Yesterday I took a small selection of posters and documents from our LGBT archive collection to an event at the City Library.

LGBT History Source Guide 2011 cover

Esquire Literary Salon presented Cackle and Chorus last night, July 15th, as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe. Cackle and Chorus featured work from members of Young Enigma and guest composer Nikki Franklin.

They had arranged a workshop and an opportunity to record interviews during the day in the Becker Room at City Library. The plan was to create an evening of spoken word and oral testimony set to music.

I had chosen to take some posters and information collected for an exhibition in the early 1990s relating to Clause 28. Adam Lowe, Afshan Lodhi and Barnaby from Young Enigma  immediately connected to the archive material , inspired by its style and content. Nikki Franklin, working as a composer for the event, made use of the Becker Room piano to set some poems and pieces to music. Poems were written in response to the archive collection whilst I was there.

It was great to see how inspirational sharing archives can be.  A poem was created by Barnaby taking the theme of ‘Never Going Underground’.

Northwest Lesbian & Gay Equality Campaign 1988

Not only did the Young Enigma writers take inspiration from the documents, but some interviews had also been arranged so that voices of experience could be threaded through the poetry and music. Once again, the archive material sparked discussion and memories for the interviewees.

Nikki Franklin conducted the interviews, including one with me. She also recorded members of the group reading out some of the information on the documents, highlighting the relevance of the content as well as its rather retro format.

Union Hotel, Princess Street, 1973 (m50702)

Young Enigma supports emerging writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer. They will be running events in local libraries for Pride during August.

City Library has an event hosted by local author and publisher Adam Lowe on LGBT Science and Technology on Saturday August 3rd.

Chorlton Library presents Progress on Saturday 10th August from 2 – 4pm, hosted by Andrew MacMillan.

For further information about these events contact or visit

For further information on our LGBT archives please get in touch with us at Archives+.