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The picture shows Ike Cowen in 2000, aged 82. In the late 1960s Ike was in touch with the national CHE (Campaign for Homosexual Equality) organisation.
When sufficient people had contacted CHE to make a local group viable, Ike organised the first meeting on November 16th 1971. In March 1972, a small committee was set up to keep the group running and a series of meetings began.
To find out more about Nottingham CHE, click HERE
Click on the picture of Ike to hear him talking about several issues
An early post-1967 gay mag
The three strands which, in the 1970s, led to a growing improvement in facilities and support for lesbians and gay men were
The establishment of legitimate meeting places
A network of support services and helplines
Community newspapers and magazines
The first and most important national gay newspaper was Gay News, which started publication in 1972.
Another early post-1967 gay mag
Starting in 1972 Nottingham CHE published its own newsletter, Chimaera - which continued until 1982.
It was circulated to about 150 people who were either CHE members or wanted information about CHE. Chimaera was often quite substantial - one edition ran to 28 pages. CHE was unconcerned about this as all the paper and duplicating facilities were "obtained" from local schools and companies by their CHE members.
"The granting of a licence for La Chic club is a disgrace. What effect this will have on young people, I dread to think".
"I realise that this "gay,unhappy breed" are in need of help, but why choose our city?"
"The promoters will succeed in making the "Queen of the Midlands into a laughing stock".
Just some of the letters from the Nottingham Evening Post in 1973. To read more click HERE.
Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Lesbian & Gay Switchboard is a helpline providing information and support by phone, letter and now by e-mail. It has had over 60,000 contacts since it started. But when did it start?
Switchboard has 3 starting dates.
In 1974 it began as a drop-in advice night at the Nottingham People's Centre.
In 1975, it moved next door to the Council for Voluntary Service and acquired a phone line.
In 1976, it started calling itself a "Switchboard" following the example of London's service.
This is quite useful, as it allows Switchboard to have major anniversary celebrations on three consecutive years.
Unlike many of the similar helplines set up in the 70s and 80s a) it has no paid workers and b) it's still going. To find out more about Switchboard, click HERE
By 1975 Nottingham CHE had become Nottingham and Derby CHE. At the time there was a feeling amongst some people that campaigning meant "banner waving".
Nottingham CHE did a lot of useful work, much of it low key, but here they are on the way to Hyde Park in 1975 banners awave.
In 1976 Nottingham CHE and GLF got together to form the Gay Activist's Alliance. Together they produced 2 examples of gay street theatre. The first was a twist on the Robin Hood story "Robina Hood and her gayfolk". The second. seen here performed on the steps of Sheffield Town Hall, was called "Green Noses". To find out more, click HERE.
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