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Faslane – a tour of the missile base

Faslane (Her Majesty’s Naval Base) on the Clyde above Glasgow is where Britain’s nuclear weapons are kept in the form of nuclear submarines armed with Trident missiles. 

Quaker Meeting for Worship is held outside the main gates of Faslane every other month. Quakers meet in silent worship for 45 minutes, anyone can minister (speak). It is a time for worship but also silent protest. It’s one of many  peace vigils held across the UK.

When we were there in June the police came past in cars and on foot to check what was happening. One Friend stepped out of Meeting to explain what was going on. 

 

Meeting for Worship outside Faslane
  
banners are attached to the fence

After Meeting for Worship we were invited to take a tour of the base, from the outside of course! 

It was interesting to see the base from up above as have never seen that view and suddenly you see how immense it is. Interesting also to see the police response to us, they arrived as we stood on a hill above the base and then kept appearing, keeping an eye on our activity. 

view of the base from above
  
tourist information board with wildlife and submarine!
 

We were fortunate to have Janet and David, two experienced activists, guiding us, we were also shown maps of the site which were very useful to help us understand the base and its operation. 

 

David explaining with maps how the base works
  
 We moved on to look at Coulport. This is where concrete bunkers housing the Trident nuclear warheads are built into the hillside.  A chilling thought. 
roundabout at Coulport with warhead bunkers
 

The police at Coulport were obviously very bothered by our presence, they did not want us to park or stop there. I felt too intimidated by them to get a proper photo. When we parked further away and walked back they asked us to stand behind a short metal barrier ‘for our own safety’ yet behind them were nuclear weapons capable of mass destruction. 

Finally we looked at Peaton Glen Wood, a piece of land bought by a peace activist Georgina Smith, strangely enough acquired from the Ministry of Defence. It is a few yards from the Coulport nuclear bunkers but a little haven of nature and peace, used for summer peace camps and other events. It’s on the edge of the loch and reminds us what this place was like before the Faslane base arrived and will be after it goes. 

our tour guides Janet and David
  
walking back along the loch from Peaton Glen Wood
 

Quakers say 

We are called to live ‘in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars’. Do you faithfully maintain our testimony that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ? Search out whatever in your own way of life may contain the seeds of war. Stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God.

 

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5 thoughts on “Faslane – a tour of the missile base

  1. Thanks Ann for such a simple, humane and telling comment on the obscenity of our country having weapons whose only use is to effect the mass and indiscriminate killing and maiming of tens or hundreds of thousands of human beings.

    Liked by 1 person

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