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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd April 1959 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
23rd April 1925 1st London performance of operetta Fasquita staged
23rd April 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Patience produced in London
23rd April 1775 Artist J.M.W. Turner was born in Covent Garden, London.
23rd April 1705 Richard Steele's Tender Husband, premieres in London
23rd April 1702 The Coronation of Anne I in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1685 The Coronation of James II (and VII of Scotland) in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1661 English king Charles II crowned in London
23rd April 1661 The Coronation of Charles II in Westminster Abbey.
The Gateways Club
The most famous of all lesbian bar's in the world.
Location: 239 Kings Road, Chelsea
Description: The Gateways club was a noted lesbian nightclub , in fact the longest-surviving such club in the world, opening in 1930 and legally becoming a members club 6 years later.
Nicknamed The Gates it was one of the few places where lesbians could meet openly during the 40's, 50's and 60's. Bisexuals too flocked to the Gateways, as did curious heterosexuals, and by 1967 owner Gina Cerrato made the club women-only. Diana Dors and Dusty Springfield visited.
For many women a visit to the Gateways was their first introduction to lesbian life. It was a green door leading down to a windowless cellar full of murals and smoke.
It eventually closed on Saturday 21 September 1985 after some years of only opening for a few hours each weekend.
The life of this large cellar club was central to the lesbian novel The Microcosm (1966) by Maureen Duffy. It can also be seen in 1968 film The Killing of Sister George.