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People saw your feet first at the Jester


“At that time (1985) there was a pub and a club but not much else. The first time I went to The as part of my tentative coming-out - I must only just have turned 19, it was an incredibly busy, circular basement bar. The first time you walk down the steps you think everyone is looking at you. People saw your feet, then trousers, which was incredibly daunting but once you felt comfortable it was a good place to sit and cruise and watch who was coming in. It really was an underground world, because if it had been a normal pub you’d have had the windows put in, that was a real consideration. If you weren’t there by 8 p.m. you wouldn’t get a seat. It was full by 9 and closed at 10.30 p.m. It was an epicentre for gay men, not many women used it. I made friends with one of the bar staff who was just a little younger than me (aged 19), and we formed a strong bond. I still see him. He’s in Manchester now”.

Contributed by: Steve Bedser, 41

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