Back In Time: Shrewsbury to celebrate LGBT history with a three-day festival
Posted on 1 Feb 2017

Following the huge success of their debut festival in 2016, volunteer group Salopian Rainbows this month return with the second instalment of Shrewsbury’s Back In Time festival - an event presented as part of the third National Festival Of LGBT History.

The National Festival takes place in Manchester, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Coventry, Exeter, Preston, London, York and Shrewsbury, and has been organised as part of LGBT History Month by the charity, Schools Out UK.

Organisers have worked hard to plan three days of presentations, keynote speeches, contributions from schools, entertainment and film, taking place across the weekend of Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February.

So what’s on?

Friday 17 February - Launch Night
University Centre Shrewsbury
6.15pm - 9.45pm | Free

Officially opening the 2017 Back In Time 2 festival is Shrewsbury’s Mayor, Councillor Ioan Jones, and Sue Sanders, the Chair of LGBT charity, Schools Out UK.

Diana Souhami
Keynote Speech

Writer Diana Souhami has been highly praised for award-winning works including Gluck: Her Biography, Gertrude And Alice, and the bestselling Mrs Keppel And Her Daughter.

Caroline Paige
True Colours

Caroline Paige recounts her experiences of being transgender in the British military before and after permissive service. Her talk covers the period from 1980 to 2014, the highs and the lows, in peacetime and in war.

Andrew Lumsden
Heroic Architects of the 1967 Act

As a result of being in London Gay Liberation Front, Andrew Lumsden was the first national journalist in the world to come out voluntarily. He participated in the Gay News project, which gave heart to thousands of LGBT people in Britain and Ireland, and which the Government tried to close down.

Jane Traies
The Other Consenting Adults

Jane has been recording the experiences of the UK’s oldest generations of lesbians for several years now. Some of these stories feature in her book. She continues to collect the memories and opinions of women born before 1950 who identify as lesbian or bisexual, and her next project is to publish a collection of lesbian life stories.

Saturday 18 February
University Centre Shrewsbury
10am - 5pm | Free

Young People’s Showcase

In advance of the weekend, festival guest Caroline Paige will be visiting schools and colleges in the area and talking to students. Schools will feed back in this Saturday morning session, which includes presentations from students and a very special ceremony hosted by XYZ.

Whose Heritage Is It Anyway?

James Pardoe, Director of Design, Heritage & the Built Environment at University Centre Shrewsbury, along with Emma-Kate Lanyon, from Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, discuss how heritage is defined, whose stories get captured and the value and significance given to different life narratives.

The Oldest New Woman And Her Incorrigible Welsh Friend

Jane Hoy and Helen Sandler present the story of Frances Power Cobbe, an Irish feminist and political activist, and Mary Lloyd, a Welsh artist, who were partners for 35 years. They met in Rome, lived and campaigned together in London and ended their years in Dolgellau, Wales, where they are buried together. From the mid-19th century, both women were leading lights in the campaigns for women’s rights and animal rights.

Taster Presentations

A series of 30-minute taster presentations from Peter Roscoe, Jane Traies, Lisa Power, Peter Scott-Presland, Kate Hutchinson and Mark Hignett.

An Evening Of Entertainment
at The Hive, Shrewsbury
7pm - 10:30pm | £12

A relaxing evening of music, spoken word and theatre, hosted by MC Helen Sandler.
The evening features the Queer Playback Theatre, an ensemble with a difference. They’ll be reproducing favourite theatrical moments - with a bit of artistic licence!

Nic Herriot draws on her life experiences to highlight everyday quirks, in a show that promises plenty by way of quick wit and clever observation.

Mark Bunyan and his keyboard keep you entertained with a musical comedy cabaret mix.

Sunday 19 February


Tab Hunter Confidential
Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury
10:30am | £5

In the 1950s, Tab Hunter is number one at the box office and number one on the music charts. He is Hollywood’s most sought-after star and America’s boy next door. Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren are just a few of the actresses he is romantically linked to. Nothing, it seems, can damage his skyrocketing career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay. 
In Tab Hunter Confidential, we meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter - a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood’s rollercoaster - as he shares his story.

Peacock (Short Film)
Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury
12:30am | £3.50

A twisted, queer romance set in picturesque 19th century Bohemia and telling the true story of one of the nation's most influential writers. A tale of suspense, laughter, violence, hope, heart, nudity, sex and a happy ending. Mostly a happy ending...

The Celluloid Closet
The Hive, Shrewsbury
2pm | £5

For the final event of the 2017 festival, the Salopian Rainbows have chosen this through-the-ages glimpse into LGBT lives on screen. Based on Vito Russo’s book, look through gay eyes to catch something different - you may be surprised by what you find!

Back In Time 2, part of the National Festival Of LGBT History, takes place in Shrewsbury from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February. Visit for more information.

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