WHO ARE THE NANAS?
Katharine Styles (55), aka Nana Cupcake, from Lytham Saint Annes
I own and run a small sandwich shop latterly, but previously I was a teacher within the further education sector. I have been a school governor, a rainbow leader and I have also taught children’s cookery classes. I first heard about fracking when Cuadrilla started shale gas exploration at Preese Hall and triggered earthquakes across the Fylde.
For me, Nana’s signify safe protest. To someone who has never been involved in activism or protest, the Nana’s are accessible, friendly and fun, while sending an important message about the harm caused by fracking and the need to preserve our environment for our children and grandchildren. The Nanas are just ordinary people who want what is best for our families and our communities. We have done the research and concluded that fracking is a very real threat to our air, our water and our health. I see educating others about the threats from fracking as a responsibility, and I am proud to be a Lancashire Nana.
“The Nanas are just ordinary people who want what is best for our families and our communities.”
Frack fighting Nanas are also a lot of FUN! We are a diverse group with a real passion for spreading the anti-fracking message and supporting ALL those who seek to protect this beautiful land from the dangers of fracking. My highlight as a Nana has been representing Lancashire at the Climate Change March in London. It was my first time wearing the Nana tabard, my first protest march and my first opportunity to see how respected and well known the Nanas are as a voice within the anti-fracking movement.
My advice to local residents who want to stop fracking companies from drilling in their communities is to be vigilant, be aware and be united! Communities do have collective power and must be heard. Spread the word and get active. No one knows your community like you do, and we must all take action if we want to stop fracking on our doorsteps.
Ginette Evans (57), aka Nana No Sh*t, from Fleetwood.
I used to be in the Army, until I became a full time mother and then I was a transport manager. I now work in retail. I first heard about fracking after Cuadrilla caused the earthquakes in the Fylde.
After researching fracking and attending local anti-fracking meetings, I helped set up our local group in Fleetwood. I didn’t decide to become a nana, but evolved into a nana. I feel I was in a cocoon, wrapped up in my life, being a mother a nana and wife. The more I learned about the dangers of fracking, the more resolved I was that I needed to fight this danger and protect my children and grandchildren. This was the point at which I became a “Nana”, no longer just nana.
My favourite Nana memoryhas to be taking the field and setting up camp at Preston New Road. Within hours, locals were turning up thanking us, offering support and bringing supplies. It was then I realised that I was absolutely doing the right thing. I love being a Nana and being part of such a wonderful, loving, caring, committed group of very different people. We are all putting so much into raising awareness about fracking and its dangers and each of us are determined to stop fracking.
“It is like having a second family. I know, no matter what happens, each and every member of my anti-fracking family will be a lifelong friend.”
It is like having a second family. I know, no matter what happens, each and every member of my anti-fracking family will be a lifelong friend. We are the Nanas from Lancashire, which is where we began. But being a Nana isn’t about where you are from. It’s more about who we are. Nanashire is more a state of being, and is everywhere. There are groups of Nanas rising throughout the UK.
We are touring the UK and trying to reach as many communities as possible. In areas where there are no existing groups, we can assist local people in organising new ones. If local groups or individuals would like us to visit the area where they live, I advise they get in touch with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tina Louise Rothery (53), aka Nana Queenie, from Blackpool.
I am a copywriter and most of my time is spent campaigning to help stop fracking. I first heard about fracking when a leaflet from Cuadrilla was delivered through my letterbox. I have been fighting fracking since 2012 and became a Nana when the group formed in Summer 2014.
I have so many fond memories as a Nana. I think the moment that changed all our lives forever is the taking of the field at Preston New Road for a three-week occupation. The distance we travelled physically to take the field was small. The leap of faith in ourselves and each other was vast beyond imagining.
What I like most about being a Nana is our mutual support, solidarity and trust. This is a tough fight, full of ugly revelations, sickening truths and vile industry practices. The Nanas remind me of the beauty of life, the feisty spirit of being alive and loving it so much – you want it preserved, kept sacred and passed on.
“Slowing fracking trucks is not so tough when you’re a slow mover!”
My advice to local residents in communities that want to stop fracking is do ONE thing now; write a letter expressing your concerns and send it to your local paper as well as your Councillors and MPs (www.writetothem.com). You are not expected to be knowledgeable but it is entirely your right to expect to be informed. Start a community conversation by talking to neighbours, fellow shoppers etc. If you prefer to be less forthright, simply find some information online at great sites like frack-off.org.uk and frackfreeryedale.org and download a handy leaflet or list of facts that you can print and quietly deliver into neighbouring letter boxes.
The years of experience have taught me that nothing matters more than looking others in the eye and discussing this subject – sharing concerns and seeking answers. People across the UK have heeded the advice and warnings from those experiencing this industry elsewhere in the world and we have held it off – but every voice matters if we are to be heard above the spin of this industry.
It is what we have perceived as our weaknesses that we have drawn on for our strength. I look about at our ‘army’ – our amazing troupe of Protectors who journey anywhere to stand alongside those who seek to stop this industry and marvel at the power and magic that happens every time. Each Nana, an entirely unique human being and yet you can shake our group up, pour out whatever combination emerges and it will be a fine examples of pure diversity. With aches, pains, limitations and challenges, we may not ever win on an assault course; but we take our breakages and make them work for us. Slowing fracking trucks is not so tough when you’re a slow mover!
Click HERE to find out which upcoming events the Nanas will be attending.
Debbie Jackson (52), aka Nana Crutch, from Accrington.
I’ve been a community carer and a bar manager in my life but I’m now disabled and unable to work. I first heard about fracking when I went to a talk given by Ian R Crane and Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF)
I became an anti-fracking Nana because I like the Nana ethos and it’s good to be part of a much larger group when fighting this #WarOnFracking. I guess I’m a bit of a floozie because I will help out with any groups that are fighting fracking!
There have been many highlights. The reception we got in Scotland was fantastic. As we were driven across the Forth Bridge, people were cheering us on the whole way. I also have a great memory of when we were heading to the meeting point for the Climate March in London. Three police officers were stood on a street corner. One of the officers got on his radio and said, “The Nana’s are here!”, so we all started singing “Oh Lancashire, is wonderful..”
“When it comes to fighting the frackers, everyone can do something. Whether you’re fit and well or an old croc like me.”
At Blackpool Pride I was pushed down the prom in my wheelchair, but the Nana doing the pushing (who shall remain nameless) was more worried about losing sight of the cake trolley. At one point she completely let go of me to chase after the cakes. It was a great day and definitely a white-knuckle ride.
What I like most about being a frack fighting Nana is raising awareness of the dangers of fracking. It’s great that we can boost morale at community protection camps and I love being with like-minded people.
My advice to residents worried about fracking is to get out into your communities and tell people what fracking is. Organise meetings to highlight the dangers. Tell at least one person a day. I was on a bus coming back from Manchester when it broke down. The driver said we could get off for a while. As we were stood in a layby a car beeped. Without thinking I said, “Oh it’s like being on Crawberry Hill!” A fellow passenger asked, “Don’t you mean Strawberry Hill love?” I said, “No. Crawberry Hill.” He asked where it was and I told half a bus full about fracking. People are often shocked by what they hear. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that not everyone has heard of fracking.
When it comes to fighting the frackers, everyone can do something. Whether you’re fit and well or an old croc like me. Even on days I’m too ill or in too much pain to go out, I turn into a keyboard warrior. Everyone can play a part. I have eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild and they are all depending on us to provide them with a safe future.
Lesley (56), aka Nana Hotwheels, from Preston
I am an Assistant Psychologist and I’m currently training to be a Clinical Hypnotherapist. I first heard about fracking on Facebook. I did some research and found I strongly agreed with what the Nanas stand for which is why I decided to join them. My highlight so far has been when we Nanas joined Dame Vivienne Westwood and drove a tank to David Cameron’s home in Oxfordshire.
“What I love most about being a Nana is the friendships we have made all over the country.”
What I love most about being a Nana is the friendships we have made all over the country. I advise anyone concerned about fracking to get together like us Nanas did, do your own research and learn how your community can stop fracking before it’s too late.
Anjie Mosher (45), aka Nana Inappropriate, from Blackpool
I am a Hair Stylist and a qualified chef. I first heard about fracking after the earthquakes In Blackpool and this led me to do my own research. I found a new anti fracking group had formed in Fleetwood called “FFS No Fracking” and attended a meeting. The more I learned about fracking, the more I became outraged and active, and the next thing you know I’m Nana’d up! Believe me, this stuff has to be really serious for me to voluntarily wear a yellow tabard with matching headscarf!
My highlight has to bewhen we took and occupied the proposed fracking site at Preston New Road, right under the noses of Cuadrilla’s hired goons. At 5am in the morning, in full Nana gear, we were armed with a feather duster, a teapot and a cake stand. The majority of us had never done anything like that before and it showed. At 5.30pm the night before, we had no transport to even get us to the proposed site. Undeterred,we carefully planned our direct action on an old beer mat using salt and pepper pots as markers, and we ordered a taxi! Clearly, we were not criminal masterminds. The taxi driver turned up and was a tad amused to be greeted with a bunch of nana’s brandishing feather dusters at 5am. When asked where we were going he was told to drive and we’d direct him.
“There really is something everyone can do. Don’t believe the industry’s implied inevitability! Fracking is stoppable!”
On arrival we all knew what our jobs were and brandishing our said dusters, teapots, cakes and cake stands; we jumped the fences and section six’d the field – while Cuadrillas security slept through it all. Party Nana and myself went over the fence and we were securing the field when we heard a little voice from behind shouting, “Nana’s! I can’t get off!” We turned to find Nana Closet stuck on the fence as her back had gone. You never leave a Nan down so we helped her over the fence. Everyone was running around and we did it, put the kettle on and enjoyed a well-earned cup of tea as we watched the sun come up.
I love being part of a group of formidable women from all different walks of life, all sharing a common goal of fighting this filthy, toxic industry; protecting our planet and future generations. I think a lot of people think activists are a bunch of crusty jugglers and that clearly isn’t true. Do the research, get informed, join a group or form your own and get active. Be that from your armchair online, direct action, talking about it to your friends and people you meet, signing petitions, writing to your local MP, attending protests or organising meetings. Activism isn’t all “lock ons” and everyone is valuable in this movement, even if you’re looking after other people’s children whilst they’re on a protest. There really is something everyone can do. Don’t believe the industry’s implied inevitability. Fracking is stoppable!
Click HERE for further info about ‘The Nanas Talk Fracking Tour’.
Pip Hockey (38), aka Nana Gingerella, from Yorkshire
I’ve worked in the music industry for many years and I’m currently caring for my Mum. I first heard about fracking many years ago through organisations like Greenpeace & 350.org. Then it came to within a mile of my Mum’s village and the rest is history!
I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Nana. The Nanas presented me with my Nana tabard as a surprise at a Crawberry Hill solidarity day. It was one of the happiest moments of my life! Another highlight was visiting David Cameron’s home on a tank. I love the other Nanas and the fun we have together despite delivering such a serious message.
There may be some Benny Hill type escapades, driving from roundabout to roundabout & back again will stick in my mind as one of the funniest, enjoy them! Activism can be tough but we know we’re doing the right thing and have history on our side, but not time. Please join us.
“Seek out your local anti-fracking group and join them. If there isn’t an existing group in your area, it’s easy to start your own.”
My advice to concerned residents is to seek out your local anti-fracking group and join them. If there isn’t an existing group in your area, it’s easy to start your own. If you see a job, do it! No job is insignificant. Even writing one letter or signing a petition is useful. Never think you’re not doing enough if you can’t be on the ‘front line’ in person. It all counts. More than anything spread the word – make sure your arguments are factual and inspire more people to help however you can.
Hilary Whitehead (65), aka Nana Bubbles, from Rawtenstall
I am a retired Field Interviewer who used to work for National Statistics. I first heard about fracking when listening to a talk by Ian R Crane. I decided to become an anti-fracking Nana because I wanted to share in a joint action with these like-minded women and men.
“What I like most about being a Nana is having the power to inspire others to stand up against the fracking industry and this Government.”
What I like most about being a Nana is having the power to inspire others to stand up against the fracking industry and this Government.My favourite memory was the morning of occupying the field at Preston New Road. I really enjoy camping with the Nanas and the feeling of community and fun!
My advice to residents hoping to stop fracking companies from drilling in their communities is to get together with other local people and start to create the resistance!
Nicci Wood (46), aka Totty Nana, from St. Anne’s on the Sea
I am a self-employed crafter and a singer. I heard about the devastation being caused in Australia only to find out a week later that Cuadrilla had caused two earthquakes here in Lancashire, without any prior community consultation with regard to their drilling operations.
“I’m a mother and grandmother and cannot risk our future from becoming tainted by this greedy, toxic industry.”
I’m a mother and grandmother and cannot risk our future from becoming tainted by this greedy, toxic industry. I became a Nana to help ensure our safety and it’s given me the opportunity to meet like-minded, caring people. It’s satisfying to know you are on the right track to a greener future, with the added bonus of meeting lots of other people who want the same things. None of us will back down on this issue nor the related problems with democracy that fracking emphasises.
My highlight so far was occupying the field at Preston New Road to highlight the whereabouts of the drilling rigs proposed for this site. It was my first major direct action and the satisfaction of creating awareness and the thanks we received from other worried locals was heart-warming.
My advice for any individuals wanting to stop fracking is to get involved with a local group and go to as many meetings as possible initially. This way you will meet other locals and feel stronger to keep going. Share the information and try to have fun with your fundraising. This is a negative industry and creative thinking really helps.
Please note, we did not choose our own Nana names – we let a special committee decide!