Ray Gosling was born 5 May 1939 and died on 19 November 2013. He wrote and presented several hundred television and radio documentaries and regional programmes for BBC Radio 4 and Granada Television from the 1960s to 1980s on quirky aspects of life in different British towns and cities. His later documentaries focused on his personal life and his emergence as a gay activist. He was described as "one of the most uniquely talented figures in the history of British broadcasting.
He was an early pioneer of the modern British gay rights movement, first becoming involved in the 1950s, and working with Allan Horsfall in the North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee of the late 1960s, which later became the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE). Horsfall and Gosling ran a website together called Gay Monitor which is partly a history of CHE and partly an account of more recent cases of discrimination against gay men.
In the 1960s he worked as a journalist and his work included writing reports on some the last cases where gay men were tried and imprisoned because of their sexuality.
Gosling's background in grass-roots activism chimed with CHE's stated attempt to forge a democratic mass movement in which gay people were encouraged to take control of their own lives and fight for their rights.
The value of Gosling's work was recognised by Nottingham Trent University in 2005, when it stepped in to save "an amazing treasure trove of ground-breaking TV and radio work which was in danger of being lost forever". The veteran broadcaster's archive, which includes films, tapes, scripts, cuttings and background notes providing perspective on 40 years of social history, is now safely preserved within the School of Arts and Humanities.
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