Liberation Landslide In Debate

Saturday November 11th saw a house packed to the gallery at Newcastle University for what was billed as the “Gay Liberation Debate”, with a local Methodist minister, The Rev. J. M. Furness, proposing that “This House deplores the Emergence of Homosexual Self-Confession and Self-Justification”. Mr Furness who assures us that most of his knowledge of the subject was gained from books borrowed from the library that morning, spent quite a lot of time trying to define who these homosexuals were. And by the time he had excluded you-know-what in public schools, in the armed services and in prison cells, his case that homosexuality was an aberration the flaunting of which struck at the very roots of society began to look a little thin. By the time he reached the responsibilities of older men with families to fight against the corruption of the young, it began to feel a little thin. And when he got to the bit about homosexuals deserving sympathy not condemnation, but that we should, presumably like the people with only one arm to whom he had compared us, be neither seen nor heard, it was clear that his seconder was not going to have an easy task.

After this it seemed a bit unfair on him that Michael Barnes opposing on behalf of Newcastle GLF should start off in a clarion-call voice and style resembling Henry V on the field of Agincourt. He was certainly going to be heard and he made it clear that sympathy was the last thing he had in mind, unless it was sympathy with any homosexual who should be unlucky enough to turn to Mr Furness for advice. Not a beer-glass rattled through his rousing speech and he made sure every member of the audience knew that there was still discrimination against us in law, socially and in our jobs, discrimination which would continue unless gays did come out and fight for the right to live in a way which others regarded as their birthright, fight against inhumanity like that of the Newcastle employer who recently announced that he’d not rest while a “fucking poof’ continued working in his office.

Richard Webster, secretary of Tyneside CHE, seconding for Michael under the Gay Lib banner (who said Brighton is the only place where there’s co-operation?) would have a hard job to knock down Dr A. S. Wigfield, Consultant Venereologist at Newcastle General Hospital, who seconded for the proposition. This wasn’t one of those venereological ogres but someone, evidently nearly as unhappy with the motion as he was with the VD figures, who in a witty speech delighted the audience with some of the best bad puns of a long time and condemned the commercial exploitation of sex in terms with which many gays would be happy to agree.

But it was a pity that his peroration against permissiveness was rather spoilt by a cheerful inability to resist a dig at the idea of gay marriage with the comment that we seemed to be wanting “our bride bartered on both sides”.

Richard was against “permissiveness” as well, but on rather different grounds. What right, he wanted to know, had Society to take upon itself to “permit” fellow human beings to be themselves? If (as he pinned a GLF badge on one side of his nice new suit, and a CHE one on the other) by confessing himself in public he had done something to help just one other gay person to feel proud of himself as a fellow human being, he’d have done something worthwhile. But as for self-justification, that term came from those who believed we had something — the plague? – we needed to justify. He knew he had not.

After which we sat back with bated breath waiting for what the Floor would say. One brave girl made a brief speech in defence of married life, and then… silence. Throughout the evening scarcely anyone had nipped out for a pee, hardly a whisper of disinterest had reached the platform (except while Mr Furness was consulting his borrowed books), yet no one else would speak. Had we all been so brilliant that there was nothing left to say? Had everyone a raging thirst? Could it be that all these liberated students weren’t liberated enough to speak on such a delicate topic? We don’t know. We don’t know either what the voting figures were: there was no point in counting all those hands when they were raised so overwhelmingly against the motion and in our favour.

Your Paper And Gay Lib

Gay News is, as has been said many times in the paper, an unaffiliated, independent newspaper, that is open to all forms of opinions and comments. It is not a Gay Liberation Front paper, any more than it is a mouthpiece solely for Campaign for Homosexual Equality, or any of the other active gay organisations operative in Great Britain.

That most certainly does not mean though, that the ideas and aims, as well as reportage of the activities of these organisations, will not appear in our pages. They are welcome to submit copy to us which we will almost certainly print, the same as any other individual is more than welcome to express his/her viewpoints, whether through a letter, an article or by informing us of some news that is relevant to all gays

So we wonder why some members of London Gay Lib find it necessary to be so openly hostile by threatening to ‘take over’ Gay News if we do not print a letter of theirs. GN prints the majority of letters received, and the only time we reject readers/organisations communications is when we have a large number making exactly the same point, or when we can’t read the writing. Other reasons would be when we considered the letter to be racist, slanderous non-factual or unfairly offensive. We do not censor letters and whether the members of the editorial collective agree or disagree with what is being said is immaterial to whether they are reproduced. A quick look at the many letters we have printed in past issues would show that what we are saying is correct.

Why then the hostility from this small group of radicals? Is it because we are not a GLF paper? — for that we most certainly won’t ever be, as we will never be any other organisation’s publication. Is it because GN is critical of some London GLF activities and policies? – possibly, for up until the advent of Gay News no gay organisation received any serious criticism from gay people themselves. Does this mean to say that some London Gay Libbers are so right, so completely pure, that they don’t have to examine their motives, or consider the opinions of others, or even want to be bothered to attempt to communicate their ideas to others who haven’t reached the same advanced state of personal awareness as themselves.

The Gay News Office was invaded just after the publication of our first issue, by a GLF faction calling themselves Radical Feminists (we understand that they are now known as Radical Queens). They objected to us including an article critical of them in the issue we were preparing for publication. After screaming at us for an hour or so, they then disagreed amongst themselves, resulting in extreme boredom for us and a loss of valuable working time. They eventually trooped out, leaving us none the wiser to why they were above or afraid of criticism.

The only point of near communication that we were left to ponder was the slogan ‘Where’s your head at?’ which was frequently bellowed during the incident. This quaint phrase first came into use during the psychedelic boom of 1967, and was subsequently dropped from ‘hip’ language much the same time as ‘flower power’ died.

Does this new takeover threat mean that we will have to endure another hysterical screeching session, or maybe they will go farther and destroy our notes and intended copy, remove our files, damage our typewriters and light fittings and generally behave like a bunch of thugs from the National Front, as they did when invading the Time Out premises a year ago. You can rest assured that nothing more constructive will be coming from them, unless by some sort of miracle they manage to prepare an issue of the paper, which would surely be a one-sided, dogmatic rendering of their own exclusive cant.

The GN collective would of course never allow this to happen, as in the same way we will not allow any form of censorship, whether through intimidation or otherwise. Why can’t these people see that any articles they submit to us will take their place among all the other opinions and criticisms from other organisations.

Is it also necessary for GN street sellers to receive threats such as “What will you do if I rip up your papers?” as happens every so often. On more than one occasion, copies of GN have in fact been destroyed by agitated London Gay Libbers. What is the sense in this, for such action is on a par with book burning.

It is not intended by this piece to attack or even criticise the whole of the Gay Liberation Front movement. Many London members, despite ideological differences with Gay News, manage to maintain a civilised relationship with us, and also do much good and important work for the improvement of the lot of gays generally. Also relations with Gay Lib outside of London couldn’t be better, many of these groups, in fact, sell GN at their meetings and also in their surrounding areas. We have even received generous donations from one or two of these groups.

As we feel that no-one is exempt from constuctive criticism and we will never pander to pressure groups by withholding news, censoring our opinions and editorial comments, or allowing one faction or group to have more of a say or influence than another. The day we did allow this would be the time for us to quit publishing, for it would be betraying the trust people have in us, who rely upon our independent position to inform them factually, unbiasedly and without any preaching or politicising.

In a recent London GLF Diary (Nov 9-18) the embittered faction responsible for that edition suggested that people read such American Gay Lib publications as Gay Sunshine, Gay Liberator, Flaming Faggots as they would ‘prove more palatable than reading Gay News’. Apart from these papers only being available in limited numbers at a few bookshops, the writer(s) of the quoted piece completely fail to explain or communicate their reasons for such criticism. Possibly the truth and realities of matters and events nearer home are unpalatable. Possibly the vacuity of London Gay Lib during the last year is a matter they would rather sweep under the carpet.

We remain the only national fortnightly, independent gay newspaper in this country, and we mean to stay just that. No matter what threats we may recieve.

Gay News Editorial Collective

ED: The complete list of periodicals mentioned in the GLF Diary are as follows: The Body Politic, Lesbian Tide, Flaming Faggots, Gay Sunshine, Fuori and Gay Liberator. We would add to that list The Furies and The Advocate, America’s largest selling gay newspaper. Bookshops in London likely to have a few copies of these papers in stock are Housmans, Agitprop and Compendium.

Preference Or Prejudice

As the perpetrator of the now, it seems, infamous “black young and gay” advertisement (GN4) I can’t let R.L. Stratton-Watt’s Feedback letter in GN9 pass without comment.

Firstly, I would like to appologise to Mr Stratton-Watts and to any other black readers who feel as he does, for any offence caused them by my advertisement. I am well aware of the large sexual and male chauvinist component in racism, as epitomised by the familiar “would you let your daughter marry one?”. I accept that there will be those who will see my advert as perpetuating the black man as sex-object syndrome. Nonetheless, I justify myself on the following grounds.

Mr Stratton-Watts uses the words “prejudice and preference” in the same breath, as if they were synonymous. For me the essence of racialism is discrimination against a disadvantaged group, racially defined. Thus, to advertise for whites only would most certainly be racialist as it would extend the area from which blacks are excluded.

But to maintain the converse would not be true, as it would assume an equality of advantage between black and white, which in our racist society does not exist. To call discrimination in favour of a disadvantaged group “racialism” is to make nonsense of the word. If this seems like splitting hairs, consider this: I am Scottish and Scottish people are in no way discriminated against in Britain today. Would Mr Stratton-Watts have been so outraged if I’d advertised for a fellow Scottish gay?

I also detect in Mr Stratton-Watt’s rather involved argument an idea which appears fairly widespread in the gay movement and in GLF in particular and which seems a hip but direct descendant of medieval body-denial. According to this view, not just prejudice but also sexual preference is unliberated and wrong and one can and should dispense love phyical and spiritual, equally and indiscriminately to all men and women of all ages everywhere.

I cannot accept this neo-Gnosticism which seems to want to spiritualise physical sex out of existence and refuse to acknowledge its less ideal aspects. Male homosexuality is, after all, about cocks and spunk and arseholes as well as love, peace and revolution.

Some of us like black skins, some hairy limbs and chests, some huge cocks, some (like me!) are turned on by all three and more. If we can accept these preferences and integrate them into the rest of our personalities, we shall be able both to love and cherish and respect any guy/girl and thrill to his/her dark skin, leather knickers, green eyeshadow, or whatever makets us horny.

In the integrative process we may also find the compulsive aspect of those preferences diminishes.

It’s when an oppressive, sexist society makes men ashamed of their desires that the desires are split off and disowned and protected onto the minority group of the moment, to whom is attributed remarkable sexual prowess and who are feared as rivals and envied for their forbidden freedom. The prejudiced man hated himself by proxy, and the proxy is too often the gays and the blacks. The person who accepts his or her preferences is free to build constructive relationships with all sorts of people while realising that, quite involuntarily, he or she will be physically aroused more by some than by others.

This letter carries two signatures. The second is that of a wonderful black guy I met as a result of my advertisement. If nobody else got any pleasure out of it, we certainly did!

STOP PRESS: Counter Miss World

LONDON: Gay Liberationists and Women’s Liberation have joined forces in planning a counter-Miss World contest, which is to be held outside the Albert Hall in London.

A spokesman for GLF said the rendezvous for demonstrators against the competition was 7pm December 1, at South Kensington tube station.

As the demonstration will be a mock Miss World competition everyone is invited to wear national costume, bathing suits or the like. Anyway, the demo’s organisers want people to wear something silly

Information

This corner is really a long list – of places, people you might like to know about or one day need. We can only, of course, publish the information that comes to us.

If you are GAY, male, female, lonely, happy, depressed, miserable, welcome to CHALLENGE. Weekly social meetings at three London branches. Please join us for a drink and a chat.
Ring 567 5065.

Brighton Gay Soc meets weekly. Contact Ray at Brighton 686939.

CHE’s Political Action Group is looking for a group of university/polytechnic students/lecturers interested in conducting a survey among the public into attitudes to homosexuality. The aim of the enquiry is to help shape the future campaigning activities of CHE. Offers of help, suggestions etc should be addressed to: David Hyde, PAG, CHE London Information Centre, 22 Great Windmill Street, London W1. (Tel: 01-437 6117/8)

GAYSOC: for homosexual men and women in any school or college of London University — undergraduate, postgraduate or staff. Social, political and campaigning activities aimed at creating better conditions for gays within the university — then the world! Write (enclosing SAE please): GAYSOC, ULU, Malet Street, WC1.

Abortion, contraception, entertainment, transport, legal advice, jobs, alternative? Work, food, hitchhiking, cheap furnishings, communications, shelter, late night services, accommodation, free services, ad infinitum …
Contact: Nutshell Information Service, Phone: Birmingham 772-2483 24 hours every day. (Ask for Nutshell as we share a line with St Basil’s Centre.)

Are you a homosexual parent bringing up children within a relationship or by yourself? If so, would you care to come to an informal parents meeting at the Centre. Broadley Terrace, London NW1 on Tuesday 5th December at 8pm.

Homosexual Counselling and Parent’s Enquiry. You or your son, daughter, parent or friend could be homosexual and may need help and understanding. Write for appointment to FRIEND. Centre, Broadley Terrace. London NW1 or telephone 01-402 6345 Mondays to Fridays 7.30 to 9,30 pm.

Leicester Gay Awareness Group ring Leicester 738832, ask for Clive or John.

Jewish Homosexual Liaison Group welcomes new members, also advice and befriending service for all Jewish gays. Please write only to Simon Benson, Albion Court, 75 Larkhall Rise, London SW4 6HS.

Campaign for Homosexual Equality London Information Centre, 22 Great Windmill Street. London W.l. Tel: 01-437 6117/8 Office now open daily. Noon to 10pm.

Gay Civil Rights Group now forming. Information from Frank Honore, Room 405. Hughes Parry Hall, Cartwright Gardens, London WC1. Telephone : 01-387 7501.

Stepney : CHE group forming around this area, and including the other parts of East London not catered for. All classes welcome. First meeting mid-November. For details ring Mike 01-476 7980

Manchester University Homophile Society – social events, campaigning – open to all – meets Thursdays, 8pm. meeting room 4, University Union, Oxford Road – contact John Elbert, 81 Egerton Road, M/C.14.

Sappho meets every first Monday m the month, at the Museum Tavern 7 30pm. upstairs room, Great Russell Street, London WC1 All women art welcome Sappho magazine is available at 30p me postage for single copies
from Sappho Publications Ltd.,
BCM/Petrel. London WC1

CHE All London Political Action Group, 22 Great Windmill Street, London W1.

CHE Cardiff now meets at Chapter Arts Centre, Market Street, Canton, Cardiff every other Monday. (Nov 20th etc.) Gay News will be on sale.

Woman’s Liberation Workshop. 3 Shavers Place. London W1 Tel 01639 3918 LEEDS G.L.F./C.H.E. Joint Office. 153 Wood house Lane, Leeds.

Fellowship in Christ the Liberator, Communion service 8pm. Sundays, West Kensington. Details FCL c/o 61 Earls Court Square, London SW5

Gay Esperanto Group. For details of next meeting telephone 01-637 1220

Gay Women – Lonely? Need, information, company, help with problems? Write Jill Russell, c/o The Peace Centre, 18 Moor Street, Ringway, Birmingham 5 7UH. Please enclose SAE

Wandsworth/Richmond CHE group forming. Incorporating Fulham-Wimbledon and fringe areas. Men AND women We meet twice a month Write Fred Green. 368 Upper Richmond Road. Putney SW15 2TU

Alternative Free Library needs donations of radical/liberated Gay Papers and Magazines. ESPECIALLY Back Issues. Please write: Geoffrey Leigh, 30 Woodside, Wimbledon, London SW19 7AW

Gay Unity, Harrow. For details phone Janie at 863 1184 or Alex at 864 2291 Meets on Mondays

“Gay Cambridge”, a joint CHE/GLF group covering both the town and university. Meets every fortnight, wekkly in university term. Contact Bernard Greaves, 29 John Street, Cambridge, phone Cambridge 52661

University of Bristol Gay Students Society for all homosexuals, male and female. Contact Trevor or Clare through the Social Action Office at the Union or phone Tony, Bristol 32669, or write to Gay Students Society, University Union, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1LN.

CHE. New local group forming in Crouch End. Contact Derek Brookfield, 7 Briston Grove, Crouch End, London N8.

YOUNG GAYS meet regularly in London. The CHE Youth Group meets fortnightly around Central London. Details from Mike or Jim at 01 385 7246

READING GAY ALLIANCE regular discos and socials counselling, quiet meetings, public meetings, and action. Town and university. SAE for Newssheet: Room 7, 30 London Rd, READING


SCOTTISH MINORITIES GROUP

Postal enquiries – SMG, 214 Clyde Street, Glasgow G1 4JZ.

For meetings in ABERDEEN and GLASGOW ring John Breslin (041-771 7600)
For meetings in DUNDEE ring Len McIntosh (0382-452433).

For meetings in EDINBURGH ring Mike Coulson (031-225 4395) between 1pm and 10pm any day


GAY LIBERATION FRONT GROUPS

At present there are GLF groups in operation in the following areas

Aberystwyth Essex University Reading
Bath Folkstone Sheffield
Bristol Greenoch Swansea
Bedfordshire Hull Sussex
Birmingham Keele University Brighton
Belfast Lancaster
Cambridge Leicester LONDON
Cheltenham Leeds South London
Canterbury Manchester West London
Cardiff Newcastle East London
Colchester Norwich Camden
Derby Oxford Youth Group
Durham Portsmouth Religious Group
Edinburgh Potteries Women’s Group

London School of Economics GLF
London Counter Psychiatry

The addresses of these groups may be obtained from the G.L.F Office at 5 Caledonian Road, London N1. Tube Kings Cross. Tel: 01-837 7174 Also contact here for other G.L.F information

GLF Action Group meets Fridays at 7.30pm at GLF Office 5 Caledonian Road, N1.

Religious Gay Lib Group, meets various Sundays at 2.30pm, Phone 278 1701 for details.

Gay Women’s Lib (North London)
Meet at The Crown and Woolpak, 397 St Johns St, EC1 (Angel tube) 8pm on Mondays

West London G.L.F. meets in the Committee Room of Fulham Town Hall, Fulham Broadway on Thursdays at 8pm

South London GLG meets Thursdays at Minet Library, Knatchbull Road, Brixton.

Camden GLF meets Thursdays at Forresters Hall, 5 Highgate Road, Kentish Town.

Leeds GLF meets on Fridays at the O.S.A. Lounge in the University Union. Meetings open to all.

TV and TS group meets Tuesdays at All Saints Church Vestry, Clydesdale Road, W11 at 8pm.

East London GLF meets Thursdays at 103 Market Street, East Ham E6 at 8pm.

Sussex GLF meets Tuesdays at 8.15pm upstairs/back bar Stanford Arms, Preston Circus Brighton. Contact Doug Coupe, 40 Ashford Road, Brighton, or phone Ray at 686939

Bath Gay Awareness Group has moved again. Meetings Thursdays, contact John Rath 63168 or Hugh Bath 4738 for further information

Bristol Gay Awareness Group, c/o Tony, 20D, West Mall, Clifton, Bristol Tel 0272 32669

Essex GLF University, contact Brian Roberts, c/o Student Pidgeon Holes, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester.

Leeds GL F Liberation Office, 153 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds 2. Tel 0532 39071 ex 57. Meetings every Friday at 7.30pm at the Liberation Office.


CAMPAIGN FOR HOMOSEXUAL EQUALITY.

Brighton Reading
Bristol Sheffield
Bath Shropshire
Birmingham South Essex (Basildon)
Blackburn/Burnley South Herts (Watford/
St Albans)
Bolton Southampton/Bournemouth
Bradford Stoke-on-Trent
Cardiff Swansea/Carmarthen
Cambridge Teeside
Chilterns (Berkhampstead/ Tunbridge Wells
Amersham) Tyneside
Colchester Leicester
Cornwall North Yorkshire/South
Crouch End Durham
Croydon Wirral
East Kent Wolverhampton
Guildford Wolverhampton & District
Halifax/Huddersfield worker’s group
Ilford York
Leeds PROPOSED GROUPS
Lewisham Devon
Liverpool Blackpool
LONDON Cornwall
Acton/Ealing Stepney
Central Lancaster
Highbury/Islington Enfield
Kensington Barking
Kilburn/Hampstead Preston
Wandsworth/Richmond Taunton
Manchester STUDENT GROUPS
Newport/Cardiff London
Northampton Manchester
Norwich Oxford
Nottingham Kent
Oxford Liverpool
Portsmouth

Many local group organisers are wary of having their names and addresses publicised, so for the time being please contact all CHE groups via the national office: 28 KENNEDY STREET, MANCHESTER 2. Telephone 061-228 1985


Discos

LONDON GLF DANCES
Sat Dec 2nd – Hampstead Town Hall, Haverstock Hill. Disco, Groups, Lightshow, and Bar Tickets 50p
Fri Dec 22nd – Lime Grove Baths, Shepherds Bush
Fri Jan 12th, 1972 – Fulham Town Hall.

DISCO First Sat of each month at the Odd Spot Coffee House & Grill, Sir Simons’ Arcade (Behind T.S.B.), Lancaster. Tel.2750. 11 pm to 4 am. Bring a bottle. Gay News will be on sale.

Father Red Cap, 319 Camberwell Road, SE5. (Camberwell Green)
Upstairs Bar now open 7 nights a week – Tricky Dicky Boys Only Disco now on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Also mixed.
Disco on Wednesday and Saturdays. Girls Only Disco on Friday Gay intimate evening on Mondays Free Admission Mondays and (for a limited period) Tuesday’s Boys Only Disco.

South London G.L.F. Disco every Monday except first Monday of the month At The Crypt, St Matthews Chufch (opposite Town Hall, Brixton 8R/Tgbe Buses 35. 37. 109.59.2.3. Admission 15p. Beer and snadwich bar. Love – Kisses – South London G.L.F.

Camden GLF weekly disco in the discotheque next to the Bull and Gate Pub (200 yds Kentish Town Stn) every Wednesday from 8pm to 1am

DRAG MOBILE DlSCOTEQUE
Tuesday Nights ROYAL OAK, 62 Glenthorne Road, London, W6

Wednesday Nights THE PONTEFRACT CASTLE 48 Chapel Street. Edgware Road Tube
Dancing Permitted, complete with Drag Show featuring Mr Jean Fredericks, Peter Martmdaie & Diamond David

KINGS ARMS, Liverpool Street, London, (corner of Pindar Street)
Tube/BR Liverpool Street. Buses 8.8A 22.6. 47.97 Tricky Dicky Show on Saturday Nights, 8.30-11.00 Admission Free. Saloon Bar. Disco. Impersonations etc Gay Atmosphere

Gay News is on sale at all Tricky Dicky Disco’s

KINGS ARMS, Liverpool Street, London. (corner of Pinder Street) Tube/BR Liverpool Street.

Dick’s Inn. Gay Disco every Monday
Compere Tricky Dicky.

THE ARABIAN. Cambridge Heath Road, London, (corner of Bishops Way) Tube Bethnal Green/Bus 277

Dicks Inn. Gay Disco every Wed Comp Tricky Dicky.

Leeds G.L.F. presents a FANCY DRESS DISCO on Nov 20th. Contact their office for details.
Parties. Socials every fortnight.

Sussex G.L.F. Disco every Friday 8-11 pm. at Stanford Arms. Preston Circus. Brighton.
Only 20p.

West London G.L.F. presents a dance at Hampstead Old Town Hall on December 2nd. Tickets 50p;
Disco, Groups, Lightshow, and Bar.

Reading Gay Alliance weekly social Wednesday, disco Saturday, Admission to each 20p (10p students). Both at The Railway Tavern, Stanshawe Road, Reading. No membership.

Birmingham’s Gay Scene welcomes you! By popular demand, FREE admission Disco (every Friday) 7.30pm, 10.45pm, Drinks bar prices. At the ‘Shakespeare Inn’, Summer Row, B’ham, 3.
(Back of Town Hall). Wear what you want! Open House, Everyone Welcome!!!


Drag & Cabaret

ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN
372 Kenmngton Lane.SEII (Vauxhall)
Regular Compere – Pat Kelly – with The Keltones
Thurs (Alt) Mr Tammy or Honey
Friday Mr Tammy – Monday Bow
Saturday Lee Paris – Wednesday Lee Paris
Sunday (Lunch) Bow – New Act Starting Soon
Sunday (Night) Mr Tammy

ROYAL OAK, 62 Glenthorne Road, W6 (Hammersmith) Drag every night. Regular artistes include Jean Fredericks

ELEPHANT & CASTLE, South Lambeth Place, SW8 (Vauxhall) Drag every night except Tuesday Regular Compere Jackie Recommended by Gay News for happy and friendly atmosphere

SKINNERS ARMS, Camberwell New Road, Tuesday Nights Only – “LA DUBARRY”

OXFORD TAVERN 256 Kentish Town Road. NW5
(Kentish Town) Drag on Tues. Wed and Thurs Resident host Perri St Clair. Partly gay on these nights

THE NEW BLACK CAP, 171 Camden High Street. NW1. (Camden Town Tube.
Drag every night with Tony Page.
Mon. – Thurs. – Sat. with Marc Fleming.
Tues. with Sandy Graham.
Wed. with New Dumbelles.
Fri. with Nicky Young.
Sunday (lunch) with Marc Fleming & Mrs Shufflewick
Sunday (evening) with Perri St Clare or Sandy Graham

Alan McGorrin is Gay News’s super salesman at The Black Cap. Be nice to him, he works very hard.

Father Red Cap, 319 Camberwell Road, SE5.
(Camberwell Green).
PALACE QF DRAG – Drag every night.
The following artistes are proud to announce they ere appearing at the Father Red Cap: Lee Paris, Tammy, Colin Cordell, Alvis & Odell, Lee Tracy and Len Morton

THE CRICKETERS Battersea Park Road, SW11
(BR Battersea Park).

Sun The Trbiiettes. – Fri. Various Artistes.
Tues Steel Band. – Sat Singalong & Dancing.
Wed Various Artistes. – Compere/Organist
Thurs. Talent Night. – Kenneth Mancell.


Drag, Pub, etc. Info
continued on page 14.

Gays Kept Away From Shoppers

BRIGHTON: The town’s Gay Liberation Front went on the march recently when it held the first Brighton Gay Day — which campaigned specifically for the lowering of the age of gay consent to 16 and equality for homosexuals in society.

It was a start, even if only about 30 gays did come out with their banners for the rerouted march along the seafront and into a shopping precinct.

The marchers handed out leaflets to the public, but the official change-of-mind about letting the gays march through the crowded shopping centre of Brighton and leaving them only the mainly deserted sea shore to parade along, made certain that not too many people would be there to get the message Brighton GLF was trying to hand out.

The official reason for re-routing the march was that the gays’ banners might cause a breach of the peace. Brighton GLF was told of this change-of-heart just a day before the Gay Day was due to take place.

The only incident around the march was abuse thrown at the gays by members of the public. The police moved them on quietly.

GLF At Stoke Newington 8 Trial

Although there is absolutely no connection between the Gay Liberation Front and the activities of the ‘Angry Brigade’, a number of gays from GLF were called to give evidence at the Old Bailey Trial on Thursday 2nd November.

The group of people charged with the ‘Angry Brigade conspiracy’ are popularly known as the ‘Stoke Newington 8’. Among them is Angela Weir, who before her arrest last year was an active member of GLF.

The Gay Lib people were called by Angela’s defence council to give evidence, on oath, to the effect that she was a participant of a GLF demonstration on 19th August, 1971. The prosecution council claim that on that day she was on an ‘Angry Brigade’ expedition to France, which resulted in an illegal explosion in that country.

The prosecution allege that an identity photograph establishes that Angela was a member of the part of ‘AB’ people who supposedly made the cross-channel trip. The GLF people, amongst others, gave evidence to the contrary. In all about fifteen people were alibi witnesses for Angela.

The demonstration on Thursday 19th August, 1971, was held by GLF for two reasons. Partly it was about the misrepresentation of Gay Lib and homosexuality in general by the national press, and also because of the complete press silence on important gay activities. The demo was held in London’s Fleet Street and the surrounding area. A number of newspaper offices were visited. Leaflets were distributed throughout the event.

Most of the GLF witnesses giving evidence stated that they positively remember seeing Angela, accompanied by Sarah Grimes, outside the Sun building in Bouverie Street, just off Fleet Street. Amongst the Gay Libbers verifying this were Michael Lynham, Timothy Bollingbroke and Andrew Lumsden. Sarah Grimes also gave evidence substantiating this claim, as did Denis Lemon (of Gay News), who was at that time involved in GLF.

Other witnesses testified to the fact that they had met Angela in London on the day in question. Amongst those who met her at her flat were GLF member Tony Hallyday, who said on oath that he had spoken and been with Angela in the evening of the 19th August. Tony lived in the same house as Angela.

The prosecution also claims that samples of Angela’s handwriting are the same as written material alleged to be connected with ‘AB’ activities. But the defence’s handwriting expert disagrees with the findings of those stated by the prosecution’s expert in the same field.

The case, where all the defendants are jointly charged with conspiracy to cause illegal explosions and with firearms offences, is not expected to be over until some time in December.

Library Goes Gay

NEWCASTLE: The city’s library service is now subscribing to Gay News and putting it on display — but only at the central library, and only after the paper has been vetted by “a senior librarian”.

This follows Newcastle’s GLF’s repeated demands for the library to stock GN with all its other periodicals and newspapers.

At its city’s libraries group, Councillor Mrs Marion Abrahams said it would “corrupt children” if GN were put on display in an open room.

She said: “Young boys might get hold of it, and it would not be suitable for them.”

Councillor Edward Pugh, the group’s chairman, said: “We have to come to terms with a modern community. It may be a tragic age we are living in, but these are the facts of life.

“We are beginning to pull things out from under the carpet where they were brushed by the Victorians who refused to face them.”

ED: Thanks to Newcastle GLF for the type of guerilla action needed to get people like libraries to stock GN, which is, after all, a serious newspaper.

It’s this sort of repeated request that makes libraries and bookstore owners/managers realise that Gay News is a newspaper as valid as any other. If only more people would work as hard as Newcastle GLF on WH Smiths, John Menzies and Selfridges, all of whom have refused to handle GN, even though they won’t stock GN or wholesale it while carrying the usual newsagent’s rack of soft porn, to give in. This is the sort of way where a newspaper that is already used in sociology courses will be given the shelf-space we think it deserves.

Mrs Shufflewick – the First of the Few

Rex Jamieson (Mrs Shufflewick) talks to David Seligman, Martin Corbett and Suki J. Pitcher

After settling ourselves comfortably, with all essentials to hand (tape, cigarettes and whisky), David opened the show.

DAVID: What made you go on the stage?

SHUFF: Nobody made me. As a matter of fact, I went into the air force when I was nineteen, I was conscripted. I was in the air force for about 18 months and then we had a Gang Show come to our station, Ralph Reader’s mob, and I was on the backstage staff, and one of these fellas said “Why don’t you apply to the Air Ministry for a posting to the Gang Show – saves you carrying a gun about all bleeding day.” And that’s what I did. I went up and had an audition, and I was taken on.

I wasn’t doing drag then, I was doing a vicar act, a comedy parson. I was in that for about 2 years, and then I was demobbed and I thought “Well, this is marvellous, this life, getting pissed all the time, not having to work, or get up in the morning”, and I went into show business when I came out.

GAY NEWS: What was your first professional job?

SHUFF: OOOH, I can’t remember now! It was variety. I starved for about eight years. Then I got a TV audition which I was very lucky with, so I went into a show with Ralph and we did about three months – every fortnight on television. I worked with Norman Evans in another TV show, then I went to Moss Empires, Stoll Theatres, which of course aren’t any more now, I was on that circuit for about 10 years; so it’s gone on…

GN: You were touring a lot round the country?

SHUFF: All the time. Every bloody week of the year. I had to go on my knees to get a week off. I had this contract which was 42 weeks of the year guaranteed money, but they saw bloody well I worked 52! I did summer seasons at Blackpool, I did one at Margate, and one at Great Yarmouth. I’ve been Shufflewick for 24 years now.

GN: What started her off?

SHUFF: Well, as a matter of fact, not many people know this, I haven’t told everyone – I had an aunt who was exactly like Mrs Shufflewick. She used to walk like that, a great character, and that’s where I got the idea from to do it.

GN: Were you in fact the first drag act to appear on TV?

SHUFF: I think I must have been, if not the first, one of the first. I don’t remember anyone else who was doing it at the time.

GN: Danny la Rue hadn’t been heard of…

SHUFF: No, he was still in the chorus.

GN: When Shuff really got going, did she develop a lot, with reactions from other people? She can’t be exactly like your aunt.

SHUFF: No, of course not. You’ve got to broaden it a great deal, but I knew what I wanted out of it. I should say the aunt business was a sort of stepping-off ground. It evolved itself after that.

GN: You work a lot with your audience, don’t you? You get a lot back from them.

SHUFF: Especially in radio, more than television. I find it much easier to work in a radio studio where there’s an audience than in a TV studio. I think a television audience is sort of ready-made – they’ll laugh at anything, whereas in a radio thing you’ve got to bloody work to get laughs.

GN: What radio series did you do?

SHUFF: Oh, I did Midday Music Hall, London Lights, an awful lot of Music Halls when they used to be on a Saturday night, and Variety Bandbox, Variety Playhouse, all of those.

GN: I can remember a couple of times when I was a kid – I might have been about 5 or 6…

SHUFF: Thank you!

GN: …at the Met, Edgeware Road. I remember seeing Max Miller.

SHUFF: Yes! We did the Last Night at the Met. Max was on that bill.

GN: Do you regret the passing of Music Halls?

SHUFF: I do, very much.

GN: I think the Old Time Music Hall is very popular on TV.

SHUFF: I’m not mad about Old Time Music Hall as such. No, the Old Time Music Hall they put on nowadays is a sort of cock-up of the Victorian Music Hall – I mean, if they put on shows as we knew it, with people like Max Miller and modem people…

GN: I think, now, music hall is split up – any night at the Black Cap, that’s Music Hall.

SHUFF: Well, it is the modern equivalent, really.

GN: Do you find that you get the same atmosphere in the Black Cap as you did when you were in the theatre?

SHUFF: Oh, yes, definitely.

GN: Have you ever worked on the club circuit in the north, which is supposed to be the replacement of Music Hall?

SHUFF: (in a Shufflewick voice) Oooh, yes. I’ve done that – I’ve done that.

GN: And it’s hard work?

SHUFF: It is up there. You get places like Sheffield, Doncaster, and up that way – you’ve really got to get your knickers in a twist to get a laugh up there. I think they’re more, what’s the word, critical than down here. You get them down here – once they’ve got a couple of pints down them they’ll take anything – but up there…

GN: You must have had some good times up there?

SHUFF: I have… there was this landlady I had once, she took me up to the room, there was no paper on one wall, just the bare brick, and a light in the middle of the room with no shade on it. I said “Do you think I could have a shade for the lamp please?” She said What?” I said “The lamp – it’s very bright, could I have a shade?” “We don’t have them!” she said.

Then, in the morning I came down to breakfast, and there was my bacon and eggs on the table, moving. Moving on the plate – floating in fat! I sat down, and she stood in front of the fire like this (Shuff demonstrates a formidable stance, fag in mouth and eyes screwed up). She said “Did yer hear us laffing last night?” “No.” I said, “I was tired, I went straight off to sleep.” “Laffing fit to bust we were.” “Oh really?” “Our bitch is on heat, you see, and we had the dog in to her – right on that table where you’re sitting now!”

Oh, I’ve always had good times up there! I’ve never had anything untoward happen to me, I don’t think.

GN: Do you get any local humour into your act up there?

SHUFF: No. Never. That’s fatal, to do that. Because they know jolly well you’re not northern, if you start doing that they get a bit – antagonistic about it.

GN: Your act’s become very popular nationally and in the London pubs especially, in the last few years, and you see more drag shows in the pubs all the time. Why do you think it’s suddenly become popular?

SHUFF: I couldn’t tell you, because I think – well, really I shouldn’t say this – but I think it’s going to play itself out. There’s quite a lot of good acts going around, but on the other hand there’s a lot of bad acts who are going to mess it up.

GN: Do you include the people who do mime in that group?

SHUFF: Yes. Miming acts, to my mind, they’re not clever. I may be prejudiced, but if you mime to someone else’s work, to me that’s not clever at all.

GN: When you’re miming, you can’t ever get audience feed-back.

SHUFF: Well, you can’t stop! You’ve got to plod on. I’ve never done it, but I should imagine that’s it.

GN: Do you think that since Danny la Rue and TV, drag has become more ‘respectable’?

SHUFF: As I said, it has become accepted – as long as someone doesn’t fuck it up, and I think they will.

GN: When you first started, were you considered very daring because you went on stage in drag? What reaction did you get in the very beginning?

SHUFF: Not really daring, because in those days it wasn’t called drag, people were ‘dame comedians’ – people like George Lacey, he was marvellous. In those days, they did dames in pantomime, and if anyone did anything in drag on the music halls they called it ‘dame comedian’, you see. It wasn’t camp at all – I mean, some of these ones you see now, they’re outrageous aren’t they? They would never have put up with that on the halls.

GN: Because they’d have called them ‘queer’?

SHUFF: Then, you see, it was a man dressed as a woman, and that was it. They didn’t do all this pretty-pretty bit. Half of them now, you can’t tell if they’re men or women or what, can you? Have you seen Perry St Claire? I’m not saying anything, because I think he’s very good. Lovely voice, very good figure, and he’s a good artiste, but he wouldn’t have gone down in the old days. And of course, he’s got what I call a ‘pro’s’ sense of humour, but the ordinary peasants don’t know what he’s talking about.

GN: What do you thing about people who run pubs which put on shows? Do you think they are like the people who used to run the theatres?

SHUFF: No, not at all. They’re doing it for money, if they didn’t make the money they make and get the houses they get in there, they’d throw it out tomorrow night.

GN: And put on whatever would get the money.

SHUFF: Yes – a discotheque or something.

GN: So the people who put on the shows are making a lot of money out of it?

SHUFF: Well, you’ve only got to walk in the Black Cap any night, haven’t you, to see that.

GN: They have a lot of good people there; Jean Fredericks –

SHUFF: On Thursdays.

GN: But Jean doesn’t do a lot of comedy –

SHUFF: Well, he tries to tell stories.

GN: When you’re not writing or performing, what do you like doing? What are your interests outside show business?

SHUFF: Don’t think I’ve got any. Oooh, 1 like the cinema, I go there an awful lot.

GN: What do you think about the trend of cinema today?

SHUFF: Well. I think there’s far too much sex and violence and all that. I’m sorry to sound like a Mary Whitehouse, but you don’t seem to get any comedies, or very few, these days. I like to go and see a film and have a damn good laugh. I’m talking about when I was very young when there used to be those sophisticated Hollywood films, comedies — with people like Adolphe Menjou – and they were lovely, you could enjoy yourself. But nowadays it’s all sex and shooting and striking, and…

GN: And even the comedies aren’t always funny now. I think the Carry-On films are funny, but the others seem to be rather poor copies.

SHUFF: Those Carry-On films are funny, and they’re such old gags, aren’t they –

GN: But that’s part of the fun isn’t it, and all the people in them know the gags –

SHUFF: And everyone that’s watching knows them as well!

GN: What do you think Mary Whitehouse’s reaction would be if she came into the Black Cap and saw your act?

SHUFF: (thoughtfully) I don’t know … quite honestly.

GN: But you’d think of something to say to her –

SHUFF: Mark Fleming would! That’s his scene, isn’t it, sending people up –

GN: But it’s not yours?

SHUFF: No. I just tell jokes – if they laugh, they laugh, if they don’t they don’t, that’s it. I don’t want to make any lasting friendships, or any enemies.

GN: Do you find you get a regular audience, people who are always standing near the front?

SHUFF: You get a few. That always upsets me because – it rather frightens me if you see the same people every time you’re on. I think they must know what I’m going to say. I’ve got about five acts that I do, I know these people who come in every time, they know the gags backwards – they still laugh, but I’d rather have people that haven’t seen me before.

GN: You’ve made a record, haven’t you?

SHUFF: For Decca, but I don’t think you can get it now, it’s out of print or whatever they call it. We did it at the Waterman’s Arms, when Dan Farson had it. We did a show at the Comedy Theatre, which folded after three weeks. It was called ‘Nights at the Comedy’ which was a good idea – Dan got a couple of backers, and a very good producer, but it didn’t run.

GN: What do you think of the theatre – do you go at all?

SHUFF: What is there to see? … The last one I went to see was ‘Move Over Mrs Markham’, with Cicely Courtneidge. I hadn’t been for such a long time, and I thought it was rather stilted. I suppose being used to variety, when you go and see a straight play it seems a bit slow.

GN: Do you get many tourists coming to see you?

SHUFF: You get an awful lot of people from Denmark and Sweden down at the Black Cap.

GN: Do they enjoy the show?

SHUFF: Well, they laugh, so I suppose they must do – I don’t know if they know what you’re talking about.

GN: Shuff, you come from London originally. Have you got a show business background?

SHUFF: No, not at all. I think my father was a waiter — I don’t know what he was waiting for … and mother was a whore, in Southend.

GN: Were you very stage-struck as a child?

SHUFF: No, as I say, before I went into the Gang Show, and that was only to get out of doing drill and all that. I’d no ambitions about going into show-biz at all. It was only that I thought it was a good way of not getting up in the morning.

GN: Have you any family?

SHUFF: No, none at all.

GN: Married?

SHUFF: I have been. When I was twenty-four. It lasted for three years – then I went back to fellas again.

GN: When you were doing variety, with Moss Empires and so on, you must have appeared with a lot of people we’ve all heard of?

SHUFF: I did. I was very amazed, because all these people that I’d always heard of, and looked up to, and admired from afar – when you actually meet them, they’re quite ordinary and down-to-earth, and much nicer than a lot of these bumped up little bastards you meet in this day and age. They helped me a lot – I mean, in as much as being charming and nice to me, you know. Any sort of help I wanted in the way of asking how to time gags or anything like that, or scripts and that, they couldn’t have been more helpful.

GN: You were at the Windmill for a while?

SHUFF: I was there for about three years – five shows a day.

GN: It’s amazing the number of comedians who’ve come from the Air Force —

SHUFF: Yes, like Reg Dixon – Reg Dixon was in the Gang Show at the time, and Dick Emery, he was in the Gang Show.

GN: Doing the same sort of thing he does now?

SHUFF: No, he wasn’t doing drag then. I saw him the other night on the television doing that thing “Oooh, you are awful”, but when I knew him in the Gang Show, he used to do some butch things then. He’s very clever, he’s another very nice person.

GN: Have you got any burning ambitions?

SHUFF: Ambition? To meet a rich, lonely millionaire! No, I’ve no ambitions at all.

GN: What do you really dislike?

SHUFF: Empty glasses! Don’t think I dislike I anything really.

GN: What about critics? Did that show at the Comedy fold because of bad reviews from the critics?

SHUFF: No it folded because of lack of money, Daniel Farson wasn’t exactly – oh, dear – Dan was very happy-go-lucky, you know, not terribly business-wise.

GN: Was he more of a performer himself?

SHUFF: Dan? What could he do? Oh, he was a brilliant interviewer, when he was on top of his form, he really was. Then he used to get pissed every night and that was that.

GN: What do you think of organisations like the GLF? People get very uptight sometimes when they demonstrate outside pubs or try to…

SHUFF: Who’s GLF?

GN: Gay Liberation Front.

SHUFF: Well, I think, if I may say so, it’s the wrong thing to do, because I don’t think you get people to join you if you do things like that. I might be wrong – I’ve only seen it once, that was outside the Black Cap about three months ago. They were going to do a thing at Kentish Town, and they came up outside the Black Cap with leaflets and all that. I think there must be a better way to do it.

GN: To communicate with people?

SHUFF: Yes.

GN: I think perhaps the Campaign for Homosexual Equality may be doing that. They’re more, for want of a better word, conventional.

SHUFF: You’re bound to get a lot of people who aren’t going to have anything to do with GLF at all, because they don’t understand it, and they are the people who are going to run you into the ground. I mean, if their job’s going to depend on it, they’re not going to scream the place down, are they?

GN: But it’s sad that they hide what they are.

SHUFF: Of course, but that’s the point of the whole thing, isn’t it?

GN (Suki): Of course, a lot of people don’t like drag –

GN (Martin): A lot of them do like drag, but they won’t admit it in GLF, because they’re afraid of getting screamed at –

SHUFF: That’s another point. You see, there’s a lot of fellas who would dearly love to go with a chicken, but they won’t in case the people next door or up the street and all that…

GN: But how do the people next door get to know there’s nothing wrong?

SHUFF: I don’t know – they do think it’s wrong, though, don’t they? I mean, no-one bothers about a fella picking up a woman and going off, but they pick up a young boy or something, ooh, that’s terrible.

GN: One thing, that’s so awful about being gay, is that gay people always seem to be much lonelier than other people. If you go to some of the gay pubs you see an awful lot of people standing around, not talking to people. Do you think that’s something particular to the gay world, or do you find it’s like that in all pubs?

SHUFF: I suppose it applies to ordinary people as well, I mean you get fellas who are probably terribly lonely and frightened to go up to a woman in a pub and have a chat, and vice versa.

GN: Show business is supposed to be very friendly –

SHUFF: Oh, yes it is – until you want to borrow some money! I’ve always found show business very friendly in every way.

GN: You said earlier that you thought perhaps drag as a popular form of entertainment might pass on – what do you think might take its place?

SHUFF: I couldn’t tell you that, if you gave me a thousand pounds. I still think you’ll have the top ones — plus self, of course – no, what I’m trying to say is that the bad acts will go to the bottom of the barrel.

GN: What’s the real skill of drag then – communicating with your audience?

SHUFF: Yes. I suppose I could do my act dressed as a man really – if it came to the point, suppose drag was suddenly banned, I think I could still go on and retain an audience

GN: So what does being Mrs Shufflewick add to it?

SHUFF: It makes it more comical, but I suppose I could dress up like a funny fella; if we got one of these silly bastards in the government saying “We’ll have no more gentlemen dressing up as ladies”, I would get myself a funny suit, a pair of glasses and a funny face, and still do the same gags.

GN: Do you enjoy dragging up?

SHUFF: No.

GN: Do you get a lot of pleasure out of appearing on a stage and talking to an audience?

SHUFF: When I go well, I do – but there’s no pleasure when I die a death.

GN: What do you say then? You don’t say “I’ll give it up tomorrow”, do you?

SHUFF: No.

GN: I remember one Sunday evening, it was early and the place was nearly empty. There were two people in the audience with whom you had a fifteen minute conversation.

SHUFF: I did?

GN: Yes, and it was hilarious, it was the funniest thing, because these people were answering you back, and sending you up in all sorts of ways.

SHUFF: I don’t remember that, but if you’ve had the background of music hall – I don’t want to sound big-headed or anything – over the years, then you can cope with things like that. I’ve worked some… I remember years ago, when I first started, I worked places like Middlesborough, and –

GN: Scunthorpe?

SHUFF: I’ve done Scunthorpe! I did Wigan, I did the Coventry Theatre for six weeks with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe, and it was marvellous. I was only, you know, the wines and spirits, I was the second turn on, but they were a marvellous audience, and then I was booked at Wigan Hippodrome, for the week following, and I was top of the bill. I got to Wigan, and they’d got “Mrs Shuttlewick”, with two ‘t’s … I went through from Monday to Saturday, twice nightly, without a titter. Not one laugh – they didn’t know what the bloody hell I was talking about, this was before television, and being a Londoner, they didn’t know what I was talking about. So I have, er, gone through the mill.

GN: They were still polite enough to sit there?

SHUFF: They couldn’t do much else –

GN: They wanted to get their money’s worth!

SHUFF: Oh, I had a horrible week. I was practically putting my head in the oven.

GN: But I’m sure you’ve had some good weeks as well –

SHUFF: Ooh, I’ve had some marvellous weeks.

GN: Is there any town you particularly enjoy?

SHUFF: I think London mostly. There’s so much to do, you can go to museums, you can go to Regents Park or Hyde Park, there’s so many theatres and cinemas, you’re never at a loss to know what to do.

GN: Have you appeared outside this country?

SHUFF: Only with the Gang Show when we used to go over to Africa and Egypt and Cyprus, and all round there. That was playing the Air Force camps. I really enjoyed the Gang Shows, you see it was my first thing in show business, so I couldn’t have not enjoyed it.

GN: You all work together in the Gang Show, don’t you, you do your own act, then you were in all the joint numbers –

SHUFF: Oh, there’s all the sketches and things as well, but you don’t get that in variety.

GN: You do a double act with Mark Fleming, don’t you?

SHUFF: Every Sunday. I like working with Mark. There’s not many people I could work with, I must say that. Not because I didn’t like them, because you’ve got to have the same sort of mental thing. You see, I can get up with Mark, and without any rehearsal we can do a quarter of an hour of comedy, just playing off the cuff, backwards and forwards to each other. Like someone playing tennis – I couldn’t do that with everybody.

GN: Have you any dreams of becoming a straight actor –

SHUFF: Noo…!

GN: A lot of people like Frankie Howerd have tried Shakespeare –

SHUFF: I did a season of straight plays, ooh, hundreds of years ago, at the Harrow Coliseum, do you remember that? Remember when that chap used to have it, Alfred Denville, his son was the head chap there? I was in a show in Blackpool, and I had a message, or a telegram or something, to go and see Alfred Denville, so 1 went to see him and he said (actor-laddie voice) “Ah, I’d like you to appeah in my plaihs”, and I said “I’m not an actor”, and he said “I’ve heard about you, that your timing is good” and all this balls. So suddenly a script, about forty thousand pages, arrived – I think we did ‘Smilin’ Thru’ to start with, and then I did about four different plays, and I hated every minute of it. A straight play – there was no comedy in it.

GN: There’s something particularly rewarding about it, isn’t there, about making people laugh?

SHUFF: There is, if you can make them laugh. I did Greenwich Theatre – take this down! – the year before last. Marvellous place, no microphones, a round stage, no curtains or anything, and I said to him, can I have a microphone please, and he said “You won’t need a microphone” and I said I can’t shout, and he said “You’ve no need to shout, just talk in your normal voice.” — and he was right! The acoustics are so marvellous there, you’ve only got to whisper and they can hear you in the back of the gallery.

GN: What kind of people do you think come to the pubs – the same people who would have gone to the music halls?

SHUFF: I suppose you could say that.

GN: Do you think TV will remain the dominant thing, or will people get fed up with it?

SHUFF: I think they’re fed up with it now, quite honestly.

GN: You don’t like it, I mean, you don’t have a set?

SHUFF: Well, let’s face it, what do you see these days? The occasional thing worth looking at, the only thing I like watching are the old films. These modern things, they’re ridiculous, these bloody documentaries, they’re so boring – and it’s very much a closed shop, in variety – the same people on all the time, Max Bygraves and people like that, you know.

GN: What do you think about radio?

SHUFF: I think radio’s gone to cock quite honestly – you either get records, or sports results, all things like that. You very rarely get a decent play on, or decent variety – well, there’s no variety –

GN: And yet if they brought it back, people would like it.

SHUFF: I should imagine they would.

GN: What do you think about the radio comedy series, things like The Navy Lark, and Does The Team Think?

SHUFF: Well, they’ve been going for so long now that they’ve got the same gags all the time.

GN: Are there any really new gags, though?

SHUFF: Well, there aren’t really, you’ve got to tart up the old ones.

GN: I think it’s Ted Ray who always says there are only three jokes, on which all other jokes are based —

SHUFF: Actually, there’s only seven! Seven basic themes, and all the rest are sort of cobbled round them.

GN: Can you define the seven?

SHUFF: Ooh, yes, well, I don’t know if I can after all this whisky – you’ve got husband and wife jokes, you’ve got the queer-boy jokes, you’ve got the man in the street jokes, and things like that, and they’re all connotations of each other.

I had a lovely – did I tell you this gag? There’s this Irishman in a bar, he’s got this bit of paper with all these numbers and figures and things on, and this Englishman is stood next to him. He says “You look very studious” and he says “Aaah, well, Oi’ll tell yer what, Oi’m goin’ ter be the foirst Oirishman to go ter the sun. The fockin’ Americans have been to the moon, and the fockin’ Russians are goin’ to Mars, Oi’m goin’ to the sun.”

So the English fella said “Well, you’re a bit daft, ’cos you’ll be burnt to a cinder the moment you get there”, and he said “Aah, Oi’ve thought o’ that – Oi’m goin’ at night.” COLLAPSE OF WHOLE PARTY OVER THE SCOTCH GLASSES!

SHUFF: Have you finished now?

GN: Tell us what you think of Gay News.

SHUFF: It’s worth doing, but I’m afraid, very much afraid that you won’t be recognised. People, they’re frightened to accept it. I wish to God they would… I could be wrong. At least they can’t do anything to you police-wise can they?

GN: They can, all our small ads are illegal. According to the Attorney General, a gay ad is exactly the same as a prostitute’s ad.

SHUFF: What about all those cards in the shop windows? In the West End?

GN: What about all the computer dating, and all the hetero ads?

SHUFF: Don’t they do them for that?

GN: No, and they’re very obvious. I mean, they’re looking for cock, or cunt.

SHUFF: I’ve seen some of those in Archer Street, you know, you’ve got ‘Lady wishes to meet gentleman with leather gear’ and all that balls, well there’s only one answer to that, and they don’t get done. I think you’re very brave to run the contact ads – I really mean that.

Information

This corner is really a long list – of places, people you might like to know about or one day need. We can only, of course, publish the information that comes to us.


If you are GAY, male, female, lonely, happy, depressed, miserable, welcome to CHALLENGE. Weekly social meetings at three London branches. Please join us for a drink and a chat. Ring Peter 717 4399 (7-11pm)

Campaign for Homosexual Equality London Information Centre, 22 Great Windmill Street, London W.1. Tel: 01-437 6117/8. Office now open daily Noon to 10pm.

Gay Civil Rights Group now forming. Information from Frank Honore, Room 405, Hughes Parry Hall, Cartwright Gardens, London WC1. Telephone : 01-387 7501.

CHE Cardiff group – Sat 18th Nov at 10.30 am, Michael Launder speaks on the work of FRIEND. Tony Ryde speaks on National CHE. Chapter Arts Centre, Market Street, Canton, Cardiff.

Stepney : CHE group forming around this area, and including the other parts of East London not catered for. All classes welcome. First meeting mid-November. For details ring Mike 01 -476 7980.

Jewish Homosexual Liaison Group holds its first National Think-In on Sunday November 19th from 2pm to 10pm at West Central Jewish Club, 23 Hand Court, High Holborn, London WC1. (Tube to High Holborn. Central or Piccadilly line) Guest Speakers – Dr Alan Unterman. Francis Treuherz & Antony Grey. Further details: Simon J Benson, J.H.L.G., 21a Donne Place, London SW3 2NH.

Manchester University Homophile Society – social events, campaigning – open to all- meets Thursdays, 8pm, meeting room 4, University Union. Oxford Road – contact, John Elbert, 81 Egerton Road, M/C.14

Sappho meets every first Monday in the month, at the Museum Tavern 7.30pm, upstairs room, Great Russell Street, London WC1. All women are welcome Sappho magazine is available at 30p inc postage for single copies from Sappho Publications Ltd., BCM/Petrel. London WC1

CHE All London Political Action Group, 22 Great Windmill Street, London W1.

CHE Cardiff now meets at Chapter Arts Centre, Market Street, Canton, Cardiff every other Monday. (Nov 20th etc.) Gay News will be on sale.

Woman’s Liberation Workshop, 3 Shavers Place. London W1. Tel: 01-839 3918

Oxford Gay Action Group. Regular meetings will take place on Sundays from October 29th at 8pm in the Gardener’s Arms. Plantation Road, Oxford.

LEEDS G.L.F./C.H.E. Joint Office, 153 Wood-house Lane, Leeds.

Fellowship in Christ the Liberator, Communion service 8pm, Sundays, West Kensington. Details: FCL c/o 61 Earls Court Square, London SW5

Gay Esperanto Group. For details of next meeting telephone 01-637 1220

Gay Women – Lonely? Need, information, company, help with problems? Write Jill Russell, c/o The Peace Centre, 18 Moor Street, Ringway, Birmingham 5 7UH. Please enclose S.A.E.

Wandsworth/Richmond CHE group forming. Incorporating Fulham-Wimbledon and fringe areas. Men AND women. We meet twice a month. Write Fred Green, 368 Upper Richmond Road, Putney SW15 2TU

Alternative Free Library needs donations of radical/liberated Gay Papers and Magazines. ESPECIALLY Back Issues. Please write: Geoffrey Leigh, 30 Woodside, Wimbledon, London SW19 7AW

Gay Unity. Harrow. For details phone Janie at 863 1184 or Alex at 864 2291. Meets on Mondays

“Gay Cambridge” a joint CHE/GLF group covering both the town and university. Meets every fortnight, weekly in university term. Contact Bernard Greaves, 29 John Street, Cambridge, phone Cambridge 52661

University of Bristol Gay Students Society for all homosexuals, male and female. Contact Trevor or Clare through the Social Action Office at the Union or phone Tony, Bristol 32669, or write to Gay Students Society, University Union, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1LN.

CHE. New local group forming in Crouch End. Contact Derek Brookfield, 7 Briston Grove, Crouch End, London N8.

YOUNG GAYS meet regularly in London. The C.H.E. Youth Group meets fortnightly around Central London. Details from Mike or Jim at 01 385 7246

READING GAY ALLIANCE regular discos and socials, counselling, quiet meetings, public meetings, and action. Town and university. SAE for Newssheet: Room 7, 30 London Rd, READING

GAYSOC: For homosexual men and women in any college or school of London University Social, political, campaigning, a means for gay students to get together the sort of campus scene hets enjoy, and to tackle the illiberalism of beer swilling undergrads. ULU, Malet Street, WC1. (All letters treated with absolute confidentiality).

FRIEND is the advisory and befriending service of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Call (Monday and Friday 7.30 to 9.30 pm) or write to Friend, Centre, Broadley Terrace, London NW1

LESBIAN LIBERATION.
Meetings Wednesday 8.00pm. at the South London Women’s Liberation Centre, 14 Radnor Terrace, SW8. All women welcome. Tel: 01-622 8495

SCOTTISH MINORITIES GROUP

Postal enquiries – SMG, 214 Clyde Street, Glasgow G1 4JZ.

For meetings in ABERDEEN and GLASGOW ring John Breslin (041-771 7600).

For meetings in DUNDEE ring Len McIntosh (0382-452433).

For meetings in EDINBURGH ring Mike Coulson (031-225 4395) between 1pm and 10pm any day

GAY LIBERATION FRONT GROUPS

GLF Action Group meets Fridays at 7.30 pm at GLF Office 5 Caledonian Road, N1.

Religious Gay Lib Group, meets varipus Sundays at 2 30 pm Phone 278 1701 for details

Gay Women’s Lib (North London) Meet at The Crown and Woolpak. 397 St Johns St EC1 (Angel Tube) 8pm on Mondays.

West London GLF meets in the Committee Room of Fulham Town Hall. Fulham Broadway on Thursdays at 8pm

East London GLF meets Thursdays at Agitprop. 248 Bethnal Green Road,E2.

South London GLF meets Thursdays at Minet Library, Knatchbull Road. Brixton.

Camden GLF meets Thursdays at Forresters Hall, 5 Highgate Road, Kentish Town.

Leeds GLF meets on Fridays at the O.S.A. Lounge in the University Union. Meetings open to all.

At present there are GLF groups in operation in the following areas

Aberystwyth Essex University Reading
Bath Folkstone Sheffield
Bristol Greenoch Swansea
Bedfordshire Hull Sussex
Birmingham Keele University Brighton
Belfast Lancaster
Cambridge Leicester LONDON
Cheltenham Leeds South London
Canterbury Manchester West London
Cardiff Newcastle East London
Colchester Norwich Camden
Derby Oxford Youth Group
Durham Portsmouth Religious Group
Edinburgh Potteries Women’s Group

London School of Economics GLF
London Counter Psychiatry

The addresses of these groups may be obtained from the G.L.F Office at 5 Caledonian Road, London N1. Tube Kings Cross. Tel: 01-837 7174 Also contact here for other G.L.F information

Bath Gay Awareness Group has moved again. Meetings Thursdays, contact John, Rath 63168 or Hugh Bath 4738 for further information.

Bristol Gay Awareness Group, c/o Tony, 20D, West Mall, Clifton, Bristol Tel: 0272 32669

Essex GLF University , contact Brian Roberts, c/o Student Pidgeon Holes. University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester

Leeds GLF Liberation Office, 153 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds 2. Tel: 0532 39071 ex 57. Meetings every Friday at 7.30pm at the Liberation Office

Sussex GLF meets Tuesdays at 8.15pm upstairs/back bar Stanford Arms, Preston Circus, Brighton. Contact Doug Coupe, 40 Ashford Road, Brighton, or phone Ray at 686939

Reading Gay Alliance, Room 7, 30 London Road, Reading

Leicester Gay Awareness Group. Contact John Page, 126 Nansen Road, Leicester LE5 5NJ. Phone: Leicester 738832

CAMPAIGN FOR HOMOSEXUAL EQUALITY.

Cambridge Bristol
Chilterns (Berkhampstead/ Bath
Amersham) Birmingham
Colchester East Lancs (Blackburn)
Cornwall Brighton
Crouch End South Essex (Basildon)
Croydon South Herts (Watford/
East Kent (Canterbury) St Albans)
Guildford Southampton/Bournemouth
Halifax/Huddersfield Stoke-on-Trent
Ilford Swansea/Carmarthen
Leeds Teeside
Lewisham Tunbridge Wells
Liverpool Tyneside
LONDON Windsor
Acton/Ealing Wirral
Central Wolverhampton
Highbury/Islington Wolverhampton & District
Kensington worker’s group
Kilburn York
Wandsworth/Richmond PROPOSED GROUPS
Manchester Devon
Newport/Cardiff Leicester
Northampton Enfield
Oxford STUDENT GROUPS
Portsmouth London
Reading Manchester
Sheffield Oxford
Shropshire Kent
Liverpool

Many local group organi»rs are wary of having their names and addresses publicised, so for the time being please contact all CHE groups via the national office: 28 KENNEDY STREET, MANCHESTER 2. Telephone 061-228 1985

Discos

LONDON GLF DANCES
Sat Dec 2nd – Hampstead Town Hall, Haverstock Hill. Disco, Groups, Lightshow, and Bar. Tickets 50p
Fri Dec 22nd – Lime Grove baths, Shepherds Bush.
Fri Jan 12th, 1972 – Fulham Town Hall.

DISCO First Sat of each month at the Odd Spot Coffee House & Grill, Sir Simons’ Arcade (Behind TSB.), Lancaster. Tel.2750. 11 pm to 4 am. Bring a bottle. Gay News will be on sale.

Father Red Cap, 319 Camberwell Road, SE5. (Camberwell Green)
Upstairs Bar now open 7 nights a week – Tricky Dicky Boys Only Disco now on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Also mixed, Disco on Wednesday and Saturdays. Girls Only Disco on Friday. Gay intimate evening on Mondays. Free Admission Mondays and (for a limited period) Tuesday’s Boys Only Disco.

BIRMINGHAM’S GAY SCENE WELCOMES YOU.
FREE Disco every fortnight (every other Friday Night). At the Shakespeare Inn, Summer Row, Birmingham 3. Drinks at bar prices.

Reading Gay Alliance weekly social, Wednesday. Weekly disco. Admission to each 20p (1Op students). Both at The Railway Tavern, Stanshawe Road, Reading. No Membership

South London G.L.F. Disco every Monday except first Monday of the month. At The Crypt, St Matthews Church (opposite Town Hall, Brixton BR/Tube Buses 35, 37, 109,59,2,3, Admission 15p Beer and snadwich bar.
Love – Kisses – South London G.L.F

Camden G.L.F weekly disco in the discotheque next to the Bull and Gate Pub (200 yds Kentish Town Stn) every Wednesday from 8pm to 1am

DRAG MOBILE DISCOTEQUE
Tuesday Nights – ROYAL OAK 62 Glenthorne Road London W6
Wednesday Nights – THE PONTEFRACT CASTLE 48 Chapel Street. Edgware Road Tube
Dancing Permitted, complete with Drag Show featuring Mr Jean Fredericks, Peter Martindale & Diamond David

KINGS ARMS. Liverpool Street, London. (corner of Pindar Street)
Tube/BR Liverpool Street. Buses 8,8A,22,6, 47,97
Tricky Dicky Show on Saturday Nights, 8.30-11.00 Admission Free. Saloon Bar. Disco. Impersonations etc Gay Atmosphere

Gay News is on sale at all Tricky Dicky Disco’s

KINGS ARMS. Liverpool Street, London. (corner of Pinder Street) Tube/BR Liverpool Street.
Dicks Inn. Gay Disco every Monday
Compere Tricky Dicky.

THE ARABIAN. Cambridge Heath Road, London. (corner of Bishops Way) Tube Bethnal Green/Bus 277
Dicks Inn, Gay Disco every Wed Comp Tricky Dicky.

Leeds G.L.F. presents a FANCY DRESS DISCO on Nov 20th. Contact their office for details. Parties, Socials every fortnight.

Sussex G.L.F. Disco every Friday 8-11 pm. at Stanford Arms, Preston Circus, Brighton.
Only 20p.

West London G.L.F. presents a dance at Hampstead Old Town Hall on December 2nd. Tickets 50p; Disco, Groups, Lightshow, and Bar.