3rd Annual Festival of LGBT History in the Museum Of Liverpool

On Saturday 25th Feb, the Museum of Liverpool based on the waterfront in Liverpool held the 3rd Annual Festival of LGBT History.

Highlights include a range of short talks exploring the diverse history of LGBT history, culture and activism.  Many with a Liverpool theme.  Speakers on the day include:-

Matt Exley and Lynn Wray – NML – Our Pride and Prejudice Project.  Matt is a NML researcher and dicovered objects with LGBT significance to research and publish to tell the story of Liverpool LGBT History.  Lynn Wray is also a research with NML and is working on the fine art and decorative art strand of LGBT art and artists. Lynn is currently in her final stages of her PhD at LJMU.

Paul Amann – Kop Outs – YNWA.  Paul is the founder of Kop Outs the LGBT section of Liverpool Football Clubs supporters.  Paul spoke about homophobic issues with the game and was proud in pushing LFC to become the first football team to march at Pride.  Paul has a long history of activism and has held several roles within the LGBT community.

Val Stevenson – Antiquated legalities:- the International Times proesecution – 1969.  Val is head of Academic Services at LJMU.  Part of Val’s roles involves managing the Special Collections and Archives in the Aldham Roberts Library.  This collection holds the special, rare and valuable documents in a special climate controlled area.

Caroline Paige – True Colours:- trailblazing transgender service in the military.  Caroline joined the RAF in 1999 and became the first officer to transition gender in the British Armed Forces.  She had served 19 years on fighter aircraft and helicopters.  Following her transition she completed another 16 years.  The military still barred LGBT service but gained support from her superiors to remain in the service, depsite some people not being happy with it.  She went to win awards in Iraq and Afghanistan to prove transgender service personnel were just as important as everyone else.

Meryl Cuzak and Chris Porter – Queer in the Head  Chris originally from Belfast were LGBT equality is still in its early stages.  He works for the YPAS (Young  Persons Advisory Service) as their LGBT team lead.  He works with young people and offers support and advice.  Meryl works as an Equality and Human Rights lead for Mersey Care NHS Foundation.  She began her career in mental health as a nurse and then in learning difficulties.  Activism began in the mid 80s.  She became active in Unison as a North West Rep on the LGBT Committee.

Tim Brunsden and Helena Smart – Rewind Fast Forward :- Sandi Hughes History of the Liverpool Scene.  (1975-2005).  Tim is a film and video maker with a community focus and outside culture.  He is an associated artist at Duckie and lead in the digital output for Homotopia is Liverpool.  He is currently working with Sandi Hughes on the HLF funded archive project Rewind Fast Forward.  Helena is the Archivist at Liverpool Records Office and has responsibility for managing the archives and collections.  She has identified gaps in the LRO’s holdings especially the LGBT Communities who have a minimal voice in the collection.  She has strengthened this collection and worked alongside organisations such as Re-Dock, Sahir House and Homotopia.

Jeff Evans – Liverpool’s growing police priority.  Dr Evans worked as joiner, teacher and is a historian by profession.  He has just finished the first sampled longitudinal investigation and enumeration of the impact of the laws criminalizing inter male sex with the boundary of medieval Lancashire 1850-1970.  It took Jeff 6 years to finish to complete of which he says “enjoyed every minute of it”.  One of his current projects is of the “pioneering” role of Liverpool Police, from the late 19th century in policing the well known meeting places where men met for anonymous consensual sex, whilst neighboring and other police forces done nothing or little to arrest such victimless “crime”.  Jeff holds degress from 3 local universities.

Kate Hutchinson – Blurring The Lines. Rock music had long been a voice for minority groups, this includes the trans and gender variant community.  From lyrics in songs from Lou Reed and The Kinks, to blurring gender stereotypes in image (Bowie, New York Dolls etc) through to trans pioneers such as Jayne County from the punk era to Laura Jane Grace today.  Kate is CEO at Wipe Out Transphobia.  Here she provides training and support for several organisations including, Barnado’s Cymru, Welsh Women’s Aid and the NHS.  She is a trustee of the LGBT Welsh Charity Unity Group Wales.  She has recently joined the committee of the LGBT education charity Schools OUT.  She is aslo a Stonewall Cymru Associate.  Kate is a passionate rock musician and performs with 2 bands.

For photo’s of some of the speakers, please visit the link below, and also for the video of the Liverpool LGBT Choir closing the day out, see the You Tube link below also.

Kop Outs Liverpool Top and boots

Stationenweg 2017. Reformation 500 Year Anniversary.

In Williamson Sq, Liverpool today a truck arrived which is journeying around Europe as part of the Reformation 500 year jubilee.  The Storymobile travelling exhibition was officially opened by the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead.

The Deutsche Kirche Liverpool and Gustaf Adolf Nordic Congregation helped out with this event which helps celebrate 500 years since Martin Luther made public 95 Theses on true repentance and against trading in indulgences on the 31st Oct 1517 in Wittenberg.

Representatives from the Nordic and German churches attended the event which seen members of the public invited onboard to share and listen to stories.  Interactive media was used aswell as leaflets and booklets available.  Guests were invited to listen to other Reformation stories and share their own.

The truck is travelling to 19 European countries with 67 destinations planned between Nov 2016 to May 2017.

For video of the opening and pictures see below:-



Martin Luther balloon

Shun The S*n Protest Held In Liverpool

Protesters took to the steps of St Georges Hall in Liverpool today to campaign for the total ban of the Sun Newspaper in Liverpool.

Organised by a group called Shun The Sun, the group and members of the public gathered on the steps of St Georges Hall.  People brought placards, held posters and wore stickers.

The group which  on Facebook has more than 73,000 members.  The group has had success in the city and many retail outlets have stopped selling the paper.  The paper has seen a huge decline in sales since the Hillsborough disaster almost 28 years ago.

It is estimated the boycott has cost Britain’s best selling newspaper millions of pounds in revenue since 1989 and, following the landmark new inquest verdicts last April which found the 96 were unlawfully killed and that Liverpool fans were not to blame, two campaign groups – Total Eclipse of the S*n and Shun The S*n – have been encouraging shops, businesses and local councils not to stock it.

People turned up with their children, some in push chairs and the children got involved by holding up placards in the crowd.

Music came fromlocal man Carl Allen who sang a few numbers on the top of the steps.

For pics and a video of Carl Allen singing Shun The Sun at the protest please follow the links below:-

2 protesters

Redrow Granted Planning Permission to Build on Harthill Estate Despite Protests

Redrow has been granted planning permission to build more than 50 homes on the Harthill Road Estate site despite a big protest at the site and in Liverpool Town Hall afterwards at the Planning Committee meeting.

At the site of the proposed development earlier in the morning, about 300 protestors gathered to get their voices heard whilst members of the Planning Committee went on a site visit.

The protesters had their say to the Councillors as they went about a site visit, the atmosphere was feisty but peaceful. After the visit, the members boarded a mini bus to take them to the hearing in the Town Hall.  Police were called to help the mini bus move away safely from the site as a precautionary measure, with the road being narrow and the build up of people.

Calderstones school opposite the site voted against the plans, but Calder Kids a young person centre on the site wanted the redevelopment to go ahead.

As part of the plans, Calder Kids, Beechley Stables and the miniature railway will be relocated to make way for the development.

The 4 hour planning permission meeting heard the vision from Redrow and then about 20 protesters were given time on the podium to have their say.  At the end of the meeting the committee voted 5-1 in favor of granting permission to Redrow.

For a few pics of the protest please follow the link below:-

Even the dog got involved


3000 Lights For Child Refugees Protest – Liverpool

A peaceful hour long gathering took place earlier to protest against the Governments refusal to accept child refugees into the U.K.  The protest was held on the iconic St Georges Hall steps in Liverpool.

It was announced today (8/2/17) that the UK will no longer welcome any more child refugees. This is unacceptable, while there is a ban on several countries from entering the USA and the global hostility towards people selling refugees from Syria and other countries is increasing we must continue to let our government know that refugees are welcome in the UK!

No child should be living in a war zone and we should be doing all we can to give them somewhere safe to live, learn and grow.

The government originally promised to provide refugee for 3000 child refugees, so we will hold 3000 lights into the night sky for them.

The crowd brought candles, torches and used their phones to light up the cold evening.

Only 350 unaccompanied child refugees will be allowed to settle in the UK, thousands short of numbers previously indicated.

The statement from Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said local authorities indicated “have capacity for around 400 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children until the end of this financial year” and said the country should be “proud” of its contribution to finding homes for refugees.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called the decision “a betrayal of British values”.

“Last May, MPs from all parties condemned the Government’s inaction on child refugees in Europe, and voted overwhelmingly to offer help to the thousands of unaccompanied kids who were stranded without their families backed by huge public support,” Mr Farron said.

“Instead, the Government has done the bare minimum, helping only a tiny number of youngsters and appearing to end the programme while thousands still suffer. At the end of December last year the Government had failed to bring a single child refugee to the UK under the Dubs scheme from Greece or Italy where many of these children are trapped.”

For pics of the night see the link below:-

Dan and Alan on the steps of St Georges Hall

Visit My Mosque Open Day – Brougham Terrace, Liverpool

Visit My Mosque Day is a national initiative where over 150 mosques across the UK are organising an open day, the 5th of Feb is that day. Visit My Mosque Day is facilitated by The Muslim Council of Britain.

Mosques across the UK will be sharing tea and biscuits, alongside an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship. More mosques will be participating this year from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said, “Visit My Mosque Day is our chance to welcome fellow Britons to our diverse community. In previous years we were moved by how the great British public has taken part in the day, some travelling dozens of miles to find their local mosques, and the level of enthusiasm in the number of mosques who have invited their neighbours to share in the experience has increased each year. Now its third year, we hope that Visit My Mosque Day becomes a great British institution for years to come.”

I went to the oldest Mosque in Britain earlier and met the Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes there and the Rev Dr Crispin Pailing, Parish Priest of St Nicks church in Liverpool.  Upon arriving we were greeted warmly.  Our hosts provided, tea, coffee and snacks for us before having short talks by some of the Trustee’s.  This was followed by a tour of the building and were told about the plans for the future for the place.

For pics see link below:-

Plaque on outside of building