Nottingham celebrates the city’s LGBT+ history with plaque unveiling

Nottingham’s first Pink Plaque, celebrating LGBT+ heritage in the city, was unveiled, on 17th September at the New Foresters on St Ann’s Street.

The New Foresters, one of the most important LGBT+ buildings in the city, has been publically nominated from a shortlist of venues, to be honoured with the city’s first Pink Plaque. For at least 30 years, before the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the bar was a safe space for the LGBT+ community and continues to be a safe and friendly environment where people from all walks of life can come together.

Nottingham is home to a number of LGBTQ+ friendly venues, and has a long and important LGBTQ+ history. Earlier this year, during LGBT History month, a competition was held by Nottingham City Council’s LGBT Employee Network, to recognise a venue with an important historic role in the city’s LGBT+ community and display Nottingham first ever Pink Plaque.

Three other buildings which were also shortlisted as having played an important part in Nottingham LGBT+ history are:

  • The Flying Horse Inn (now 200 degrees) was the city’s main Gay Bar during the 1960s.
  • Nottingham Women’s Centre has played a crucial role in LGBT+ equality within the city.
  • The National Justice Museum was previously the county gaol and the scene of several trials of LGBT people including for crimes such as gross indecency and homosexuality before it was decriminalised in 1967. The museum now explores the treatment of LGBT+ people within the justice system through a range of engaging exhibitions.

The plaque unveiling, which took place during this year’s National Heritage Open Days, celebrates the New Foresters and its place within Nottingham’s LGBT+ history. It was attended by representatives from Nottingham City Council’s LGBT Employee Network, the Nottingham Civic Society and staff from the New Foresters.

Debbie Law, Landlady of the New Foresters, said: “I have been coming to the New Foresters (Foresters Arms) for nearly 40 years.

“I am very passionate about the New Foresters for always being a safe venue for the LGBTQ+ Community and the history through the decades.

“I am also very proud to be able to keep the New Foresters open through the last 20 years for the LGBTQ+ Community.”

Cllr Angharad Roberts, Champion of the LGBT Employee Network at Nottingham City Council, said: “This plaque is a great recognition of the New Foresters and its proud place in LGBT+ life in the city of Nottingham.

“It also celebrates and commemorates all those people who came here over the decades to find safety and a sense of community. Until very recently, this would often have been in the face of significant wider social hostility.”

Hilary Silvester, Chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, said: “Nottingham Civic Society is delighted to be involved in the installation of this plaque which recognises the contribution the LGBT community have made to the life of the city.”

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