Arts and Entertainment

Relive The Caravan club on the 50th Anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967

Recreation of ‘The Caravan Club’. Photo: Sophia Schorr-Kon

The National Trust in collaboration with the National Archives have re-created 1930s gay venue The Caravan club in Freud’s bar, Covent Garden.

The project is part of Queer City: London club culture 1918-1967 that marks the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967.

A programme of events have been designed to take visitors back to a time when the LGBTQ+ community faced persecution and imprisonment.

The Caravan club itself was regularly raided by the Police with records showing over 100 arrests.

‘Queer and State’ at the National Archives will enable the public to view previously secret police and government papers including love letters and arrest warrants.

There will be an opportunity to revisit old Soho on daily walking tours from Soho Square to Freud’s bar.

Tour guides will stop at the sites of several illegal establishments including the Shim Sham Club that once welcomed queer, black and jewish artists and musicians.

A night of 1920s and 30s gramophone music and song aims to challenge the idea that it was only in the 1960s or 70s that people were are able to be open about their sexuality.

The slideshow below shows the recreated Caravan club accompanied by queer song ‘Masculine Women and Feminine Men’ written in 1926 by Edgar Leslie and James V. Monaco.

Lastly activist and academic Dan Glass will be creating an ‘Auntie Sharon’ tribute to commemorate the lives of those who died or went missing prior to the 1967 act.

LMMN spoke to Joseph Watson, London creative director for the National Trust, about the project.

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