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The Nightingale was born


After the ‘Queen ’ closed, there was a barren period in Birmingham in respect of club life. ‘La’ () approached me one night in the Bar and told me he had found a backer who wanted to put up the cash to start a gay members club, he had £600.00 pounds to help get it off the ground, they had their eyes on an Indian restaurant come club called the ‘’ in , owned by one Isaac Butt, who was the owner of the first club we used to use in five ways, and he was going bankrupt. ‘La’ asked me to get my crowd of mates to come and help get the place cleaned and ready for our use.

I was introduced to ‘’ who I had seen at the Queen Victoria, he was the backer with the £600.00. A great deal of hard work was done by what I can only call a ‘gallant team of people’ who gave all their evenings mostly straight from their day jobs to come and clean and repair the rooms at Camp Hill, most nights we worked right through and only just made it to the Bulls Head pub opposite for a couple of pints before going home.

From 1970 ‘The Gale’ at Camp Hill was a success from the very start, packed every weekend and good attendance mid week, run on the same basis as we are now (1983). The original membership came from the people who had helped prepare the club being 42 in number; all these stalwarts are to my mind as important as each other and should share the credit if any is due, for without their hard work and support it would never have happened. Purely for the ‘Midland Link’ member’s information, approx 3 months after the ‘Gale’ was in full swing Paul Smith and the present secretary, Charles Sewell, came in on the scene became members and got themselves much involved in the affairs of running the club.

Contributed by: Michael Dunn

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