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Memories by Alan 2

How Campania came about

Alan discusses The Royal Court of Campania "Peter Scott-Fleeman and Laurie Williams met one New Years Eve in the 1960’s and they were talking in a camp way about the honours list, they joked that the gay scene, although it was called the homosexual s...

Between platform twelve and seven

Alan, who still considered himself straight in 1966, remembers cottaging as a way of meeting other men for sex. He began questioning his sexuality after an experience in a cottage. “I used to make it a habit to pop to the cottage at the old Snow Hill...

Drinking in the Viking

Alan met a guy and they started to go to pubs, a friend of theirs was a barman in the Viking, a small cellar bar on Smallbrook Queensway. “The barmen were a gay couple who effectively ran the bar as it was owned by a straight man who owned a hat shop...

First time I saw a colour TV

Alan recalls seeing his first colour TV in Guys nightclub. “My first gay club was in 1973, Guys on Bromsgrove Street. After a strange encounter on New Street I was invited back by a member of staff when club was closed. I was more interested in the c...

Sightseers at the Troc

Alan states in the early 70s “The Trocadero tended to attract very effeminate men and sightseers. At this time gay men and lesbians did not mix very often socially.”...

How the Gale came about

Alan, who is a former Nightingale Club chairman, recalls “The Nightingale came about through chats in bars, people like Laurie Williams, Peter Scott-Fleeman and other people who had parties at home. The straight bars held gay nights and the prices we...

Breaking down barriers

Alan, a former Nightingale Club chairman recalls, “When Camp Hill was subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order to make way for a road widening scheme, the club purchased 10 Witton Lane, Aston. We paid Ł16,000 pounds for an existing club, the Aston Spor...

The smell of gas

Alan, a former Nightingale Club chairman recalls, “The club stayed at Witton Lane until 1981, then moved into the city centre, as we knew it was only a matter of time before someone decided to open a rival venue in the city centre and we knew this wo...

Women's access to the Nightingale

Alan notes, “The campest and most effeminate men were usually the most anti-women and resisted women being members of the club.” He says there was a move to make the club formally men only in the early 80s. “I was elected as Chairman of the club in 1...

Looking for new premises

Alan, a former Chairman of the Nightingale Club recalls the search for new premises, and why the Digbeth Institute was turned down. “We looked at lots of locations, some were very good, some were bad. The furthest location from Thorp Street was The I...