1960s

A glimpse into the making of gay history

By Philip Burnard

 
Photo:The Queens Hotel: The Curtain Club

The Queens Hotel: The Curtain Club

┬ęTony Mould: all images copyrighted

Curtains always drawn

One evening, me and two friends were walking along the seafront, near the Old Ship Hotel. There was a gay club in the seafront block we were on but I cannot remember its name. It was on the first floor and the curtains were always drawn. We had never seen anyone go into the club or come out of it. We were just 19 years old at the time. 

Did you know the Curtain Club? Do you remember the 1967 act? What changes did it bring? Please post a comment below

A big kiss

Suddenly, the door opened and a man came rushing out. He came up to me, hugged me and gave me a big kiss on the check. He said, "We are legal, dear!" I had never seen him before. He was extremely happy and was soon joined by a equally happy friend. What he was referring to, of course, was the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which, for England and Wales, decriminalised some aspects of gay life. A joyous time for very many people - although there was still a long way to go. 

Not in Wales

It is an interesting reflection on the atmosphere of Brighton at that time - and since. None of us felt that this episode was the least bit odd or worrying. I related this tale to a fellow professor, in Wales. He said: "Of course it wasn't a problem in Brighton.  But it would never have happened in Aberystwyth!"

This page was added on 11/06/2016.
Comments about this page

However in the interwar period Aberystwyth was known in advertising for the resort, as 'the Brighton of West Wales'...so maybe it DID happen there.

By Geoffrey Mead (11/06/2016)

Geoffrey, what a lovely idea.  Thanks for posting it.

By Philip Burnard (12/06/2016)

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