The National Archives (TNA), at Kew in south-west London, has provided some preliminary details about its new ‘Cold War’ season, which starts in April, 2019. It will comprise an exhibition, ‘Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed’, together with a varied programme of associated events.
TNA’s Cold War season will open with the special exhibition, located on the ground-floor of the building, and this will help launch a series of fascinating events which will explore the reality of life in a Britain that was under the persistent threat of nuclear attack during the Cold War era. The events will also include some exploration of the secret intelligence war engaged in by East and West, and how this impacted on Britain.
The events include:
Friday 5th April (evening): ‘An Evening with Dame Stella Rimmington’. Appointed Director-General of MI5, Britain’s domestic Security Service, in 1992, and the first woman to hold the job, Dame Stella is now a best-selling thriller writer. She will discuss her career, and there will be an opportunity for questions afterwards.
Thursday 25th April (afternoon): ‘The Scandalous Case of John Vassall’. This event will be devoted to the infamous case of John Vassall, a civil servant caught in a ‘honey trap’ by Soviet intelligence at the height of the Cold War.
Thursday 9th May (evening): ‘From the Bomb to the Beatles’. This event looks at the general history and socio-political evolution of Britain in the 20 years following the end of the Second World War, a period of domestic events and surprising changes in the country, against a background of rising Cold War tensions.
Friday 17th May (evening): ‘Archives at Night: Cold War Revealed’. This promises to be an entertaining evening event for all, with quizzes and other activities, plus a chance for special tours of the new exhibition ‘Protect and Survive’.
TNA’s bookshop on the ground-floor will also have a range of history books devoted to all aspects of Britain’s role in the Cold War and to the more general ‘freeze’ in international relations that occurred during the Cold War period.
For more details on the Cold War season, see: nationalarchives.gov.uk/coldwar
The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9-4DU
Nearest tube station: Kew Gardens Station – District Line and London Overground