In 2017 it will be 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. It’s difficult to understand what life must have been like for gay men in London prior to this but on Saturday the National Archive are providing you with a time machine to 1934. Advertising itself as “London’s Greatest Bohemian Rendezvous”, The Caravan Club was an infamous yet short-lived Soho venue that became an icon of the LGBT community. With the help of set designer Dave Benson, the National Archive are transforming their Kew headquarters into the underground club where time-travellers can enjoy performances by London’s finest flappers, The Bee’s Knees, and queer history buff, Timberlina. Plus, you can explore the Archive’s documentation of targeted surveillance of LGBTQ+ venues, including illicit love letters and undercover police reports. Nearly a century later, it’s an important reminder of why we still need our vibrant queer venues.
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