Orange Gate Journal

A Personal View of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp

By Ginette Leach

From November 1982 to January 1985, Ginette was 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.

Ginette Typing at Greenham Common

Ginette with typewriter, sitting in her car at Orange Gate.

Ginette Typing at Greenham Common

Ginette in 2014.

The Orange Gate Journal paperback book is a very 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:

       Orange Gate Journal front cover       Orange Gate Journal back cover       Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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:

       Orange Gate Journal eBook cover       Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

The Original Typed Manuscript (with some names removed) has been scanned and split into 9 sections for easy – but possibly slow – 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

All materials © Ginette Leach 1982-2015

This Orange Gate Journal website has been archived for preservation (2013) by the British Library

Dedicated to

Greenham Women Everywhere

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.

Episode 1
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 daytrip 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.

Episode 2
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.

Episode 3
Change is afoot: Ginette comes out to her son, helps to pull down whole swathes of fencing at Greenham Common, and applies to university.

Episode 4
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.

Episode 5
For her action at Greenham, Ginette's serves a short sentence in Holloway Prison.

Produced and directed by Pauline Harris

Pippa Haywood and Pauline Jefferson

Pippa Heywood and Pauline Jefferson play the younger and older Ginette

Making the radio drama.

Any queries?

Contact Ginette's son Mark by e-mail on mark@meta-synthesis.com

External Links:

Greenham Common Peace Camp Map, 1982

Greenham Common Peace Camp Map

Eviction of Sally Greenham Common

Orange Gate Journal Back Cover