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Five Days of Fun, 1983


Editorial from the , September 1983 reviewing the first .

"Last Friday, 26th September, saw the launch of a unique event in the annals of Gay entertainment. Gay commercial venues in Birmingham collaborate in the production of " '83" offering a spectacular programme of events throughout the five days of the Bank Holiday weekend.

From 7pm on Friday evening the was serving cocktails, whilst , opening at 8.30pm hosted a Welcome Party for visitors from the Midlands and all over the country. The highlight of the first day was held in the Club in Thorp Street. Appearing a little later than advertised, through no fault of theirs, the amazing talents of the "" kept a capacity crowd in stitches for just over an hour. Although it was the first time I had seen this famous duo, I sincerely hope it won't be the last. Their brand of bitchy humour, their effervescent bantering between the audience and each other was so superbly timed and hilarious that the comedy never flagged once. Their backing duo of Terry and Gary accompanied superbly their singing of such songs as "Beat up the Town Tonight" and "Honeysuckle Rose". The M.C. for the evening was Malcolm Baldwin, General Manager of the Nightingale who looked positively dashing in his velvet jacket and frilly front. The show created a fabulous atmosphere and an excellent start to the festivities.

Saturday afternoon saw a selection of events focusing on a water version of "" at the House Hotel. (This Hotel and Club has recently been bought by John Richardson who has done an amazing job by way of alterations to the ground floor layout and decor. A full report on the new Grosvenor next month). The first event was a hilarious tug-o-war between teams from the three clubs with the object of pulling their opponent into the water. In the end, no one seemed to know who had won and certainly no one was worried. Then came the pillow fight, again using the teams, staged on drums in the swimming pool. This entertainment became hilarious when, in the final, one of the pillows burst and covered the pool with tiny pieces of foam, which were flying everywhere. On the lawn things got very friendly. A 16ft Tunnel of Love was the means of timing each team to find how long it took for each to struggle through it. Finally the two teams in the final had to enter from either end and try to emerge from the other. In fact the Nightingale team won but were disqualified for removing too many swimming trunks from their opponents whilst in the tunnel. The weather also helped to make this a most enjoyable afternoon out.

In the evening, the Grosvenor House was also the venue for a tasty barbeque cooked superbly by Neville and Gino followed by a Disco with DJs Mark and Richard. At the , the scene was very different with a Leather Uniform Party and a spectacular light show by the . Adding a touch of realism was an ammunition dump near the Disco area and a motorcycle display by Kawasaki City. The winner of "Mr 5 Days of Fun" was Ray Valente, better known as Rosie Both-ways.

The Treasure Hunt, organised by Mike of Midland Link MSC was another great success. 18 competitors left the Nightingale between 2.30 & 3pm on Sunday to puzzle out the 22-mile course which ended at the House. The winner was Shane with David in 2nd place and Funky Dunc 3rd.

Sunday evening produced an extra night for Disco, usually held only on the first Sunday of the month. Run by this event made the usual happy atmosphere that has made this venue a popular alternative to the usual gay scene in the city.

Bank Holiday Monday was the busiest day with major events taking place at the , and the . The afternoon, with the sun blazing down, created a near perfect setting for the "Mr. Lifeguard" competition at the Grosvenor. The prize of 20 went to John Geary of Edgbaston, B'ham, with Tom Barrows of Stafford 2nd and Trevor Williams of Gt. Barr, B'ham in 3rd place.

Later in the evening, the judges at were trying to solve the difficult problem of selecting a "Miss Gay Brum '83" from over a dozen contestants. To the rapturous approval of the audience the first prize went to Miss Luscious. In 2nd place was Big Becky Ryman and 3rd was Matabula. Whilst the battle was raging at Legends, the Nightingale were having a Beach Theme Party with over 1000 Balloons!!!

With a Pool Tournament at , a film at the and discos at all three clubs, Tuesday brought to a close one of the most enjoyable and successful events ever staged by Gay people for Gay people. I know I echo the words of the hundreds who attended from all over the country and who enjoyed "Gay Brum '83", by saying a very big "Thanks" to everyone concerned with its organisation and presentation, and especially Brian Wrigley, for all the hard work and effort which must undoubtedly have been put in to pull off such an amazing success. Congratulations.
I, and many more, are looking forward to the next."

Contributed by: Gay Midlander, 25