Crane-camp activist takes tall-bike cross country in nuclear protest

Dereham man Alex Sidney with the tall-bike he has taken to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. 

Dereham man Alex Sidney with the tall-bike he has taken to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney

He sparked a furore by camping at the top of a 100ft crane for two days to raise awareness of the climate crisis, and now teenager Alex Sidney is back with a new mission.

The 18-year-old from Yaxham Road, Dereham, has taken a tall bike called Mambo to a 'peace camp' near Glasgow to join a long-running protest against nuclear weapons. 

Mr Sidney cycled the tall-bike - whose saddle is 1.7 metres or 5'5" off the ground - to Leeds, which took him about six days. From there he caught the train to Glasgow to avoid the snow before peddling onto Faslane Peace Camp.

He described the bike as "amazing to ride".

Dereham man Alex Sidney on the tall-bike he has taken to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. 

Dereham man Alex Sidney on the tall-bike he has taken to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney

Mr Sidney said: "You get an amazing viewpoint above the hedgerows which cover the majority of Britain’s roads. Ican see ahead in traffic queues allowing me to filter through more efficiently and safely. 


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"I’m used to stopping for pedestrians who are always eager to ask questions such as 'how do you get on and off?', 'have you ever fallen off?', 'Where can I buy one?', and 'How’s the weather up there?'."

On the journey, Mr Sidney said he stayed overnight in abandoned Royal Observer Corps nuclear monitoring posts, of which there were many abandoned around England. 

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The peace camp is next to Faslane Naval base, the home of the UK's nuclear weapons, and has been occupied continuously since 1982.

Mr Sidney said there were thee people and a dog currently living there.

The tall-bike called mambo which Dereham man Alex Sidney took to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. 

The tall-bike called mambo which Dereham man Alex Sidney took to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney

He said: "The main objective is opposing nuclear weapons and promoting peace.

"We also strive for tackling the climate crisis like XR [Extinction Rebellion], and work with other organisations on actions sometimes. The military are large polluters so it affects both of our aims. It’s worrying to think that we are on ground zero there: if another country wanted to nuke the UK, that is exactly where they would probably target, killing thousands of people."

Mr Sidney said the community at the camp was "warm and welcoming". He said: "It’s presumed to be the oldest active resistant peace camp in the UK, if not the world, established in 1982 by Margaret and Bobby Harrison."

After Mr Sidney camped atop a crane on a building site in Duke Street, Norwich in November last year,  he was ordered to pay £145 and given an 18-month conditional discharge at Norwich Magistrates' Court.

The tall-bike called mambo which Dereham man Alex Sidney took to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. 

The tall-bike called mambo which Dereham man Alex Sidney took to Scotland to protest against nuclear weapons. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney

Dereham man Alex Sidney took refuge in abandoned Royal Observer Corps nuclear monitoring posts on his journey north. 

Dereham man Alex Sidney took refuge in abandoned Royal Observer Corps nuclear monitoring posts on his journey north. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney

Dereham man Alex Sidney took refuge in abandoned Royal Observer Corps nuclear monitoring posts on his journey north. 

Dereham man Alex Sidney took refuge in abandoned Royal Observer Corps nuclear monitoring posts on his journey north. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney

Dereham man Alex Sidney also camped next to his tall-bike on his journey north. 

Dereham man Alex Sidney also camped next to his tall-bike on his journey north. - Credit: Supplied by Alex Sidney


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