IN 1982 A woman gave up her job as a teacher to become a full-time anti-nuclear weapons activist.

Barbara Eggleston, who was educated at Brighton and Hove High School, joined up as an organiser for the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) at a time when international tensions were high.

Patricia Pulham, a friend of Ms Eggleston, said: “Cruise missiles were arriving from America. There were 101 American air bases all over the UK.”

But under Ms Eggleston’s leadership, the CND caught the national eye with its imaginative and daring protests in American air force bases.

On Saturday, more than 15 years after her death from breast cancer, friends and family remembered the “fun-loving” organiser at a vigil at Brighton Friends’ Meeting House.

They included activist Bruce Kent, a leading light in CND in the 1980s and now honorary vice president. Christian CND executive member Ms Pulham first met Ms Eggleston at a protest in 1983.

She said: “The first time I met her was at the peace Pentecost in 1983 at Upper Heyford air base in Oxfordshire.

“She led a group of us and some fully robed Dominican monks along the airbase.

“I remember putting carpet over the barbed wire so everybody could climb over.”

Ms Pulham said London-born Ms Eggleston was “tremendous fun” and made protesting seem like a party.

Ms Pulham said: “She was a brilliant organiser because she made it such a fun activity, nothing seemed to be over serious.

“We would deal with serious matters but do it with joy. It was that energy and fun-loving nature that drew people to her.

“We would go from party to party, but sometimes the party would be on an American air base.”

CND executive member Ms Pulham said the only thing Ms Eggleston cared more about than the movement was her family.

“She was a very good speaker but also a member of a close family,” said Ms Pulham.

“She took her eldest son Patrick to London to see Princess Diana’s funeral and she ended up sleeping on the street for the night.

“I remember we asked her why she did it and she said she wanted him to experience a bit of history.

“She could see how history worked and how you learned from it. She made the Christian CND campaign grow. She didn’t put herself forward much, but she always knew when to step back and let other people take over.”