NEWSETTES

FRIEND Now in Seven Cities

LONDON: FRIEND,the homosexual counselling service now has branches in seven cities throughout the country. At the January conference, the sub-committee approved new branches in Brighton, Cambridge, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Cardiff. Plans for a Croydon branch are in hand and details will be available shortly. All FRIEND Branches are able to call on the specialist advice of professional consultants, and there is a befriending service extending over the whole of the UK. For further details contact 01-402 6345, Mondays to Fridays, between 7.30 and 9.30pm.

[Photograph: R.I.Poff]
Outspoken Reactionary Dies

EDINBURGH: Tubby, ultra reactionary. Councillor Kidd of Edinburgh has died of “exhaustion”. He was sixty four, and famous for his pronouncements on everything from fat bus conductors to filthy queers (GN5, 7 etc). He also had a particular dislike for strip clubs and go-go dancers, and once travelled to Glasgow to protest about the opening of a sex supermarket there.

He said “My big mouth is necessary if this country is to remain sane.”

Record Breaking Success

LONDON: The ‘Masked Valentine’s Disco’ held on Saturday 17th February at the Euston Tavern in Judd Street, was a record breaking success. The happy crowd of just over two hundred gay women and men, all intent on having a really great evening, surpassed all previous attendance figures for similar disco’s arranged in the past by Sappho.

Sappho are planning to hold a further social event in the near future. It will probably be called the ‘Queen Of The May’ disco. Sappho is the monthly gay women’s magazine edited by Jackie Forster, which also holds regular meetings at the Euston Tavern (see information page for details). All women are most welcome to attend these gatherings.

Brutal Cottage Murder

ELLESEMERE PORT: A middle aged photographer, Leonard Bestwick, who was stabbed through the heart with a butcher’s knife in a public lavatory and savagely beaten with a claw hammer, managed to run for 100 yards before collapsing and dying. A 16-year-old youth pleaded not guilty to the murder.

It was stated that the youth was the ringleader and that together with a 22-year-old friend known as Scotch Al, decided to rob someone, preferably homosexual, with violence; the idea being that he was less likely to report the crime. The case continues.

Clap Wrists, Here Comes Chelsea.

LONDON: Venereal diseases in Kensington and Chelsea are on the rise – 60 per cent in three years – and a massive campaign is being launched by that Borough aimed especially at the 15- to 30-year-old age groups. Posters, teach-ins, and stickers for phone kiosks will be used in an effort to stamp out VD.

Reason for the massive increases – 13,500 in 1971 – were blamed by the Royal Borough’s Medical Officer Of Health, Dr D J Sheerboom, to the number of “speudo-artists or drifters” living in the area. “We have reason to believe that due to artistic temperaments in the borough, there is a high emphasis in sexual activities. This has not been stressed enough in the past as a cause for these sexually transmitted diseases.” Two new VD clinics were opened in the area last November to cope with the dramatic increase in cases.

Why Gay Lib?

ABERDEEN: Gay lovers in this ‘granite city’ (an oil boom town nowadays) were given a St Valentine’s Day pick-me-up when Ian Dunn spoke about homosexual love and the law in the Students Union on February 14. 550 students and public crowded in to listen and take part in the debate, ‘Why Gay Lib?’ which was organised by the University’s Debating Society. The Chaplaincy, the Student Councelling Service, and the Police were sharply criticised for their negative attitudes towards Aberdeen’s estimated 8,000 gays. The SRC has passed a motion in support of gay people and will call upon the National Union of Students to prioritise a Gay Rights motion for the Exeter conference.

Something Old… Something New…

EDINBURGH: Nominations to the SMG Executive Committee for 1973 exactly matched the number of vacancies. For SMG, this was an encouraging start to their fourth year of existence.

In 1971, SMG introduced the 3-year retiral rule which impels elected Executive Members to retire automatically after three years of service to the cause. Standing for re-election this year are John Breslin, presently National Secretary, and Alan Dalziel who is the Exec’s minutesman. John’s voice is comfortingly familiar to the hundreds of telephone callers to the Glasgow Office over the past two years, – even his answering machine has a friendly shine! Alan has coped well with the often heated discussions (and semi-awareness-raising sessions) generated at the monthly Executive Committee meetings.

Old “stock” is soundly preserved in the shape of bearded Ian Dunn (SMG’s Chairman in 1972, and its first secretary in 1969), Danny Mullen (debonair and with a flawless taste for bow ties and red carnations and blue velvet trousers), Alastair (The Dish) Davidson who’s a speech and drama student, Jim Halcrow (solidly into the role of SMG Treasurer, and a true gem in our crown), blond-haired Paul Kennedy, permanent London representative on the National Federation of Homophile Organisations (did you see his letter in “The Listener” on 16th March raising the banner for gays’ contribution to the population explosion? Yes!) and finally Ian Hoy and Tony Bromley (who kept us on our toes).

New “blood” is represented by Mike Coulson (the powerhouse of SMG Edinburgh in 1972, best known for his law reform work, who hit Radio and Press headlines recently when the University of Edinburgh announced that a Teach-In on Homosexuality would be held on 8th March 1973), by Bruce Briggs (a former National Secretary – making a fresh bid for power? – who’s guided SMG Glasgow through a slowly growing year), by dark horse David (Dot) Miller recently relocated to Glasgow, who proved his salt as a local committee worker in his Edinburgh days. Nigel Butcher, the tall, dark-haired and dashing nominee from Glasgow is very much an unknown quantity (I mean in committee, dears!) but gave a sound account of himself at a recent Hustings Night in Edinburgh. Finally, Lionel Harrison – the fiscal lion of the SMG COBWEB Club in Edinburgh – brings the Executive Committee up to strength. If we can persuade him to use his considerable talents in music, he should have fun getting revenge on this potted biography by composing a new Enigma Variations.

Lets wish the team “orrabes”* for their work in Scotland during 1973.

* Glasgow dialect for “All the best”.