Trips & Adventures – 28 March 2019

What a fantastic day in Bakewell – although we didn’t solve the question about pudding or tart. References to “Bakewell pudding” appear earlier than the term “Bakewell tart”, which entered common usage in the 20th century.

Bakewell pudding or Bakewell Tart?

One of the earliest verifiable examples of a Bakewell pudding recipe comes from The Magazine of Domestic Economy issued in London in 1836. Eliza Acton published a recipe in her 1845 work Modern Cookery for Private Families and Mrs Beeton published two recipes for Bakewell pudding, one which used a pastry base and one which used breadcrumbs, in her book The Book of Household Management in 1861.

We had a fantastic lunch in the Red Lion – we all agreed the chips were the best ever!

The Bakewell Old House Museum is a hidden gem at the top of a very steep hill. We were greeted by the receptionist: “Have you got your breath back yet?” We explored the Tudor building’s eleven beamed rooms, with wattle and daub screens, great open fireplaces and massive beamed ceilings.

The building and objects tell the story of life in rural and industrial Bakewell. The eclectic collection includes medical equipment, historic toys and games, antique cameras, colourful ceramics and an elephant’s foot! Sadly, the elephant escaped from a visiting circus and was shot. We found the Tudor toilet:

As usual we found an opportunity to try on a few items of clothing. The day was finished with a rummage round some of the second hand shops, an excellent award winning ice cream and some Bakewell tart (or is that pudding?)

Dates for your diary …


Following on from LGBT History month during February, here are some dates that you may wish to note for your diary:


31 March – International Transgender Day of Visibility


13/14 April – Bury Pride

26 April – Lesbian Day of Visibility


17 May – IDAHOBIT (The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia)

25 May – Rochdale Pride


22 June – Pink Picnic, Salford

28 June – 50th anniversary of Stonewall Riots (1969)


6 July – Tameside Pride

12/14 July – Sparkle Weekend

22/28 July – Happy Valley Pride (Hebden Bridge)

27/28 July – Oldham Pride

27/28 July – Liverpool Pride

28 July – Stockport Pride


10 August – Wigan Pride

23/26 August – Manchester Pride


20/22 September – Bolton Pride

23 September – Bi-Visibility Day


1 October – International Day of Older Persons

8/15 October – Hate Crime Awareness Week

11 October – National Coming Out Day


13/17 November – Trans Awareness Week

20 November – Transgender Day of Remembrance


1 December – World AIDS Day

10 December – Human Rights Day

Piano recital / Liverpool


Trips & Adventures – 20 March 2019

On Wednesday evening, four of us strolled down to The Stoller Hall to hear a piano recital: Etudes Symphoniques, Op.13 with 5 variations by Robert Schumann and Piano Sonata No.3 in F Minor by Johannes Brahms.

The pianist was Vesselin Stanev, whose career has taken him to major concert venues in London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Leipzig and Paris as well as the Nordic countries, Russia and Japan. He has enjoyed successful collaborations with conductors such as Alexander Lazarev, Hubert Soudant and Paul Daniel (“You’ll like this … not a lot, but you’ll like it!”).

We had an enjoyable evening as well as a pre and post-concert drink at The Beer House Bar & Kitchen in Victoria Train Station.

Trips & Adventures – 21 March 2019

We made our way to Liverpool, and after dining at The Pump House in Albert Dock, we visited the International Slavery Museum. The museum builds on the success of The Transatlantic Slavery Gallery which was opened in 1994 by Maya Angelou.

We went specifically to see the “Journey To Justice” exhibition. Powerful and moving personal stories reveal the circumstances that lead ordinary people to take action for social justice. The exhibition features music, audio and photography.

Some parts of the exhibition were difficult to take in – I’m thinking about man’s inhumanity to man – but I felt inspired by a poem written by residents of the Steve Biko Housing Association:

“The Journey Continues

On this journey we are all sisters and brothers.

It doesn’t matter what’s your colour we should all respect one another.

We all come from Africa one and the same,

From one bloodline everybody came.

Scattered like seeds to different spots

Some places were cold while others were hot.

Awash in sunshine each and every day

By the rivers the beaches and in the hills we would play.

We laid the foundation for the future generation

To make a stronger nation we need their cooperation.

We have been through the stormy weather

And we are all still here together.

We are even stronger than ever as long as we are together.

Yes! stronger than ever as long as we are together.”

Close by was the Liverpool Museum which featured another exhibition – “Tales From The City” (Stories, objects and memories from Liverpool’s LGBT+ community).

The exhibition reflects how the lives and experiences of Liverpool’s LGBT+ community have changed from 1967 to 2017. Individual stories are told through a mixture of objects, costume, art, photography, film and oral history interviews. The exhibition also explores the impact of national events such as Section 28, civil partnerships, marriage, age of consent equality, and equal adoption rights.

The experiences of Liverpool’s LGBT+ community reveal devastating cases of discrimination and prejudice but also examples of self-determination, resilience and creativity. 50 years on from the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, the exhibition offers a reflection on the significant advances that have been made, while also remembering there is still work to be done for full equality.





Trips & Adventures – 14 March 2019

Well, what can I say, there were just two of us on this trip. So we decided to have a “Thelma & Louise” day out. Stuart commented: “You said you ‘n’ me was gonna get out of town and for once just really let our hair down”, and I replied “I don’t ever remember feeling this awake”. As soon as we arrived in Lancaster we decided to get matching tattoos.

But back to the beginning … the day started off with our train being delayed for 35 minutes. There is no longer a waiting room on platform 14 at Manchester Piccadilly and we were freezing with the biting cold wind.

We just missed our connecting train at Preston on platform 4, so made our way to platform 2 and just missed another train. Eventually we arrived at Lancaster and found a pub – the “Sir Richard Owen” but the food was terrible.

However, the day improved once we had made our way to Lancaster Castle (a former prison). The prison closed on 31st March 2011 but 303 male prisoners were detained as recently as 1991. When the prison opened you could be hung for stealing a horse or writing graffiti on Westminster Bridge.

In May of 1806 a large group of men were arrested following a raid on Isaac Hitchen’s house in Great Sankey, near Warrington. Hitchen’s home was what was then referred to as a “molly house” or meeting place for men. Some escaped, but many of them were charged with ‘sodomy’ or an ‘unnatural crime’, which in England carried the death penalty from the 1530s until 1861.

The trial took place at Lancaster Castle and attracted a lot of public interest and press attention across the country. In September 1806, five of the men, including Hitchen himself, were sentenced to death by hanging. It remains the largest known state execution of men for homosexual activity in British history.

There is a lot of graffiti at Lancaster Castle but without doubt the most important is that created by John Bailey in 1741 on an internal wall in the John O’Gaunt gatehouse. Bailey’s graffiti draws on Georgian gay slang to describe how he had been “committed for kissing” and is an extremely rare example of someone openly stating, in the 18th century, that they had been arrested for homosexual practices.

Unfortunately, we know nothing of John Bailey, and the court records of 1741 have not survived. The graffiti states, however, that ‘Brindle’ was the man who had arrested him. The small ‘rs’ after his name probably points to Brindle being a member of ‘The Reformation Society’. During the 18th and early 19th centuries this group took it upon themselves to try and stamp out drinking, gambling, prostitution and homosexuality.

It is unknown what happened to John Bailey, but records show that he was not in the prison on 1st January 1742. The most probable reasons for this are that he was found ‘not guilty’, or that he was one of the many who died of disease whilst imprisoned at the castle.

We had a great day out, but please don’t ask us about the tattoos!

International Women’s Day – 8 March 2019


Today is International Women’s Day. The theme this year is: ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’. The focus of the theme is on innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

Next week is the third annual LBT Women’s Health Week (taking place from 11-15th March 2019). Check out this website to find out more about the week and how to get involved.

The aim of LBT Women’s Health Week is to raise awareness about lesbian, bisexual and trans women’s health inequalities, to make it easier for service providers to empower service users and for communities to support LBT women.

The week is also an opportunity to celebrate, highlight and learn from the work of groups and services which provide dedicated support to lesbian and bisexual women.

The main focus of LBT Women’s Health Week 2019 is visibility. We’re organising, leading and supporting a number of events and activities, and also providing you with facts and information to help explain why LBT Women’s Health needs to be made a priority. We’re particularly excited to be launching a network for women working in the LGBT sector and releasing the results of some interesting new research on LGBT women’s health.

LBT Women’s Health Week 2019 will include the following activities:

  • Three Webinars
  • Twitter Q&A
  • Sharing data and research
  • Social Media takeovers
  • Information and views from our Ambassadors
  • Sharing your pledges (see below)
  • Events and discussions
  • Targeted clinics and support groups
  • Launch of the LGBT Sector Women’s Network