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Issue 17 . Summer 2005

Roll up, roll up for Pride 2005! . Finding the lesbians . Award success for Ourstorians. The campest queens are the toughest . One of the many Black Brighton pioneers . News in the archive

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Roll up, roll up for Pride 2005!

Brighton Ourstory has been going through some big changes recently, what with us becoming a charity and moving premises. So we thought we should reflect this in a bigger and better presence at this summer's Pride in Preston Park.

This year we've managed to break free of our market stall and we will have a whole tent for you to mooch around and linger in. Under a Barnum-esque canvas youíll be able to see our new exhibition, a powerful portrait gallery of the queer folk who've populated and copulated in this fair city in the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian eras, and through the mad, bad Twenties and Thirties. Gathered together for the first time ever, you can now Meet Our (very own) Ancestors. Wafting out of our tent and over the park will be music the more recent of these might have canoodled to, courtesy of Val's wind-up gramophone and a pile of 78s. Pop by on Saturday 6th August and say hi, we'd love to see you.

One of our biggest recent changes is that we've moved from our previous cramped and quite inaccessible offices in Grand Parade to some slightly more spacious rooms in a lovely Art Deco building right in the centre of Brighton. Volunteers have been busy over June and July painting and moving into our new home and leaving our last ship-shape. Now we're more accessible, why not pay us a visit? Give us a call on our new number, Brighton 206655, and weíll get out the best tea set. Grateful thanks go to the Scarman Trust and Pride in Brighton & Hove for funding the move and the refurbishment, and for enabling us to buy archive equipment and pay the rent for another year! Thanks also to Pride, Brighton & Hove Council and the National Lottery Awards For All for giving us the money to hire our Pride tent and provide the shimmering display within.

Drunk again, Mother?

Ourstory has been caught boozing on the job! However, it's not what it seems, honest; we've been helping Brighton Museum with an exhibition entitled Brighton Boozers - celebrating the history and many faces of Brighton's pubs. Queer bars - from the Chequers to Charles Street via the Oriental - are a fascinating aspect of a city renowned for enjoying its beer. Ourstory has been instrumental in research for a part of the exhibition dedicated to these less-than-straight watering holes. Brighton Boozers is at the Brighton History Centre, within Brighton Museum (entrance in the Pavilion Gardens), until 11 February 2006.

Rose Collis
Brighton Boozers

Above: Author Rose Collis and the cover of her beautiful book 'Brighton Boozers' which develops the intriguing histories of the town's pubs documented in the exhibition of the same name now available at Brighton Library, History Centre or Museum Shop at £4.99.

Professional training

Thanks to a Global Grant (European money administered by the council), a number of Ourstorians have embarked on a programme of training, specially devised in conjunction with the London Metropolitan Archive, the Lesbian & Gay Newsmedia Archive at Middlesex University and other archives. Tutored by professional archivists and conservation specialists, we will be building on our existing knowledge and developing best practice tailored to Ourstory's specific needs - taking us a step closer to the time when our centre of lavender history will be up and running.

Ben and Linda


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