Queer city: London club culture 1918 - 1967

Fitzroy Square Raid

This March, the National Trust and The National Archives re-create The Caravan, ‘London’s most bohemian rendezvous’, a queer-friendly members club of 1934. The recreation will take place at the now well-known Freud Café-Bar – in almost the exact spot of The Caravan’s original location

The 1930s was a time when being openly gay would frequently lead to prosecution and imprisonment; we are seeking to tell the important story of many similar clandestine LGBTQ+ spaces that were raided and closed by police.

Photographs, court reports, police papers and witness statements on The Caravan and other clubs of the era will be used to re-create the striking bohemian interior of the underground club.

Selected from The National Archives’ extensive collection, these documents reveal great detail and insights into club culture and the everyday prejudices facing the homosexual community at the time. 

Take part

Throughout March we will be running daytime tours of the Soho area that focus on LGBTQ+ heritage and club culture, which will be followed by a visit to The Caravan. 

In the evenings you can become a club ‘member’ and enjoy a bespoke cocktail menu with drinks drawn from clubs of the era provided by the expert bartenders of Freud Café-Bar.

We are hosting a themed programme of talks, debates and performances that explore queer life before the Sexual Offences Act of 1967.

Book tickets

Book your tour

Dates: 2 – 26 March 2017 (except Mondays & Tuesdays) Start times: 10am, 11am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4pm Price: Adult £12 / Concessions £10 (please bring valid ID)

Evening club openings

Dates: 2 – 26 March 2017 (Wednesday-Saturday) Opening times: 7-10pm Price: £5

Talks, debates & performances

Dates: 12-26 March 2017

Important tour information

  • The tour start point: Soho Square, by the hut in the centre.
  • The tour end point:  Freud Café-Bar, 198 Shaftesbury Avenue.
  • The tours will last around 90 minutes.
  • This tour will be partly outside and entail quite a lot of walking, so please dress appropriately.
  • This tour content is aimed at people aged 16+, but all visitors are welcome.
  • If you have any further enquiries please contact lse.customerenquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk or call 0344 800 1895

Accessibility

If you have any specific access requirements please contact lse.customerenquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk or call 0344 800 1895

The Caravan, 1934, The National Archives DDP 2/224
The Caravan Interior

Exploring LGBTQ heritage

This project is part of the National Trust’s programme to explore and celebrate themes of gender and sexuality in 2017 as part of the nation’s commemoration to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

LGBTQ heritage has an important place in the history of the conservation charity and the places in its care. During the year, the Trust’s ‘Prejudice and Pride’ programme will tell the stories of the men and women who challenged conventional notions of gender and sexuality and who shaped the properties in which they lived and the places they visited. 

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