'Never gonna dance again': memorials to lost, legendary nights out

Sutton House Queered launch event February 2017

Sutton House is hosting a one day symposium on 20th September discussing the vanishing LGBTQ community spaces, nightclubs and bars around London, inspired by the Save Sutton House Campaign.

Never Gonna Dance Again season

In 1987 a group of local campaigners formed the Save Sutton House Campaign in response to the proposal by developers to convert Sutton House into luxury apartments. They held the first open day event here in December 1987 and eventually prevailed in their attempts, and the National Trust halted conversations with developers and worked with Save Sutton House campaigners, architects and conservation experts to restore the house, which eventually opened to the public in 1994.

Similar battles are faced 30 years on, as many LGBTQ community venues face closure. Many are not as fortunate as Sutton House, and gallant efforts by community members to protect and conserve these important heritage spaces are unable to match the resources behind soulless London developers.


Key note speech
Amy Lamé, (London’s Night Czar)

Queer premises: geographies of LGBTQ+ night scenes and spaces in London
Ben Campkin and Laura Marshall (UCL Urban Laboratory)

Once Upon a Time There Was a Tavern
Ben Walters (Queen Mary University, Duckie, RVT Future)

Chardine Taylor-Stone (Cultural producer, activist, writer and educator, founder of Black Girls Picnic and Stop Rainbow Racism)

Re-queering space: Informal Tactics in Reclaiming LGBTQ+ Rights to the City
Jody Liu (UCL)

New generation, New Geography
Amelia Abraham (writer for Vice, Dazed i-D and Refinery 29)

Intervention for Preservation: Queering the venue with Unskinny Bop
Tamsin Bookey (co-founder of Unskinny Bop)

Light After Dark: The Queer London Club Scene, Memories and the Future.
Kat Hudson (Curator of Light After Dark exhibition at Sutton House)

Samuel Douek (Founder of CAMPerVAN- a transportable queer performance and community space)

Plus a representative from Historic England, discussing the statutory and other protections that are sometimes afforded to LGBTQ venues in London, how the decision making takes place and what this means for the future preservation of these important types of buildings that contribute so much to the vitality and character of London’s nightlife.

A light lunch will be served, as well as teas and coffees, and the symposium will close with a performance from Samuel Douek.

Standard ticket: £31.50 including booking fee
Concession ticket: £10.50 including booking fee

The event takes place on the ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible, and we have a gender neutral and accessible toilet.

Sutton House Queered

Built in 1535 by Tudor Statesman Ralph Sadlier, Sutton House is the oldest domestic building in Hackney. Throughout its almost 500 year history, the house has been a boys’ school, a girls’ school, a church institute, offices, and a squat. The house is now owned by the National Trust, and has a strong focus on working with the local community. Sutton House was the first National Trust property to celebrate LGBT History Month, and the first to introduce a gender neutral toilet. Sutton House Queered is a year- long programme that aims to question and disrupt, to challenge and celebrate. Much like Sutton House’s varied and colourful history, Queer is fluid and ever-changing, and presents a great opportunity for us to explore the National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride theme, marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.