Issue 11 . Spring 2002
Come Into My Web
Last newsletter we announced our new web site address at www.brightonourstory.co.uk. Since then we've had a bit of time to update and improve it. Not only the look and feel of it, but also some of the content.
We've currently got the last five newsletters online, detailing some of your marvellous donations to the archive; BOP events such as the launch of Just Take Your Frock Off, The Important Thing Is Love and Queer About Campus; and special features on characters with local connections like Amy Levy, Dusty Springfield and Edward Perry Warren.
www.brightonourstory.co.uk is the place to find out our latest news, such as our involvement in the new Brighton Museum Galleries. Indeed you can also find the full text of 'A History of Brighton's Lesbian & Gay Community' that we produced to accompany the Lesbian & Gay Brighton section of the Images of Brighton gallery.
For anyone who hasn't visited the site yet, here is a taster of the section called Brighton's Queer Past, offering brief highlights of some of what we know:
It starts in August 1822, when George Wilson, a servant from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was accused by a guardsman he had met in the Duke of Wellington public house in Pool Valley of having offered him a sovereign and two shillings to go with him onto the beach to commit an unnatural crime!
Other early records have an unmistakable flavour of an almost modern-day dykiness. In the 1870s Miss Harriet Rowell, who taught swimming at Brill's Baths under the name of Miss Elphinstone Dick, won local fame for herself with a series of public swimming feats including a 2 hour 43 minute swim in a rough September sea from Shoreham to Brighton. Harriet fell in love with a Brighton woman, Alice Moon, and the couple emigrated to Australia where they started a women's gymnasium and taught gymnastics.
Our tales from the past gradually come more up to date, stopping along the way at women-only tea dances at the Royal Albion Hotel in the 1920s, and visiting the Men Only beach in Hove in the late 1940s.
The website is constantly expanding and we're always open to ideas, so if you have any suggestions or feedback just let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org).