Bradford Peace Action Group

Scope and Content

Agendas, minutes, associated papers, reports and publicity 1982-1983, 1987-1988. Peace Action Group Bulletin issues 1-10. The papers and bulletins contain detail about the work of other peace organisations and activists in Yorkshire. Minutes and papers of the Nuclear Issues/Emergency Planning Select Committee are also included.

Administrative / Biographical History

In October 1981, the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council declared itself to be a nuclear-free zone. Following the lead of Manchester in 1980, the councils of many UK cities were doing the same, in opposition to the Conservative government's policies. These councils resisted the deployment of nuclear weapons and the transport of such weapons or nuclear waste within their boundaries.

Bradford Council founded the Peace Action Group in 1982, to monitor progress made in establishing the zone, link with other nuclear-free zone local authorities and peace groups, and generate new ideas in peace education. Councillor Colin Hunter was instrumental in setting up the Group and was its Chairman.

In April 1983, a hung council voted to withdraw the nuclear-free status from the city, and to disband the Group. A motion to re-establish the zone and the Group in 1983 was not carried, but in 1985, a further motion was successful. The Group was reformed in 1986, generally now known as the Peace Action Group. A Nuclear Issues/Emergency Planning Select Committee was also established.

Organisations represented in the later version of the Group include Commonweal Collection, Bradford University, Bradford College, Bradford Festival, and many local peace groups and branches of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

In 1988, a change of council from Labour to Conservative resulted in the removal of the zone and of support for the Group.

Access Information

Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation. Section 1 contains personal data on individuals and access is therefore restricted under the Act. More detailed cataloguing may make it possible to refine this restriction. Researchers should contact the Special Collections Librarian for information about the status of the material they wish to view.

Acquisition Information

This appears to be an artificial collection created by Commonweal staff from material sent to Commonweal Library or gathered by attenders at Group meetings.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished boxlist.

Archivist's Note

Described by Alison Cullingford.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Papers of Bradford Council held by the West Yorkshire Archives Service.


“Bradford the day after: What a one megaton nuclear bomb would do to the Bradford Metropolitan District”. Bradford Metropolitan Council, 198?.

“The story of a nuclear-free zone”. Bradford Peace Action Group, 1983.

Rank, Carol. “City of Peace: Bradford's story”. Bradford Libraries, 1997. Includes a chapter “Municipal peace policies: prospects for the future” by Bob Overy, outlining the political context of Bradford's NFZ experience.

Personal Names