As we head into pride month amid the fluttering rainbow flags the swell of celebration love and tolerance and that feeling of freedom. lets pause and recall a time when for LGBTQ people of the 1950s all that we see today would have been
ONCE A YEAR ON BLACKPOOL SANDS charts one gay mans moment , when he said " no more, we have to fight back"
Who was this man, a firebrand political activist, a middle class intellectual a society darling, no he
was a Yorkshire miner a man who worked with his hands tolling for long hours below the ground who lived a secret closeted life in a town that had turned a blind eye to his childhood abuse at the hands of a tyrannical zealot father.
Now this incredible powerful funny story comes to the stage and screen.
Our working class LGBTQ heroes are somewhat limited and this one Eddy Corkhill would have been forgotten years ago had it not been for a chance meeting
in the 1980s with gay writer karlton parris
it wasn't that eddy went onto to do anything flashy in his fight fight gay rights the story is that he went onto to do anything at all. This was a young man who
had fallen in love with his childhood friend Tommy Price "it was a miracle" is how he described finding love in that town in that time .ONCE A YEAR ON BLACKPOOL SANDS says it all, as it was only once a year they could risk spending
the night together risk? gay love meant prison your name splashed across the news paper ruination!.
On this night in question Blackpool 1953 not long after the queens coronation after revealing a shocking truth to this
collection of true life characters amid the mad cap madness the high drama the laugh out loud gritty northern comedy Eddy, a Mr James Elbridge a transvestite, red Ethel an elderly lesbian ex show girl stripper
communist, Gladys the owner of the delightfully crazy guest house, Maureen her flirty daughter and a reluctant but ultimately spectacular brave Tommy walk hand in hand from north to south pier a long
held tradition by the transvestite community of the time, to walk these few miles as your female after ego.
"i can see them hands gripped
tight eddy protecting mr Elbridge (Phyllis) as the first beer bottle was thrown, the defiant Ethel her eyes blazing as the insults came thick and fast, gladdys in her best coat and hat holding eddy's hand, kind lovable Maureen urging Tommy to not
run and hide.
and then that moment two young men embrace and kiss an act of love, out in public for all the world to see.
i thank them for the story they that night a reminder long
before we marched these six brave people walked!