporting local busmen and paperworkers' struggles and trying to sell Solidarity round high-rise council flats - not to mention organising sundry demos, late licences, folk-song sessions and weekends in the hills." 

For more on the group and what happened next see: 
(includes another diary from 1965, by a 15-year-old schoolgirl)





  1. Just posted by "Lena":
    50 years ago today Aberdeen Youth CND beats in bid to stop the [Vietnam] war but only stopped a [royal] car https://lenathehyena.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/11759/

  2. Note on the main instigator of Aberdeen YCND's mid-1960s revival, from https://aberdeenprotest.wordpress.com/ -
    Ian Sutherland (1944 – 2016) August 25, 2019 by aberdeenprotest
    "Obituary and memories of Ian Sutherland who died in 2016. He was heavily involved in anarchist and CND activities in the city in the 1960s."
    https://libcom.org/forums/news/ian-sutherland-1944-2016-12112018 ... Also see: https://aberdeenprotest.wordpress.com/category/aberdeen-anarchists/