50 years after the reverend Tom Willis proudly opened the doors of Peace House at 5 Caledonian Road, creating a home for the peace movement in London, activists, supporters, residents old and new – and Tom Willis himself – came together to celebrate their collective achievements.
An afternoon of reminiscence and reflection was accompanied by the inspirational voices of London-based political choir Raised Voices, and the poetry of long-time friends of the building, Pat Arrowsmith, Jeff Cloves and Dennis Gould.
This was followed by an evening of celebration and revelry, as comedians and musicians entertained and roused those gathered.
Highlights included Seize the Day, whose music coursed with the lifeblood of our movement, and Leon Rosselson, who was himself celebrating his fiftieth year of performing – an auspicious and welcome coincidence.
Armed with a folder of press cuttings, satirical comedian Robin Ince brought the house down, as he picked apart the contemptible musings of some of Britain’s “finest” journalists.
The anniversary was an appropriate testament to all the hard work that has gone on at Peace House over the years, and it was clear that with the depth of support and goodwill Peace House enjoys, it will still be at the heart of the British peace movement in another 50 years’ time.