No Secrets from The People

Would You Like To See Them Behind The Bar In Your Local? simpered the Sunday People, who ran the picture when the man on the left won a landlord of the year competition.

The Sunday People giggled on: “Which makes on wonder what is happening to the traditional English pub.”

For Ken Pilling, the landlord of the Merchants Hotel in Blackburn, Lancashire is gay and makes no secret of the fact. And the People giggled “some of his barmen are the same way.”

Ken told the newspaper: “I’ve always been completely frank about myself. Fellows out for a stag night come in and laugh at us. But my barmen have a quick answer for any joker, and these lads who come for laughs return as regulars.”

Ken started a pub football team and their opponents taunted: “We’re playing a bunch of fairies.” Ken’s lads thrashed them 16 to 2.

“There’s not a homosexual among them,” he says. “People thought everyone who came in here would be bent.”

The People snickered: “A lot of people would, no doubt, be put off by Ken’s scene. But certainly his sexually – normal regulars are full of praise.”

Before he took over the Merchant’s Hotel, Ken was an Army drill instructor and the pub was run down. Now its turnover is more than £1,000 a week.

The 500-pub Lion brewery, which owns the Merchants says Ken won the award as the “Licensee who made the most effort personally to improve his pub atmosphere, by way of added attractions, customer relationship and genuine desire for his customers’ welfare.”

Being all of that won Ken a weekend in Paris – “Gay Paree” to the People.

Provincial Info

As promised a few issues ago, here is another round of provincial info. We shall be printing more at regular intervals, just as fast as you send it.

Pub: The Regency (opposite Theatre Royal)
Club: Georges Club.

New Twenty Club, 20 High Street, Telephone 25821.

Pubs: The Lockyer, Derry’s Clock, Lockyer Street (Oak Lounge – Back Bar),
The Phoenix, off Union Street,
The Valletort.

Pubs: Eldon Grill (Variety Bar) opposite Grey’s Monument, Grey Street.
Royal Turks Head (Red Rover Bar), Grey Street.
Grapes Vaults, Grey Street.
Royal Court Grill, Bigg Market (rough)
Chancellors Head, Bigg Market County Hotel (Nancy’s Bar), foot of Westgate Road.

Club: Ro-Ko-Ko, The Promenade, Roker, Sunderland.

Pub: Farmers Arms, King Street. “Landlord pro gay”.

Pub: The Giff Inn, Huntriss Row.
Hotel: The Granby, 1 Queen Street, reasonably priced private gay hotel.

Pub: The Lisbon, Victoria Street
Club: New Bear’s Paw, off Lord Street, near British Home Stores.

The bar of the Blossom Hotel.

Pubs: The Ship and the Three Tuns, both near the Guildhall.

Lucy’s Bar, Talbot Square.

Mason’s Arms. Queen Street, Thursday through Sunday.

Pubs: Grove Hotel, Fylde Road.
Bull and Royal, Cockpit Bar. Men only.

Pub: Merchant’s Hotel, Darwen Street, by GPO. Drag shows.
Partly gay club: Top Hat Club.

Pub: Studio Four, Anglia Studios.

Pub: The Barley Mow, Bromham Road.

Pub: Union Hotel, Princess Street, women, men and drag.
Rembrandt, Sackville Street, Trafford. Back Bar and mostly men.
Cavalcade, junction Wilmslow Road and Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Sunday lunch time.
New York, Richmond Street, behind Union Hotel. Women and men.
Mechanics, Sackville Street.
Clubs: Samanthas, back Piccadilly (off Newton Street). Ban on women and admittance restricted to members and guests only.
Picador, Bradshaw Street, Shude Hill.
Rockingham, Queen Street.

Pub: Roebuck, Mansfield Road. “Members only’’ Bar on the left – tell them you’re gay! – the landlady is too.
Club: Mario’s Restaurant, Stenford Street, off Castlegate.

Pubs: Great Northern and Hope and Anchor
Club: Charley’s Briggate. Members and guests. Free in the week, pricey at weekends.
Mostly men.

Provincial info

Here is our first round up of pubs, clubs and other goodies in the provinces. More towns will be listed as we receive the information from YOU the reader. We are indebted to Bob Mellors for supplying the information below.


Gay pub: Studio 4, near Angelina Studios. Men and women.
GLF: Non-existent
Bookshop: Bristows
Forthcoming event: Disco party upstairs at the Studio 4, December 30.


Gay pub: Roebuck, Mansfield Road. ‘Members Only’ bar on left – tell them you’re gay (the landlady is too). Women and men.
GLF: Faded away
CHE: Yes
Women’s Centre: off Pelham Street.


Gay pubs: Great Northern. Mostly men. Hope and Anchor, women and men.
Gay club: Charley’s, Briggate, members and guests. Free in the week, pricey at weekends, mostly men.
GLF: University orientated, mostly men.
CHE: Yes. Write to David Young, 12 Scott Green Crescent, Gildersome, Morley, Leeds. One of the better CHE groups. Men and women
Bookshop: 84 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds 2.


Gay pubs: Union Hotel, Princess Street. Women, men and drag. Recommended. Rembrandt, Sackville Street, mostly men. Trafford, (back bar) at Gaumont Cinema, Oxford Street. Mostly men. Cavalcade, junction Wilmslow Road and Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury. Sunday lunchtime.
Clubs: Samantha’s, back Picadilly (off Newton Street), Their ban on women sparked off the recent demonstration there.
Picador, Shude Hill, Unit 2, Shude Hill. Expensive. Rockingham, Queen Street.
GLF: Tuesday 8pm at Women’s Centre, phone 061-273 2287. Men and women.
CHE: Yes. University Homophile Society, c/o Students Union, Oxford Road, Manchester 13. Meets Thursday 8pm, term time only.
Women’s Centre: 218 Upper Brook Street, Manchester 13. Phone 061-273 2287.


Partly gay club: Merchants, Darwen Street.
Partly gay club: Top Hat Club.