ON BANK holiday Monday (August 27), a women's historical group will lead a march across the old Severn Bridge, following in the footsteps of the 'Women's Life on Earth' marchers – 37 years to the day since the anti-war activists walked to Greenham Common air base to protest against the housing of American missiles.

The commemorative event is part of the 'Century of Hope' project being run by Women's Archive Wales (WAW) – an organisation set up to raise the profile of Welsh women in history.

In 1981, a group led by Anne Pettitt walked more than 100 miles from Cardiff to the Berkshire air base.

Like many people, the marchers were afraid of the consequences of the Cold War nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

After arriving at the Greenham Common base, the group set up a peace camp from which they orchestrated their anti-war protests.

"It’s a commemoration of an important event", said WAW's chair, Catrin Stevens.

"Some of those problems still exist today. Some attitudes haven’t changed, the message today is that we are still striving for peace and women are still at the forefront of that."

The WAW event has been organised by Gail Allen, who said: "The courage, persistence and imagination of the small group of women from Wales who set off walking to Greenham Common in 1981 inspired many other women like me to join them in protests against the nuclear arms race.

"The peace camp became known throughout the world. Our event underlines the significance of that protest by women within the peace movement as a whole."

The commemorative event will begin in Cardiff's Alexandra Gardens at 10am, where original marchers Sue Lent and Karmen Thomas will speak about their experiences of the original march.

They will be joined by a historian from Aberystwyth University, Bethan Sian, who will speak about her research into the Cold War-era peace movement in Wales.

After a short march into Cardiff, attendees will travel by coach to Chepstow to attend a special exhibition in the town's Drill Hall.

From there, they will set off for the old Severn Bridge at approximately 2pm.

While marching, the group will display anti-war banners made by children from schools in Abergavenny.

The event is open to all. For more information or to reserve a place on the free-of-charge coaches which will be transporting people to Cardiff from Swansea, and then on to Chepstow, email gailmall@aol.com

Women’s Archive Wales has two aims – to raise the profile of Welsh women in history and to safeguard the sources of that history.

We were given money by the Heritage Lottery Fund for our ‘century of hope’ project.

This is the ninth of twelve events we’re organising for the project.

One of the most formative events was the walk to Greenham Common in 1981 when women decided to march against the placing of cruise missiles there.

There were 30-40 people on the first march, who were joined by many more people for a small part of the ten-day journey.

They were housed and fed by members of groups like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) along the way.

It was Anne Pettitt’s idea – she wasn’t Welsh but she was living in West Wales – she decided enough was enough.

Karmen Thomas, another organiser, will be coming along to talk about her experiences.

We’ll be re-enacting a part of the walk.

We’ll meet in Cardiff, where the original marchers met, and there’ll be a talk from Sue Lent and Karmen Thomas, as well as a student who is doing her PhD on the peace movement.

There’ll be singing and we’ll be carrying banners, before taking the bus to Chepstow, where there’ll be more talks and an exhibition in the Drill Hall.

After that the group will cross the old Severn Bridge, walking about halfway.

It’s a commemoration of an important event.

Pupils from schools in Abergavenny made the banners (in Welsh and in English).

Some of those problems still exist today. Some attitudes haven’t changed, the message today is that we are still striving for peace and women are still at the forefront of that.