Rainbow Plaque Unveiled

On Friday 30 July a good number of CHE’s members gathered in front of Burnley Central Library for the unveiling of a Rainbow Plaque to commemorate CHE’s first ever public meeting in that very building, 50 years before to the day.

The 1971 meeting had been called to discuss the proposed setting up of a gay club in the town. It proved to be a very lively meeting, as described in Amiable Warriors Volume One, pages 213 to 225 (there’s also an article about the event on the UK LGBT Archive).

The plaque was unveiled by Reuben Hornby, representing today’s young people, together with Andrew Lumsden (who had taken part in the 1971 meeting), representing the older generation.

The event was introduced and admirably compered by Paul Fairweather. Other speakers included:

  • Cllr Mark Townsend, Mayor of Burnley
  • Cllr Cosima Towneley, Deputy Mayor, also representing Lancashire County Council
  • Peter Scott-Presland, author of Amiable Warriors, the history of CHE
  • Michael Steed from CHE, who spoke at the meeting in 1971
  • Lewis Turner, Chief Executive of Lancs LGBT, the main LGBT+ group in the county
  • Ross Burgess from CHE


Left to right: Reuben Hornby, Cllr Mark Townsend, Mrs Townsend, Ross Burgess, Michael Steed, Paul Fairweather, Lewis Turner, Andrew Lumsden, Peter Scott-Presland. (Photo by Barry Clements).
Closeup of the plaque. (Photo by Peter Burman).
Posted in
Skip to content