Joint Press Release from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Pride Forum

Pride in Our Past rainbow jigsaw logoAn award from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) of £35000 is enabling the Plymouth Pride Forum to investigate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in Plymouth, in collaboration with the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, and create an archive to access, frame and interpret this often unconsidered aspect of Plymouth’s history.

The Plymouth Pride Forum is a local group seeking to make Plymouth a place where its LGBT community can fully engage with all aspects of the life of the city. The idea of the archive was born from the fact that much of the specific history of the LGBT community is currently stored only in the memories of its older members. As these people grow older the fear is that this history may be lost if not captured now. All indications are that Plymouth has quite an extensive LGBT history but this has always been kept very much underground.

With the support and training from Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the forum volunteers will be working primarily as oral historians and community archivists. They will interview members of the LGBT community about their experiences of living in Plymouth, as well as collecting photographs and other documents and memorabilia that record the recollections of older members of the community who wish to share their memories of places, people and events.

In 2012, the “Pride in Our Past” project will form the basis of an exhibition at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and project volunteers will be offered the opportunity to help curate the exhibition.

Commenting on the award, Alan Pottinger, the chair of the Plymouth Pride Forum said “I’m personally excited by the prospect of the ‘Pride in our Past’ project and the gems it’s likely to unearth but I’m also elated for Plymouth Pride Forum and those individuals who have worked so hard to get this important piece of work off the ground. I cannot praise this determination enough and I’d also like to extend my thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund for seeing our vision and getting behind it.”

Explaining the importance of the award HLF’s Head of South West, Nerys Watts said:

The fascinating history of the UK’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities has only begun to emerge in recent years, but it provides a vital insight into the beliefs and attitudes of the past. In undertaking this project the Plymouth Pride Forum will ensure that significant memories and materials can be collected before they are lost, and made available to future generations, and we are delighted to be able to support their work.

For more information about the Pride in our Past visit the project website at:


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