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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 , 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 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 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.”

Contributed by: Trevor Hall, 76

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