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The Flying Horse on Cheapside off the Market Square (now fronting a small shopping mall) was the main gay bar in the 1960s. Sometimes known as "The Pansy's Parlour" its reputation was said to be worldwide. To hear Ike Cowen talking about the Flying Horse, click HERE
To read about the memories of the Flying Horse from the view point of a teenage college student, click HERE
Before the 1970s there had been a few gay bars in Nottingham, usually one bar in a pub or hotel which had several bars.
Two such bars were the George (now the Mercure Hotel) and the Black Boy - long since demolished.
The Foresters Arms (now the New Foresters) dates back to 1958 and has 50 years continuous service as a lesbian bar which also welcomes gay men.
At the February 2008 Nottinghamshire's Rainbow Heritage exhibition at View from the Top, current manager Debbie Law was presented with a certificate to recognise the 50th anniversary.
Debbie Law used to go into the Foresters when she was young (she is still, of course, merely a slip of a girl) and dream that one day she would be in charge and in this case, the dream came true.
To hear Debbie talk about this (with a pool game in the background!) click HERE
We have received information that in the early 1960s the Bell Inn on Angel Row had a "gentlemen only" bar. Was this simply a gender restriction or did it have any other implications?
Let us know if you can enlighten us.
The Napier pub on Union Road was a popular lesbian bar in the 1960s.
Some people say that at that time it was "the" bar - exceeding the popularity of the Foresters. The building is no longer standing - the picture shows the current location of the Aldi shop. The Napier used to be at the back of where this shop is located. Thanks to Tony and Angela for the information. Does anyone have any pictures of the original?
The first club in this area was The Pavilion Club half way between Nottingham and Derby in Shardlow. It developed out of a pub night called the "Bona Ome" club which was tried out in several pubs in places like Langley Mill, Sneinton and Shardlow. Eventually some of the people involved decided to buy an old sports pavilion and convert it into a genuine members club - owned by the members and run by the members. It opened early in 1971 and was christened the "Handbag Club" by local residents.
CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more/later venues click HERE
To see a slide show of 37 LGBT venues, click HERE
Mario's is usually thought of as Nottingham's first gay club, but it was preceded - if only for a few months - by the Parkside Club on Station Street.
It had an incarnation as a straight club in the 1960s (see picture on the left), but in the 1970s it operated a gay night for a few months. When Mario's opened, the clientele moved there.
A Parkside Club membership card is shown below - thanks, Bill.