Development of the Gay Village
Mike was asked about the rate of development in Birmingham and he explained that a big change was prompted by the change of the Nightingale's premises from Thorp Street to Kent Street after the return of the lease to the Hippodrome.
Because this was at the bottom end of Hurst Street a few older pubs and vacant premises became gay so that there was a cluster of bars around the Nightingale giving a focus for a gay village. He saw this as a "good thing because there were more facilities, more choice."
He mentioned in particular Angels (about 1996) in relation to its large plate-glass windows at street level which meant that "for some of the older gay people in Birmingham, at first that was a bit awkward going into a place where you could actually be seen having a drink. But those reservations soon disappeared and I think there was a period from 1996 to around 1999, maybe a bit longer, where Angels was a very, very popular bar indeed and it really did signal the change in the confidence of the city's gay community. There was no doubt about that."
Contributed by: Mike