Your Stories

SLAP! treasures the lives and history of all LGBT people in the North East.

We need your stories, be they outrageous, hilarious, dramatic, or tear jerking they are all important. A single anecdote will add a lot to the archive.  After all, SLAP! is about people, memories and sharing.

If you’re inspired to tell us a tale or two then use contact form to let us know.  We really want to hear from you.

Interview One

An anonymous male who is now in his thirties talks about his first experiences of going out in Newcastle in the late 1980s.

Interview Two

Dave Burke the founder of Newcastle Ravens RFC talks about starting up the rugby club and developing the team and the club. Dave shares some of the issues they faced from the national press, even though the club was set up in 2006. Alongside the positivity gained from starting and running the club. Its a great piece, highlighting the sporting side of LGBT culture.

Interview Three & Four

In the first part of this amazing interview with Michael Metcalfe, he talks about being LGBT in Newcastle in the 1970s and 80s, his personal thoughts on some current LGBT issues, leaving Newcastle and his life in the media industry.

Michael wound up working at Tyne Tees, becoming part of The Tube production team ending up as a director, played a part in launching Bros, was the Senior Director of GMTV and so much more too.


Hear about how Michael got invited to a dinner event with Michael Jackson, it’s even better than it sounds. His part in LGBT History month, his visit to 10 Downing Street, hobnobbing with celebs and MPs, and his time as senior director of GMTV, where he introduced Ricky Martin to to the UK public.

Interview Five

Tim Pickford Jones has had a bit of a varied life. He worked in Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire., then as a London bus driver, before he got a job running an Hebrides Island. Then he found out his new employer believed in eugenics, so he left when he could and stopped of at Newcastle, where he still lives. Tim tell us how he feels about being gay, coming out in the 1960s, and his time working with the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE)in the 1970s.

Interview Six

Mary Burgess is the former owner of Strings. Here she talks about being married, her first lesbian experiences, the scene, or lack off, in the early 1970s and her experiences of 1970s conversion therapy. How the lack of a lesbian venues made her open Strings, some candid stories of her time running the venue and other bars and clubs she opened in Middlesbrough. She also tells some absolutely amazing personal stories too.

Please note this interview uses language that may cause offence

Interview Seven

Bob Bell talks about his life in a small mining village and how this initially effected his early adulthood. He came out in 2003 when he was 62.  He tells us about being in an orchestra on a cruise ship where homosexuality was viewed positively, what he found out about miners later in life and  how society has changed its views on LGBT through his lifetime.