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Trevor Hall

Trevor Hall, born 1931


Trevor Hall is a gay man in his 70s, in this interview he discusses gay life from the 1940s onwards. He talks about how men met each other, including bars, cinemas and cottages. He talks about an infamous murder in the 1960s and the attitudes of the police investigating. He mentions Laurie Williams and Bill Gavan and their contributions to the gay scene. Later he talks about his involvement with the Mature Gay Men’s Group.


Early Life – 10
Meeting Men in Cinemas – 20
Sex was Illegal - 30
In the Army late 40s – 40
Cruising in the Bull Ring – 50
Howards Bar - 60
The Woodman – 70
Kent Street Baths – 80
Wolfenden Report – 85
Trocadero and Exchange Bar – 90
Cofton Park Murder – 100
Police attitudes – 90 100
Being outed at work – 100
Repercussions of the murder and police investigation 105
Ex service mens club London – 110
Laurie Williams - 130
Victoria International – 130
Licencing laws - 130
A night out in the 60s – 140 – 145 – 150 155
The Silver Slipper /cottages- 150
Appearance and type–155 240 250
Terminology 60s – 160
Polari - 160
Finding one another – 170
Picking up a policeman - 180
Police attitudes - 190
Decriminalisation – 200
Personal Life – 210 330
Reactions from neighbours – 220
Drag in Birmingham 60s – 240
Quentin Crisp – 250
Scene in the 70s – 260
El Sombrero 260
Mature Gay Mens Group – 150 270
Parties – 300 310
Women and Men mixing – 310 315
Wolverhampton Scene and Bill Gavan – 320
Relationships/civil partnerships 330

10 Early Life

Trevor was born in 1931 in Old Swinford, outside Stourbridge, to an average family, mother, father and ten yeas later, a brother, don’t get on that well.
“I realised from an early age that I wasn’t interested in girls. Most of the time before 1948 when I went in the Army, I remember I used to go round the toilets a lot, as everyone did in those days, that was really the only way of meeting people. Today they can just advertise in papers but we couldn’t do that.”

20 Meeting men in the cinema 1940s

Trevor talks about meeting men in cinemas. “I used to go to the cinema a lot, I’d left school, and although I was friendly with the girls round where I lived, it was as though I didn’t exist in that world, it was just a feeling I had. I went to the cinema and I was interfered with by somebody who was sitting next to me, it was pleasant, very nice, and I met that chap on and off for a couple of years; and there were others, this was a way of meeting people who were very similar to myself, but nothing of friendship came out of it, it was just bang bang, that was it and go, no names, no nothing. That went on until I became 18. I didn’t know what a gay bar was, never thought about that, that was the only sort of contact I had.”

“It was knees – you sat together and your knee would touch, and if nothing happened to push you back it was no good, you’d move seats, but you’d find someone. So you would move your knee to them or they’d do it to me, and that’s how that happened. But in the street when you meet somebody, you’d know, because there’s a look, I can’t explain it, I remember once, going along by the Town Hall in Birmingham, all the buses used to stop along there, and this chappie went past me and looked, and I looked, and our eyes connected and I thought, ‘Yes’, and he got on the bus so I followed him on and sat by him, and we had quite a nice friendship for quite a while. And I knew him till a few years ago when he passed away. So that was just a look. And that still goes on today.”

“Remember we were young and bold and you’d always have your macintosh with you over, and your hand would go over and you’d play around, and probably you’d go I the toilet and have it off, and that was in the cinemas, but I don’t think I ever met anyone like that that I went out with, there was a couple when I was younger but nothing really as friendship, it was just a matter of meeting and having sex. Most of the people I met were in bars or at parties, we used to have a lot of parties, people would give a party and invite people back, they were very friendly days, I used to enjoy them.”

30 Sex was Illegal 1940s

In the 1940s Trevor recalls “You knew that it was (a criminal offence) but being young you just didn’t think about the dangers, you just went ahead and got your rocks off, I suppose you’d call it.”

40 Joining the Army 1949

Trevor discusses his time in the army in the late 1940/early 50s. “I went in the Army, but I didn’t get much sex in the Army, I just had one bombardier, a corporal, who I was quite friendly with, that was the only person in the Army I had connections with, it was on off on off. I remember I was stationed near Cardiff, and did go to Cardiff, but didn’t know where to go, what to do, how to pick up or anything. I was at the new theatre there, and had to stand in the back, it was ‘Annie get your gun’ and I was interfered with there by somebody, but that just fizzled out, it didn’t go anywhere, and things didn’t start to happen until I came out of the army at age 20.” (2 years later).

50 Cruising in the Bull Ring 1950s

Trevor talks about meeting other gay men in the historic Bull Ring area, early1950s “You think, where can this happen, I’d moved back home, and come the weekends I used to go into town, wander round, and most of my time was spent in the Bull Ring, then a cobble stoned bull ring which you walked down, and there was a big ladies’ toilet and a big gentlemen’s toilet that used to go underground, and round there by St Martins in the Bull Ring, was Speakers’ Corner, and they spoke and talked about things, and believe it not, you could get felt, and I think that was my starting point. “

60 Howards Bar 1950s

“I got to know people, and then they said ‘Why don’t you come and have a drink, and I remember we went to a bar called Howard’s Bar by New Street Station, around 1950. It was a perfectly normal bar downstairs, but upstairs was like a ‘Poofs’ Parlour’ – lime lighting and everything. I thought ‘Blimey, it’s a new world’.”

70 The Woodman 1950s

“I still didn’t meet people you could become friendly with, and then I remember we went to a pub by the West End Cinema, called The Woodman, very ornate, beautiful tiled place, absolutely lovely, pulled down now, that was semi-gay. Most of my connections were still probably in the toilets, and being picked up in the bar. This is a strange thing I found out, most of the gay men at that time were not interested in a man of my age (early 20s); at the age I am now (76), I’m not interested in young people, so this could have been the thought of a lot of people in the bars, that they weren’t interested in young people.”

80 Kent Street Baths 1950s

“Then I found out that there was a Turkish Bath in Kent Street which I used to go to of a Saturday, going into the fifties, and that bath is still there by The Fountain, they’re empty and closed now. I got to know quite a few people in there, and I made quite a lot of friends, but never had a friendship, a relationship.”

85 The Wolfenden Report 1957

“When the Wolfenden Report came out – that seemed to ease things, although things didn’t change really.”

90 Trocadero and Exchange Bar, parties and the Police 1960s

Trevor talks about bars gay men frequented in the 1960s. “It was a sexual thing, I didn’t have friends for a few years, I was very much a loner going round the bars, and then I found that I met somebody who met somebody who met somebody else and there was a little clique of us, that used to meet of a Saturday night in the Trocadero, and then of a Sunday night we used to go to the St James In New Street. ‘The Troc’ didn’t open Sundays and neither did the Exchange Bar, which is where you go up the ramp to go into the Station, it was there underneath, you used to go downstairs, lovely beautiful bar. You met some very nice people, and I think in those days, it wasn’t so promiscuous as today, because really, you’d got nowhere to go. If this person you met hadn’t got somewhere to go, I couldn’t take them home, I lived with my parents, so really, it wasn’t as open and going on as it is today, and I think that went on and on for a few years. We used to go to people’s houses, and have little parties, our own little group, and I must have been 28 – 30, in the late fifties early sixties. It still wasn’t above board, but I never found any problem with Police in the bars, ever, now and again, some plain clothes Police would come in, but they’d have a drink, but they really weren’t interested with you. I never found in my entire life, problems with Police, ever, apart from this murder”.

100 Cofton Park Murder

Trevor talks about the murder of David Leonard Palmer, a young gay man, on 17th May 1964 and the repercussions it had for the still underground gay community. “I was coming back from London (after the May Bank Holiday) and a friend of mine had broken his leg, I took him into Birmingham in the back of the van and he was all in plaster, and we sat in the Imperial Hotel all night, and it was strange, not many people were in. The Police were looking for somebody with his leg in plaster and somebody came up to us and said, ‘Excuse me sir, have you ever seen this man?’, and I looked at it (the photo) and thought ‘Oh my God’, and he’d been murdered in Cofton Park. I must confess I said ‘No, I don’t know him’ - you’re frightened of things like that, It was still underground because the law (Sexual Offences Act 1967) hadn’t been passed. It was surprising how the Police got to know where you were at and where you live. The Police were so amazed that we didn’t know anyone’s last name, it was just Peter, John etc. They couldn’t get over this; they didn’t realise how many gay people there were in Birmingham I don’t think. Later, a group five of us went down Steelhouse Lane and told the Police what we knew, that we knew this person, we used to call him ‘Welsh Wendy’ but I think his name was David, he was a lovely little man. He was going out with this chappie – we saw him in the theatre 2 or 3 days before it happened, and he was with him then but I didn’t know him, couldn’t tell anything about him, but why it happened I don’t know”.

“But from that, the Police came to my home and talked to me about it and also came to interview me at work, made quite a show of it, which I thought was awful. They asked my employers where I was and they pointed me out, and they obviously told these employers or the foreman what it was all about, because it went round the factory. I found that very upsetting, because they couldn’t care less about you, or what they said. This was how the Police could be, it’s quite changed today. Previously at work it wasn’t out in the open, people may have had an idea, but there was no such thing then as ‘coming out’, that was way ahead in the future”.

105 Aftermath of murder and Police investigation
Trevor explains the repercussions of the Cofton Park murder and the Police investigation. “That killed the gay scene completely, the bars were empty. We didn’t go to town for a long while; we used to go to Stratford and places like that, but gradually we came back into town, and it all blew over. It was the fact that Police were there and they used to question people, they came round the bars for ages, trying to find things out, we couldn’t tell them anything because we didn’t know. They got someone but I think he got away with it, they didn’t tell you much then”.

110 Trips to Ex-Service Mens’s Club, London 1960s

“We used to go down to London for the weekend and stop at the Ex-Service Men’s Club, which was absolutely wild, you met people and things happened, you went to bed and what have you, a lot of people went there, but at night, along the corridors, there were people all over the place, walking all over the place, it was going on like crazy everywhere. This went on and I was about 38 then (1967). It’s still standing and still active today, but not in a sexual way.”

130 Laurie Williams, Victoria International 1960s

“I remember the time Laurie Williams opened a club, which was upstairs in Victoria Square, it used to be called Galloway’s Corner, Lyons Corner House, and we were upstairs there. Laurie’s been going back quite a while, his first one was in Handsworth, behind an electrical or bicycle shop and you used to pay a pound to go in, which was a hell of a lot of money then, but your drinks were free. Nobody was driving then, so you had the drinks, but you would always think, will it get raided because it (the alcohol) was illegal. That one fizzled out. I can’t remember the name, I know Laurie Williams was mixed up with it, she (sic) was mixed up with everything.”

140 A night out in the 60s

Trevor recalls a typical gay night out in the 1960s. “After that there was always parties, because there was no clubs, you were asked here and you were asked there, and you got to know a lot of people in the bars by their first names, and it was like a little social club, you went in and said ‘Hallo’ and what have you. It’s not like that today, all that’s gone, it was a nice little group of people, and they were always dressed in suits, no casual dress at all, and at 10 o clock it all disappeared, and we would all wander down New Street, to the bottom, past the Odeon, and there were some milk bars there, and everyone used to go in the milk bar and have a drink, a coffee, then you had to rush for your last bus home. All that’s changed now, but it was lovely, a lovely life, and I never came across any problems ever, never. But that was our life, we used to go to the cinema, and to the theatre, and we had quite a nice social life, but it wasn’t all sex”.

145 One night stands
“In our group of friends, nobody had sex with each other. Outside the group, if you met somebody on a one night stand, like today, you would sort of go and have it in the toilets of a bar or behind some street corner. There was always places, because Birmingham wasn’t so crowded at night as it is today, and there were places round the old wholesale market and all round there, which were absolutely dead at night, and really there wasn’t the bashing either, I never came across anything like that, but I suppose it did go on, but you came out of the bar, and if you didn’t go to the milk bar, you toured round the toilets, and that went on”.

150 The Silver Slipper

“There was the toilet in St Stevenson’s Place, which used to go down and round and up again, the steps, and the most notorious one of course was the Silver Slipper in Station Street, which is now demolished and filled in. But also, at the other end of Station Street, where the Birmingham Rep was, and the Tatler Cinema, which was outrageous, if you went in there, there was the old market hall, which was only the walls of the market hall standing, all the rest had been bombed, but underneath the steps, there was a toilet, and it used to go in one way and out the other, and that was wild. You used to see them dashing out, at night, to catch their last bus over the road. It was a nice life, it was grand, I had a lovely time.”

155 Appearance and type

Trevor describes ‘his type’ - “Most weekends I’d go into town and not have anything, I was the type of person that, if the person wasn’t me, I wouldn’t bother, my type, everyone had a type, my type – you’ve seen my partner Ray – tubby – I used to like tubby men, but there weren’t many about, you’ve got bears today, and all sorts of things, there was none of this. There was no such thing as casual dress, it was men in suits who used to work in offices and things like that and they were mostly thin, so I didn’t really get that much (laughter) – but it was lovely, and I still have those friends today, we still meet them, because most of them now come to the MGM (Mature Gay Men’s Group).”

160 Terminology in the 1960s

Trevor talks about the names gay people were called in the 1960s. “I don’t think we used the word ‘gay’ till the sixties, you were queer or a puff, shirtlifter, which was not very nice really. I think during the sixties that came out being ‘gay’, I’m not sure how that started.”
“Polari was a London thing and merchant navy. They used to say ‘boner lalleys’, they brought it out on a radio programme and that’s what became popular, because it was Kenneth Williams, and Hugh Paddock – Round the Horn, but it didn’t come popular in Birmingham.”

170 Finding each other
“You could tell if you passed another one (gay man) in the street by a look, you’d get a look, I know this sounds peculiar, but it goes on today and you can tell, you can, there’s a certain look, and that happens. They always say they used to wear a ring on the little finger, but I never found that out. But, it was lovely, a lovely life.”

180 Picking up a Policeman 1964

Trevor talks about the time he unknowingly picked up a Policeman. “I was always called Trevor (not a nickname). You used to worry whether to give your name, ‘Shall I tell him?’, but you never gave your name in writing, you didn’t write letters. We came out the pub one Saturday night and they all went down to the Silver Slipper, but I didn’t go down, I wandered a bit down the road, and there was this car parked, and there weren’t many cars in those days, and the door opened and I said ‘Hello’ and got in, and he took me way back to Five Ways, there used to be the Skin Hospital and the Children’s Hospital in one of the roads. He was nice and we got on quite well together, and I said ‘I would very much like to see you again’, and he said, ‘Yes, I’d like to see you’. He said ‘Give me your name and address’, and like a fool, I did. But nothing sinister came of this, we had arranged to meet, and a letter came by post, cancelling this meeting, he said ‘I’m very sorry, I’ve had a car accident, so I shall be without transport and I will see you soon and I’ll let you know what’s happening’, but there was an imprint of another letter underneath the letter that I got, so me being nosy, I got a pencil and shaded it in, and that was a letter addressed to the Chief Constable of Steelhouse Lane, and he was describing how he’d had a car accident, and it was signed Chief Inspector XXX - I’m saying no names….. and that was just before the murder (in 1964) and I never saw that man again. Had not the murder happened I think he would have written to me. I was very friendly with a Police lady who used to come in the Troc (Trocadero) and I told her about it, she said, ‘I know him, quite a nice man’. He was genuinely interested, he was not trying to set me up, I had no idea he was a Policeman, he was just a very nice man, who I got on well with, and that was the only clash with the law that I had apart from the murder!”

190 Caught in the act, Police attitudes 1960s

Trevor recalls a friend having a brush with the Police - “I had a friend who was having sex just off New Street and a copper came along and didn’t do anything, just gave him a clout with his truncheon and said ‘bugger off!’ A lot of Policemen were like that.”

200 Decriminalisation (Sexual Offences Act 1967)

Trevor talks about the lack of change in peoples attitudes after decriminalisation in 1967. “Nothing really changed, I don’t think people grasped it at first, if you were caught cottaging you were still in trouble, so really the law didn’t change that much, it was just that they couldn’t come along and break their way into your bedroom, which I suppose they could have done before. There was no sense that this is a freedom. We used to go to Amsterdam a lot, once or twice a year and there was a lovely freedom over there, this was before it was made law in England. You used to come back and think to yourself, wouldn’t it be nice if we could go to a tea dance and just be what you were but you couldn’t do that. Really with the law changing, it didn’t make that much difference at all, it was a couple of decades later that it became real freedom and you couldn’t care less what happened. After that law changed, you were still in the closet, there was no such thing as coming out, the attitudes were the main thing, they didn’t take to you, I met one or two people who were happy to be the friend of a gay man, but it wasn’t widespread.”

210 Love Life

“I had little love affairs and things and you were very upset when they finished but they used to finish every three weeks, it wasn’t until I was forty (1971) that I met someone that I could relate to and I was going out with Ken for quite a while before he came home to meet mum and dad, and they took to him straight away, and we settled down and I lived with him and thought I’d never do that, it just drifted in, I used to stop with him for a while and in the end I was living there, in Wednesbury.I was with Ken for 14 years, until he died. Then I went on and became a loner again, or just with friends for another 7 or 8 years until I met the lovely Raymond.

220 Reactions to gay neighbours

Trevor talks about his neighbours and their reactions to a gay couple next door. “It was an elderly lady in the flat below, Ken was such a nice chappy, he helped everybody, (like Raymond, he’d help anybody, and Ken was the same, and I think people loved you for that. We moved to Pennsnett and bought a house there and we never had any problems of being gay, our neighbours loved us, we had a flower shop in Kingswinford, and of course, two blokes with a flower shop, they came in and were absolutely lovely, we never came across any anti-gay feeling whatsoever. When that was sold, I went to work for local government, as a caretaker in a block of 53 flats in Stourbridge, and I was living with Ken, so everyone knew, but not one nasty comment from anyone, so feeling was changing then, you were more or less accepted, if you behaved yourself, and there was no scandal, and they knew you were a nice bloke. As long as you’re alright with the person next door, they’re alright with you. When I met Raymond and went to live with him we never had any problems, we had a house in Aston and our neighbours were wonderful, they still come and visit, then we moved to Gateley Road up here (Quinton), and there was no problem, we pick places with no children, we don’t want to create a problem. Then we moved to Old Hill and there, we became very good friends with our neighbours, who are coming to dinner on Sunday, the whole cul-de-sac knew we were gay and we never had any problems at all. So times have changed. Going back, I’ve never had any anti-gay feeling.”

240 Drag and transsexuals 1960s

Trevor talks abut the lack of drag queens in Birmingham in the 1960s. “We used to go down to London in the sixties, and that is the only place we saw drag, we used to go into the East End, the pubs, and there was all drag acts, but never in the Midlands, ever, we didn’t come across it and we used to wonder why don’t they have them on, but they weren’t popular outside of London.”

“I think it must have started when the clubs got going, I would say seventies, but it was going on in London in the pubs a long time ago, one particular pub in London was called The Oval, and Dusty Springfield used to go in there with her friend. We used to go there of a Sunday and there was always drag there, but nothing when you got home. I used to find that strange. Not in Birmingham I never came across it, you never saw anyone walk out in drag, ‘Oh dear, what’s that?’, you’d never see anything like that, not even (in the privacy of) the bars. Quite frankly, I think the bar man, the licensee, would throw them out, in the bars you had to behave properly. I know there was one at the Troc, Mr Steele, was a very strong landlord, he was very friendly and knew he had a gay bar, he accepted it because that was where his money was, but you couldn’t cross the line with him and it wasn’t till the seventies when you used to get the more outrageous person coming in and I always remember one of them was called Cheyenne, and he used to come in with hair all bouffanted up and everyone used to think it was outrageous, and he was so bold, he couldn’t care less, and another one, used to dress exactly the same, and that was the most outrageous thing we saw in bars.”

250 Quentin Crisp

“Quentin Crisp was in the thirties and he was quite outrageous in those days, he was very bold to be outrageous, because he got beat up a lot, but I never came across anything like that in Birmingham. You used to get the effeminate man, but he was always dressed right and it was just actions and his speech that gave him away but it was never anything over the top or outrageous.”

260 The scene in the 70s

Trevor discusses the attitudes of gay men and the gay scene in the 1970s. “They got more bolder and it was more accepted but there was no such thing as a gay village, it was the odd pub every now and again, and nothing in the outskirts, it was just in the city, until around about the seventies when Mr Steel disappeared from the Trocadero and he took the Duke of York on in Harborne, (corner of Lordswood Road) (now knocked down) and Sunday nights it used to be gay, about mid seventies. Nothing outrageous, there used to be a pianist and we all used to sing, but the bar was crowded and it was a big bar, at a certain time town emptied and everyone went out there and also there was no such thing as, you could go to a club after the pub closed, because the pub closed at 10 o clock and all you could do then is go, but then somebody opened a coffee bar in the Horsefair, called the El Sombrero, at the time the coffee bars came out, and it was Expresso, so everybody used to go to the El Sombrero. It was packed, you could stop there till 2 in the morning, just drinking coffee, (well I suppose something else went on as well) and they were happy days as well, of course all that’s gone now, it’s all knocked down and disappeared, all there is now is the clubs, which now to me is awful, I don’t like them at all.”

270 Mature Gay Mens Group - 2004

Trevor talks about the Mature Gay Mens Group. “We had friends in Bearwood and we used to go to town a lot but really there was nothing for us, most of the gay crowd from my day had stopped coming into town, it was all kids, all loud music, we used to chat, ‘Wouldn’t it be a good idea to start a group for mature gay men?’ and we used to say we should do that, for four years and didn’t do anything about it. So one day someone said ‘We’re going to start’. It was nearly Xmas time – we put an ad in the paper, and got to know somebody who had a friend who owned Fonteyns, a bar in Thorp Street opposite the Stage Door of the Hippodrome, and they would give the upstairs room free if you had a group. It started in December three years ago (2004) and got about 8 people, and we carried on, it started to swell then it went down a bit, but one time we went and he’d double booked so we were squashed into the bar so we said ‘Sod this’ and went down to the Wellington and said ‘Can we come here?’ and from there it’s took off, we’ve got 60 odd members and it’s absolutely lovely, they all know one another, they’re all friendly, they’re not all my age, there are people in their forties come who are fed up with the gay scene and want something different. We decided to have a membership fee of £6 a year which keeps us going, and we have a raffle, go out to the theatre, been to Benidorm for a week’s holiday and Palma; Torquay, Bournemouth, we’ve had a lovely time. We went to the Fox and Andy (King) gave us the pub and gave us a BBQ in the afternoon, it was lovely, he made us most welcome, we left about 7.00. So things like that, we are trying to do for the more mature gay, who has a lonely life and sits at home on his own. We do reach out, we advertise in the Zone (Midland Zone) – you have to go to the gay bars to pick up the Zone but there’s no other way of doing it is there. Word of mouth and I do get a lot of phone calls asking for information, we’re now having some leaflets printed that explains us and we’ll give those out and put them in the pubs. …… We’ve got a website.”

300 Parties in the 1960s

Trevor talks about parties in the 1960s. “It was drinking and dancing, you’d go and have a drink and take a bottle back or some beer and there’d be music playing on the record player and you’d dance, or go into a corner and cuddle up, or talk, it was a very friendly atmosphere, none of this jazzing about dancing, it was holding each other, which there isn’t today, nobody has any smoochy dances today, I miss that, that’s an idea what to do at MGM (Mature Gay Men’s Group)– I think we’ll have an old time dance, a tea dance, that would be nice! We’ll do that!. I always remember at the clubs when they first started there was a very nice one started in Wolverhampton, on the Cannock Road, called the Flamingo, two ladies started it off, it used to be lovely on a Saturday night, all smoochy dances, you know the seventies records were all smoochy dances and nice, everyone used to dance.”

310 Absence of women on the scene in the 1960s
Trevor talks about the absence of women on the scene in the 1960s. “There was ladies there as well, but in those days, not so many ladies used to come out, but one or two used to come out. Why was that? There were no ladies in the bars, I find that strange but I never thought about it at the time but it was mostly men’s bars. I remember in the Troc days, there was a lady, called ‘Ollio’ everyone used to say hello to her and she used to be in the corner every Saturday and Sunday night in the Troc, and she was there with her friend – a man, and her brother. It was never talked about but she was lesbian, and that would be the only woman who used to come into the Troc. Where were you in those days?! No matter where we went there was never any ladies…… but there were more girls in Wolverhampton, they used to come into the Greyhound.”

315 Gay men and women mixing

Trevor discusses gay men’s attitudes to women. “A lot of gay men are very anti-gay ladies, I’ve never understood it myself there are some lovely gay ladies……. There are gays who don’t want to mix.”

320 Wolverhampton Scene and Bill Gavan

“Wolverhampton was never a gay scene at one time, we all used to go into town, then suddenly a bar opened in Chapel Ash called the Alexandra, Geoffrey Bangham (?) opened it, and it became very popular – in the seventies, everyone used to go and that took off, and suddenly Bill Gavan opened a bar called Lord Raglan, and Wolverhampton took off. It was a nice bar, club at the back, he started in Wolverhampton, and from that, he sold up, this was before the Alexandra, somebody else took it over – I think Geoffrey Bangham did, then somebody sold it again and somebody took it over again and it flopped, and Bill Gavan disappeared. I think he had a little hotel in Wolverhampton, with a select crowd and he never come out again till a few years later he opened a club in Wolverhampton, a back yard club and it went very well, then he opened his big club in Wolverhampton, and that made Wolverhampton as a gay place, because they used to come from Stoke on Trent. It was called Gavans and it was a great big dance hall, it was big and there were then two gay bars in Wolverhampton that used to do very well, and everyone used to go to Gavans – there used to be a coach from the Fountain, to Gavans Club in Wolverhampton and bringing them back late at night, this was the seventies towards the eighties. He’s still around – Subway City, but I don’t think he has much to do with it now, he’s semi-retired and spends most of his time in Benidorm. But he was a big thing on the gay scene, Bill was, I always think he was fair, I think he was a good thing for the gay scene, always fair, always friendly.”

330 Long term relationship

Trevor talks about relationships and his civil partnership. “I knew a lot of people, a hell of a lot of people, I met Ray in a gay bar, in the Fountain, and first saw him in Bill Gavan’s club in Wolverhampton, so some goodness comes out of these things. We’ve been together now coming fifteen years, he’s a lovely man, I love him dearly and he’s very much like the other affair (Ken) he’s just the same temperament, same sort of person, he’ll do anything for anybody. He’s a lovely man, and that’s the story of my life. We’ve not done the civil partnership, we’ve talked about it, we’ve been to solicitors and got very strong wills, if anything happens to Ray I get it, if it happens to me, he gets it. Nobody else gets anything. Whether or not we’ll get round to it I don’t know…… a lot of our friends have had a partnership but as yet, not us but you never know.”