Orange Gate Journal
A Personal View of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp
By Ginette Leach
Greenham Women Everywhere
- From November 1982 to January 1985, Ginette was a visitor, and then regular member, of the women's community at Orange Gate, part of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp.
- Orange Gate was one of several gates – all with women's peace camps – that surrounded the RAF Greenham Common air base and infuriated officialdom.
- American cruise missile nuclear weapons were deployed at RAF Greenham Common in 1983.
- Ginette's Orange Gate Journal is a personal, and often very funny perspective, that was written within hours of it happening.
Cover of the book:
Ginette with her typewriter, sitting in her car at Orange Gate (~1983):
Ginette – paint brush in hand – painting Orange Gate... orange!
Map of The Base:
The Orange Gate Journal paperback book is a lightly edited and reformatted version of the original manuscript (below). The book is available for £10.99 from all the usual on-line bookshops, or it can be bought immediately by clicking the Buy Now button below:
Order from your local bookshop quoting ISBN 978-1-312-71742-8
The Orange Gate Journal eBook is a very lightly edited and reformatted electronic version of the original manuscript (below). The eBook is available for £4.99 from all the usual on-line bookshops, or it can be bought immediately by clicking the Buy Now button below:
The Original Typed Manuscript (with some names removed) has been scanned and split into 9 sections for downloading. Click the blue underlined link to download the .pdf file to read:
- Sections 1 - 2, Nov/Dec 1982: 9MB pdf
- Sections 3 - 8, 1983: 23MB pdf
- Sections 9 - 12, Mid-Winter 1983/4: 21MB pdf
- Sections 13 - 15, Early Spring 1984: 15MB pdf
- Sections 16 - 18, Spring 1984: 17MB pdf
- Sections 19 - 22, Early Summer 1984: 19MB pdf
- Sections 23 - 24, Mid-Summer 1984: 16MB pdf
- Sections 25 - 26, Autumn 1984: 16MB pdf
- Sections 27 - 29, Mid-Winter 1984/5: 20MB pdf
This Orange Gate Journal website has been archived for preservation (2013) by the British Library
All materials © Ginette Leach 1982–
Ginette On The BBC
Ginette's journal and background life were dramatised in December 2014, as My Greenham, part of the BBC Radio 4 Writing The Century series.
Five episodes were broadcast over one week in the Women's Hour 15 Minute drama slot at 10:45am, repeated later in the evening at 7:45pm.
From the BBC Website:
Writing the Century - My Greenham, By Fiona Evans
The series which explores the 20th century through the diaries and correspondence of real people.
Using the diaries of Ginette Leach this is a funny and moving coming of age story of a 50-year-old suburban housewife.
Deal, Kent 1982. Ginette, a middle-class housewife, visits Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and for the first time in her life feels at home. What she doesn't realise is that this impromptu day-trip will change her life forever.
With her only son having flown the nest, Ginette has come to accept that her marriage is fake. To the outside world things are perfect. The couple are regulars at golf and sailing club, but behind the public façade John is having an affair with a work colleague and Ginette has been has been sleeping with a friend of hers - another married woman - for over 16 years.
Over the next two years Ginette visits Greenham and comes of age at 50: "what the hell am I doing with my life, I need to do something for me." Watching her mother die of cancer makes life and time seem all the more precious. So, inspired by the women of Greenham Ginette goes to university, comes out as a lesbian and is imprisoned for what she believes in.
Ginette discovers her husband John is having an affair, and she begins one herself, with a woman at Greenham Common. She also experiences cutting the perimeter fence at Greenham for the first time: An exhilarating and terrifying experience.
Change is afoot: Ginette comes out to her son, helps to pull down whole swathes of fencing at Greenham Common, and applies to university.
Ginette's sister Gina arrives from Canada because their mother has Cancer. She's appalled at Ginette's studenty dress and overall behaviour and insists on coming to Greenham to see what it's like for herself. Later, Ginette is arrested.
For her action at Greenham, Ginette's serves a short sentence in Holloway Prison.
Produced and directed by Pauline Harris
Pippa Heywood and Pauline Jefferson play the older and younger Ginette, and the cast making the radio drama:
Ginette at home – outside Brighton – in 2014 where, she still lives:
Contact Ginette's son Mark (who made this website) by e-mail on email@example.com
The original journal documents are part of the collection held by The Women's Library
Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Website
The Guardian's excellent Your Greenham Website. Has a glossary of Greenham terms along with videos, words & images