Object of the Month – November 2014

November 2014 – Nuclear Free Local Authorities postcards, 1980 and 1981

Nuclear Free Local Authorities postcards‘In the event of a Nuclear War there will be no chances. There will be no survivors – all will be obliterated.’ Earl Mountbatten, Former Chief of the Defence Staff, 1979 (This quote is featured on the back of the Sheffield postcard).

We have recently acquired a large collection of political postcards. Two of which celebrate nuclear free towns in the UK.

These postcards were printed by Middlesbrough and Sheffield authorities who were part of Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), a popular local initiative started in the early 1980s championed by protest groups such the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, student unions and their local authorities. Fear of nuclear power, both military and civil, rose in the late 1970s and early 1980s due to increasing tensions between Russia and NATO during the Cold war.

The NFLA was formed and is run by Manchester City Council after it declared itself the first nuclear free local authority in 1980. It began with a resolution passed by Manchester and many other local authorities quickly followed. By being a member of the NFLA, local authorities would be publically opposed to nuclear power and show support for more sustainable energy alternatives. The NFLA also has international connections with Mayors for Peace, a group for the elimination of nuclear weapons and KIMO which deals in the destruction of marine life by pollution.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities is an example of local government protecting themselves against unwanted policy that the national government may try to impose. The NFLA continues to this day, giving local authorities advice on nuclear power and discussing more efficient energy solutions. Visit the NFLA website to find out more.

These postcards are currently in storage at our offsite object store.