The charity Gay Surrey has deposited their archives with Surrey History Centre. These records will be stored alongside thousands of ancient parish registers, maps, photographs and other items held in the Centre’s purpose built archive strongrooms.
The charity’s records are the first of their kind to be deposited at the Centre as Di Stiff, Collections Development Archivist explains, “As the official custodians of Surrey’s history we feel it is important to preserve all areas of the county’s written heritage and the records of Gay Surrey are a vital part of this. We want our archive collections to develop in a way that reflects Surrey’s diversity and encourage the public to explore wider aspects of the county’s rich heritage.”
What is Gay Surrey?
Set up in 2005, Gay Surrey started out as a group of friends and in less than four years has turned into a countywide success story. The members of the charity have developed their own areas of expertise and interests so that the organisation now embraces almost all aspects of gay living. Chairman and founder member of the charity is Gino Meriano, co-author of ‘Civil Partnership: A Guide to the Perfect Day’. Gino’s tireless campaigning and voluntary work for the charity was officially recognised last year in Surrey County Council’s Awards for Volunteering and he has since become a consultant for our Equality and Diversity programmes. Gino Meriano comments “It has been a fantastic four years already but we, as the charity, have so much more to do. Our partners are key to the success of our work which is ongoing and will continue or a very long time”.
Surrey Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History month
Building on the huge success of the local IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) awareness campaign, the first ever Surrey Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History month was celebrated in February 2010. Volunteers researched the archives to uncover aspects of Surrey’s gay past and highlight both the life of the gay community in the county and the work of Gay Surrey.
Interesting stories from the past are being uncovered through detailed research, such as that of Edward, (1758-1829), second son of George, 1st Earl of Onslow, who left England to live in Clermont-Ferrand, France, in 1781, following a homosexual scandal. George Eventually married and had 4 children. Also discovered are the papers of Harry Daley, who served in the Metropolitan Police for 25 years, during which time he became friends with members of the Bloomsbury Set. He was always open about his homosexuality and was the lover of the novelist E M Forster, author of Howard’s End and A Room with a View, who lived in Abinger Hammer
If anyone would like to be involved in the work of Gay Surrey or would like to be involved in LGBT History month, please contact Gino Meriano on 07971 277609 or visit the website www.gaysurrey.org
Click here to see a pdf () copy of an LGBT bibliography listing a range of published works held at Surrey History Centre.
LGBT Youth Project
and Nikki Parkhill, Surrey County Council’s Youth Development Worker – LGBTQ, are working with a group of 4 young people to plan an exciting residential project LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) heritage and the impact of World War II and the holocaust on the LGBT community. Read more about this exciting project.
Find out more about Surrey’s gay icons:
- Dirk Bogarde
- Lucy Broadwood’s circle of friends
- Edward Carpenter
- Noel Coward
- Quentin Crisp
- Harry Daley
- Maundy Gregory
- Beverley Nichols
- Edward Onslow
- Dame Ethel Smyth
- Alan Turing