BLAGS, Bristol’s long-running Lesbian and Gay switchboard, is closing at the end of February. One of the first L&G switchboards to set up in the country, and currently the second-longest running, the volunteers have decided to hand over the service to another group to ensure that calls coming from the region will still be answered.
Although the group has decided to close down their office in Bristol, people will still be able to call the switchboard number for help as well as access a new web site, set up to carry information of local LGBT venues and services as well as containing a potted history of the group. From March 1, be manned by the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard (LLGS) and which will be provided with up-to-date information on local gay amenities by BLAGS’ volunteers.
Exhibition at Hydra Books, 34 Old Market Street, Bristol, BS2 0EZ
Sunday 26 February 2012, 4pm to 8pm
An exhibition at Hydra Books will feature material gathered by the Switchboard over the last four decades including documents relating to Bristol’s original Gay Centre and to the Bristol Gay Festival, a forerunner to Pride. The exhibition at Hydra Books is free and open to everyone.
Farewell party: Old Market Tavern, 30 Old Market Street, Bristol, BS2 0HB
Sunday 26 February 2012, 7pm to 10:30pm
The group are marking their passing with a party at the Old Market Tavern for volunteers past and present. Former volunteers and supporters who would like to attend the party should email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation.
“It’s very sad that, after almost 40 years, we feel that the time has come to close the Bristol L&G Switchboard down, but we’re all absolutely adamant that local LGBT people, their friends and families, should still have access to help if they need it,” said a Switchboard volunteer. “We want to turn the passing of BLAGS into a celebration of everything we have achieved over the last four decades and invite everyone who has had a part in the Switchboard over the years to help us do that.”
Bristol Lesbian & Gay Switchboard website
Download the full programme for LGBT History Month 2012 in Bristol and Bath (pdf).