Iconic gay club celebrates anniversary with history event

Birmingham LGBT to create documentary about the Nightingale with new heritage project.

Birmingham LGBT and the Nightingale Club have announced Nightingale50. This new heritage project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will archive and preserve fifty years of local LGBTQ+ heritage by mapping the fifty year history of Birmingham’s oldest gay bar, the legendary Nightingale Club.

The Nightingale50 project will uncover the story of how the venue was founded, its journey in the city, and the role the venue has played for the LGBTQ+ community in Birmingham and beyond. This will all be documented in a film that will premiere as part of the Birmingham Pride 2020 celebrations.

The project will also preserve these histories in the Library of Birmingham Archives and commission two new murals at the venue, with findings presented as part of Birmingham LGBT’s SHOUT Festival programme.

Adam Carver, SHOUT Festival Programme Officer said “Birmingham LGBT are overjoyed to be delivering this hugely important project. For the last fifty years the Nightingale has been a home to many LGBTQ+ people, and we can’t wait for communities locally and nationally to become more aware of its fascinating history and significance.

“We hope this is a project that Birmingham can really get behind to celebrate, share, and be proud of our rich LGBTQ+ cultural heritage”.

Nightingale director David Nash added, “The Nightingale is absolutely delighted to be involved and working closely with Birmingham LGBT on this project. Lots of hard work, effort and preparation has been put in to bringing this project to fruition and we’re excited to see where this journey takes us. The Nightingale is one of the most iconic LGBTQ+ spaces in the U.K. and it’s so important that its place in our history is being documented in this way”.

There will be plenty of opportunities for the community to get involved in Nightingale50. The project aims to record a memory or preserve a photo from each of the fifty years of the venue’s history, we are looking for people to come forward and share their memories, photos, videos, and experiences of the Nightingale. SHOUT is also looking for volunteers to help support the project, archive materials, and record oral histories (full training will be provided).

Anyone interested in finding out more should email Adam Carver on nightingale50@blgbt.org.