Here We Are Again

You probably have read in your papers of the dancing in the streets and the happy merry-making in the vicinity of London Street, Paddington, once the editorial collective of Gay News finally managed to secure larger premises. If you somehow missed hearing about this major event, here are the up-to-date details.

Earls Court Here We Come

After months of searching, inquiring and appealing, we found suitable accommodation in London’s fashionable Earls Court district. The new offices consist of two large rooms, each at least three times the size of our present location at Paddington. There is also a garden, which will no doubt be put to such good use as growing green carnations. One of the offices also incorporates a small kitchen unit. The new address and telephone number of GN will appear in bold type at the end of this piece.

From now on, please send all correspondence, information, articles, box number replies and enquiries to our new address. Our old telephone number will still be operating for a while but we suggest that you ring the new number. We intend to keep the original office, even if we haven’t yet decided to what use we are going to put it. Any of you intending to visit GN should come along to our new address, where you will always be most welcome, although we can’t guarantee how much attention we can give you.

Incidentally, the new premises and the retaining of the Paddington office, are just inside the budget we have allowed ourselves.

Discrimination?

The acquiring of our new offices has been a somewhat exhausting and depressing experience. Admittedly our bank were helpful within certain limits. Also, the offer from a friendly individual to provide a guarantee for a bank loan we needed to obtain premises we were at one time considering taking, was most generous and greatly encouraging. But that particular place eventually proved to be way beyond the amount budgeted for accommodation.

More often than not we have come up against hostility and discrimination when we have approached estate agents and landlords of vacant property. In the few days preceeding the acquisition of the Earls Court offices, we had lost the opportunity of two ideal locations, purely and simply because we happened to be producing a newspaper that aimed at gay men and women. A comment from one of the people we saw concerning a certain property, delivered in a most agitated manner, was: “Gay News! You mean it’s for QUEERS?”

The other possible landlord, after what we supposed to be a re-thinking of the meaning of the words “gay news” took only a minute or two to come to the no-argument decision of “NO”, after demanding to see a copy of GN.

We have tried to be objective in interpreting the negative responses we have come across. Possible paranoia and over-reacting on our part to likely discriminatory situations have been taken into account, but the only general conclusions we can honestly come to, are that through being unwilling to conceal the true nature of GN and our own gayness, we have, in the majority of instances, come up against the same ignorant, insufferable prejudices and unfounded fears that gays of both sexes have had the misfortune to endure throughout recorded history.

Gay News intends to seriously investigate the problems gays may encounter in finding accommodation, including local council flats and houses, or in obtaining mortgages. More on this subject in future issues. For now, you could write to us, informing us of any discrimination you have encountered in relation to housing.

Departures

Number one David Bowie fan and GN news editor Peter Holmes has now left the paper. Peter has parted company with us for personal reasons.

In the past he has not only contributed to the growth of GN, but has also submitted news and features to Time Out and the new pop/movie magazine Screen ’n’ Heard.

We wish Peter much success in the future. GN won’t be quite the same without him.

In another part of this issue you will see an advertisement for someone to replace the large gap left in our news department by Peter’s departure.

Orange or Lemon

The last issue, for reasons yet to be explained by our printer, came out in two different colours, lemon and orange. The one that we wanted was the latter, but these things happen. Unfortunately we considered the lemon covers (no offence Denis) to be rather dull. It looks as if the occurence will be filed away in our insoluble problems department.

Dates

Issue no 19 of GN will be published and available from 21st March. Deadlines for that edition are Friday 9th March for copy, letters, etc and the morning of Tuesday 13th March for advertisements.

FOOTNOTE: Please note that our new address is Gay News, Basement, 34d Redcliffe Square, London SW10. The telephone number is 01-01-373 0586.

Vampire Postmen

LONDON: A gentle warning. In case you’re thinking of posting a letter or visiting a post office in PADDINGTON, DON’T because someone in the Paddington GPO is after your blood. The other morning I posted off some packets of back numbers to readers, and to make sure no Hets came loose in transit, I stapled the envelopes down. The following morning, no sooner had I left the erotica of the Bakerloo line, and entered that hovel we call an office, when a horrible man from the GPO rang up to tell me that I’d almost caused an actual strike at the local sorting office. Almost, well, you can’t succeeed in fulfilling your greatest desires all the time.

One of their nice postmen, while trying to prize open the staples, in order to steal whatever was inside our packets, had cut his lily white hand, and stained what the GPO’s spokesman termed as our “embarrassing packet” with streams of blood, and they weren’t going to sort any more of our post until we came round and removed every single, solitary staple. I collected the packets from the assistant postmaster, who peculiarly, was dressed in a long black cloak, with which he was attempting to consider his two front teeth which protruded terribly, and must have been all of eight inches long. And stranger still, there wasn’t the merest speck of blood to be seen on the packet. Just three large teeth marks and a GLF badge where the staples should have been.

So, Paddington GPO, Fangs for the memory.

Gay Tried For Acid Murder

LONDON: A staff supervisor from Paddington wept in the dock as he was jailed for four years by a judge in the Old Bailey at the end of his trial for killing his former lover.

The prosecution’s case had been that Michael Dickinson, who was originally called Smith, murdered his lover, William Dickinson, and after stabbing him, poured acid over his body to disfigure it. The prosecution said William had been out with a sailor friend of Michael’s the night of the stabbing.

Mr Richard du Cann had appeared for the prosecution and had alleged that after Michael and William met last March they started to live together. But their relationship was stormy because William was bisexual.

Two doctors called by the defence said that Michael was mentally disturbed, and the jury found him guilty of manslaughter, and not of murder.

The judge told 36-year-old Michael: “You have taken away the life of a young man of 24. He was a person of not very good character and he behaved very badly towards you, but he was entitled to live.

“I have no doubt that all you wanted from him was a little bit of kindness and straightforward dealing and because you did not get those things you completely lost control of yourself.”

When the trial opened the Evening Standard ran a scandal-type headline as a page lead, and used seven-and-a-half inches of the prosecution’s case. During the rest of the week-long trial it reported not a word until the verdict.