Terminal Jive

Postcards from the outskirts of pop

Tag: LGBT history

OUT! – An introduction to researching archives

Albert Memorial, 20 Feb 1988 GB127.M775
Image: Crowds of protesters at the Anti-Section 28 March, Manchester, 1988. Courtesy of Manchester Archives+.

Manchester Pride presents:
OUT! – An introduction to researching archives
Saturday 11th June 2016

Times:
Session 1: 10am-1pm
Session 2: 2pm-5pm
(The same session will run twice.)

Venue:
The Chief Librarian’s Office, Central Library, Manchester

FREE – book a place

Join Manchester Pride in the historic Chief Librarian’s room at Central Library for a fascinating training session on uncovering LGBT histories in Greater Manchester. Learn about viewing, handling and digitising rarely seen material held by a range of archives. Find out how you can contribute to the digital exhibition space at Archives+. This is a free, friendly event. All welcome!

OUT! is a project celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender histories across Greater Manchester using digital technologies. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by Manchester Pride.

This 3-hour training session, led by David Govier (Archives+) and Abigail Ward (Manchester District Music Archive), is aimed at equipping LGBT history enthusiasts with the skills required to interrogate archives and open up access to our city’s LGBT heritage, which, due to legislation and social stigma, has often remained hidden.

The session will be held in the beautiful, wood-panelled Chief Librarian’s Office, which also offers a top-floor vista of the bustling Oxford Road corridor.

Central Library is wheelchair accessible. If you are interested in attending this event and would like to discuss your access requirements, please contact: abigail@manchesterpride.com

Booking is via Eventbrite. Please note: places are limited, so we’d be grateful if you could let us know if you can’t attend.

We are proud to be part of Manchester Histories Festival 2016.

Manchester Is Here

Photo: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

IRA bomb damage, 1996. Photo courtesy of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Wednesday June 15th, 2016
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
10am-4pm

FREE – book a place

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ‘Manchester bomb’, widely recognised as the catalyst for Greater Manchester’s twenty-first-century regeneration, MMU is holding an academic symposium and public-engagement launch on June 15th to celebrate Manchester’s phenomenal redevelopment over the past twenty years.

Who is Greater Manchester?

This panel will look at Manchester identities as they relate to music, football and LGBT communities. To what extent do the Premier League, the Factory legacy and the Gay Village promote and complement the multitude of Manchester’s histories of success, and how can we make the most of the manifold futures signposted by the city’s rich history and diverse heritage?

Speakers:

  • Dominique Tessier (Café Historique)
  • Abigail Ward (Manchester District Music Archive)
  • Anthony May (Public Services, Manchester Met)
  • Katie Milestone (Sociology, Manchester Met)
  • Jon Binnie (Human Geography, Manchester Met)

Booking & more info via Eventbrite

OUT! – An introduction to recording oral histories, June 2016

Jumble sale on Canal Street to raise money for those affected by HIV, 1989. Credit: Manchester Pride

Jumble sale on Canal Street 1989 to raise money for those affected by HIV. Credit: Manchester Pride

Image: Never Going Underground, 1988, courtesy of Archives+

Manchester Pride presents:
OUT! – An introduction to recording oral histories
Saturday 18th June 2016

Time: 10am-4pm

Venue:
International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

FREE – book a place

Join Manchester Pride for a day of training on recording interviews and oral histories within the LGBT community. This event is part of OUT! – a Heritage Lottery-funded project exploring hidden LGBT histories in Greater Manchester. Learn how to capture spoken word recollections and preserve them for future generations. This is a free, friendly event and lunch will be provided. All welcome!

OUT! is a project celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender histories across Greater Manchester using digital technologies. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by Manchester Pride.

This event, led by Dr Fiona Cosson (MMU) and Abigail Ward (Manchester District Music Archive), will be a fun and friendly day aimed at equipping LGBT history enthusiasts with the skills required to record and preserve oral histories for future generations.

It will be of particular interest to members of the community who feel they would like to highlight elements of our city’s history, which, due to legislation and social stigma, have remained hidden.

Trainees will learn about best practice in oral history, interview techniques, use of mp3 recorders, basic audio editing and preparing files for submission to the sound archives held by Archives+ at Central Library.

Some recordings will be chosen to feature in the digital exhibition space at Archives+ and will also form part of the OUT! online portal to be launched in June.

We are excited to be hosting the event in the International Anthony Burgess Foundation – a beautiful library, archive and study centre just a few minutes from Oxford Road railway station.

The IABF is wheelchair accessible. If you are interested in attending and would like to discuss your access requirements, please contact: abigail@manchesterpride.com

Booking is via Eventbrite.

Please note: places are limited, so we’d be grateful if you could let us know if you can’t attend.

The First National LGBT History Festival – Queer Noise presentation, 2015

Photo: Pete Shelley by Kevin Cummins
Photo: Pete Shelley by Kevin Cummins

In late 2009 I acquired a small amount of funding to develop ‘Queer Noise’ – an online exhibition for Manchester District Music Archive that aimed to lift the lid on LGBT music-making and club life in Greater Manchester from the sixties to the present day. The exhibition would harness and contextualise scanned ephemera, such as posters, flyers, photos and press articles uploaded to MDMArchive by members of public all over the world, in addition to my own collection of artefacts, which I had been digitising for a number of years.

Launched in 2010, ‘Queer Noise’ now contains over two hundred chronologically ordered images and written recollections, and continues to grow as more and more people share their memories. A selection of these artefacts will form the basis of my short presentation to the LGBT History Festival in February.

In my talk for  I will be examining three key points in the city’s LGBT music history: the birth of punk in 1976; the house music explosion of the early 90s: and the alt-gay scene which developed a decade later as a response to the homogeneity of the music on offer on Canal Street (Manchester’s gay village).

In the summer of 1976, punk hit Manchester following the Sex Pistols’ pivotal brace of gigs at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Misunderstood by many as an aggressive, negative force, the early punk scene in Manchester celebrated difference; fostered a DIY approach to creativity and self-expression; and created a tightly knit music community, which (for the most part) welcomed LGBT young people. Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks, who co-promoted the Pistols’ second gig, was openly bisexual and sang about romantic experiences with both men and women in a very straightforward way. But ‘76 was also the year in which James Anderton began his tenure as Chief Constable, marking the beginning of a sustained period of harassment of Manchester’s LGBT community by police. Punk historian Jon Savage said of this time, ‘Manchester felt under lock-down then: if you were out late at night, you’d get stopped at least twice a week. It wasn’t just gay people, it was anyone who looked and acted different.’

Fast forward to 1990 and we see the launch of Manto on Canal Street – a sophisticated European-style bar that deliberately flouted the prevailing ‘behind closed doors’ culture of gay venues by installing full height plate glass windows. Thanks to DJ Tim Lennox, house music took hold at Central Street’s gay-friendly Number 1 Club, which in turn led to the birth of Flesh at the Haçienda – a wildly successfully Ecstasy-fuelled house and garage night flagrantly billed as ‘Serious Pleasure for Dykes and Queers’. It was during this time that the city was dubbed ‘Gaychester’, the first Mardi Gras happened, Canal Street boomed and Manchester City Council truly cottoned on to the potential of the pink pound.

Flesh lasted until 1996, spawning many copycat club nights and, along with the Number 1 Club and Paradise Factory, was responsible for the making house music the dominant sound of ‘Gaychester’. But by 1998, some of the same DJs, promoters and club goers that had inspired the house boom were growing tired of the commercialisation of both the scene and the music. At this point, LGBT club nights boasting a more eclectic soundtrack spanning funk, soul, disco, hip hop and indie began to emerge. Club Brenda and Homo Electric were at the forefront of this movement. Like the punk scene that had come before, these clubs celebrated difference, with flyers boasting slogans such as ‘Music is life, gym is the coffin, be ugly‘.

As well as flyers, posters, gig tickets and photos, my presentation will include some unseen footage of Manchester’s gay clubs, plus excerpts of oral histories captured exclusively for the festival.

If you would like to add any artefacts or recollections to the Queer Noise online exhibition, please register to become a member of Manchester District Music Archive here and start sharing your history. Alternatively, you can email: info@mdmarchive.co.uk.

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