When Bristol Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (BLAGS) stopped taking calls earlier this year, they were left with a dilemma: what to do with the money they had accrued over the years? £1,000 was donated to the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard who now answer calls to the Bristol helpline. The remaining £2,000 was placed in a Community Fund and BLAGS invited bids from local LGBT community groups.
The pencil portraits were drawn by Malcolm for the Revealing Stories exhibition at M Shed in February/March 2013 and portray three people significant to Bristol’s LGBT history:
- Daryn Carter who worked for Pride’s revival in 2010 and is now Director of Bristol Pride;
- Peggy Hancock was barmaid at the Radnor Hotel, Bristol, from 1955 and a friend to many LGBT people at a time when most were not;
- Dale Wakefield who was co-founder of Bristol Gay Switchboard in 1975.
The portraits are to be donated to M Shed and will become part of the permanent history of the city of Bristol.
Many thanks to BLAGS for generously giving the money for their purchase. It is particularly appropriate that one portrays Dale; for its first three years the helpline operated from a bedroom in her home in Hill Street, Totterdown, using her private phone line.
Thanks also to the artist, Malcolm Ashman, who agreed to sell the portraits at well below their market value.