We’re creating an online memory board for some of London’s lost venues. Since the turn of the century, London’s gay scene has lost over 100 venues.

We’d love for you to help us grow this historical archive of the UK’s lost LGBT scene. If you’ve got photos or memories of any of the venues you’d like to share please use the comment section below and we’ll add them right here.

Brief Encounters Tap

Here’s a memory from Gary:

“I worked at Brief Encounters summer 1986. I was then a professional dancer “between contracts”.

“Can’t remember the owners names, now but I loved them both so much. One was a real daddy and his younger bf was a stunning chunky beefcake who looked amazingly hot in a leather harness. I was known as “Glenda Glasswhoosh” as I had the most glamorous job of collecting the glasses, and whisked glasses out of peoples’ hands as soon as they were drained! It used to get packed, both lunch and evenings, and many a punter copped a feel while I pushed past with the big round basket I had to carry to cope with the amount of glasses I whooshed. Downstairs was a bistro run by an Israeli guy called Moishe and his bf, and I seem to remember a piano down there? Upstairs was more cruisy and I remember a tall slender camp guy behind the bar used to put an open bottle of poppers behind the fan on the bar, wafting the fumes all over the place!

“I always met with the very few mates I had in Brief, before heading off to Vauxhall Tavern, Two brewers, Black Cap etc. We’d often head to Earl’s Court where I remember flirting outrageously for weeks with a really cute Australian in Banana Max, though it got me nowhere as he couldn’t believe I was single so thought I must be a psycho killer or something. Later my mates and I would enjoy our free staff entry into Heaven or Hippodrome VIP lounges, where we mixed with the likes of Holly Johnson, Jimmy Somerville et al.

“I wish I knew what happened to those two or three lads I knew then, we had some fun together, cruising around London in someone’s car, heckling the good looking guys!

“As autumn 86 approached I got a job in Battersea Show Palace (ex-Cricketers) where I worked for a long time, finally moving to Spain in 88.
I spent about 4 years total in London, and look back very fondly on those happy times when I finally relaxed and became not an outcast anymore, but part of a worldwide community.

“Just the name Brief Encounters has invoked all these forgotten memories of the halcyon days of my misspent early twenties.
Surely there is still someone alive who more than likely won’t remember me, but remembers Brief Encounters – and the brief encounters that happened there?”

If you can add to this description or have photos of the venue as it was please upload them in the comment section.

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