A permanent plaque for York’s LGBT History? Call for ideas


Following LGBT History Month 2017 and the third Rainbow Plaques event, York LGBT History Month, York’s Alternative History, York LGBT Forum and York Civic Trust  are working together to identify Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans histories that can be commemorated with a York Civic Trust permanent plaque.

We are starting this with an open call for ideas. Everyone is welcome to contribute. You can make a suggestion via this websurvey.

Plaques can commemorate people, places, organizations or events. The criteria are:

·      If it is a person, that they are dead and have been influential.

·      If it is a place, organization or event, that it was significant.

However, these criteria are flexible. We’re expecting lots of different types of arguments for why someone might have been influential or why a place, organization or event was significant.

For inspiration:

York Civic Trust plaques

York’s DIY Rainbow Plaques

LGBT linked plaques in London

This is how the process will work. We’d like to invite you to get involved: to generate lots of ideas, to debate and discuss the process, to make a final decision and to get the first plaque up.

June   Open call for ideas
August     Event where the ideas are discussed and a list is prepared for final vote
August                 Vote to determine an order of priorities
September                 Announce the priority list and begin working on first LBGT plaque.

The first plaque will be supported by the York Civic Trust City Enhancement Fund.

Marriage and Freedom: Exploring African British History through connections to York

Saturday, June 17 at 7:30 PM – 10 PM
Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road, York YO23 1BW

Arts and Cultural Heritage Association York and York’s Alternative History, with Heritage Corner, are proud to present MARRIAGE & FREEDOM, a unique programme consisting of two dramatic presentations with extremely rich narratives.

Heritage Corner from Leeds explores the significance of African British history towards the understanding of heritage and diversity in Britain today. Two celebrated couples in African British history are presented. Their stories could not be more different from each other. Both couples are factually documented as visiting York but the main connection is the year 1848, as both tragedy and hope unfold before our eyes.

The first play entitled ‘Oh, Susannah’, features Norwich-born William Darby, AKA Baplo, who is of African descent in a mixed heritage marriage with Susannah, a Brummy. Their joint adventure of Pablo Fanque’s Circus was created in 1840’s Yorkshire and contributes to the golden age of circus in Britain as one of the most popular and well-celebrated circuses of its day.

The second play entitled ‘Meets the Crafts’, we see Ellen and William Craft preparing their daring escape from slavery in America, as told in their best seller ‘A Thousand Miles to Freedom’. Ellen is of mixed heritage, but nearly white, her celebrity status is sealed when in becomes widely known that she dressed in male clothing to escape. William’s talks in Yorkshire are well attended and their cause well supported.

A unique double bill of dual heritage narratives in Victorian Yorkshire.

There will be opportunities for questions, discussion, networking and having a generally great evening out.

Seriously not to be missed!

Bar, music and food provided

Places are free but booking is essential


For booking and further information contact the following: joseph.a.richards@gmail.com // 07729474221

York’s LGBT History: make your own rainbow plaque, 20th February

As part of York’s LBGT History Month, York’s Alternative History are hosting (for the second year)…

York’s LGBT History: make your own rainbow plaque
20th February, 1pm-5pm

There are over seventy blue plaques around York commemorating famous people or events.
To celebrate York LGBT History Month 2016, we invite you to create your own rainbow plaques to mark places of personal and political significance to LGBT history. Drop into Explore York between 1pm and 3pm to make your removable cardboard plaque. After 3pm, we’ll distribute them around the city. If you arrive after that time, we’ll leave contact details with Explore so you can find out how to join us en route.

Venue: Marriott Room, Explore York Libraries & Archives, Library Square, Museum Street, York YO1 7DS
Accessibility: Baby changing, Wheelchair access

Tickets: None required

Photos from last year’s event:



Reflections on Rainbow Plaques Day

Guppys with its celebratory Rainbow Plaque

Guppys with its celebratory Rainbow Plaque

Kit Heyam’s blog post on LGBT History Month has appeared on Notches:(re)marks on the History of sexuality).

Kit says: ‘The appearance of the plaques was important: our design mirrored the iconic blue roundel, with all its legitimating potential, but also visibly signalled the stories’ queerness.’

You can follow our route and the plaques made and ceremoniously stuck up on historypin.


Then and Now image of Little Black Street, removed to create Duncombe Place and a clear view of the Minister. Image created by Richard and Lianne Brigham, York Past and Present.

Then and Now image of Little Black Street, removed to create Duncombe Place and a clear view of the Minister. Image created by Richard and Lianne Brigham, York Past and Present.

What has heritage ever done for us? (…and what would we like heritage to do for York?):
Community visions for the future of York’s heritage

20th June 2015
1.30 – 4.30pm
Friargate Meeting House

Book free tickets.

We invite anyone interested in York’s future to join us to explore what ‘heritage’ might have to do with it.

York is a city known for its heritage.
York also faces certain challenges: for example housing, wages and making the city centre an affordable and easy place to spend time during the day and at night.

How can we think about York’s heritage in ways which help us address these challenges?
How might York’s heritage become a resource that helps us live well together?

We’ll hear from lots of different people about their visions for the future of York’s heritage.

We’ll also work together to make plans. What do you know about York’s history – or the challenges the city faces today – and how can you contribute?

Part of the ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?’ project and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities Festival.