A special project to remember lost LGBT+ venues and places in Cardiff is being celebrated by The National Lottery during LGBT+ History Month.

Pride Cymru were awarded £6,600 in November 2020 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to create and deliver an inspirational project called Lost Cardiff LGBT, which was designed to chart the city’s LGBT+ history. The project features an interactive map and a specific site where people can download the self-guided walk: Cardiff LGBTQ+ Tour.

Lost LGBT Cardiff was founded in 2018 to highlight forgotten venues in the Welsh capital that celebrated and supported the LGBT+ community, with a map generated to highlight where these places were.

That first map mainly covered entertainment venues and so in 2021, with support from The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, they created a revised, updated, and augmented version which now includes many of the organisations created by and for the LGBT community in the 20th century.

And LGBT+ campaigner, Lisa Power, is encouraging more people to come forward and support the Pride Cymru project that helps to preserve the history of the LGBT+ community.

Ealing Times: Pride Cymru have supported countless LGBTQ people in the communityPride Cymru have supported countless LGBTQ people in the community

“That’s a project that we’ve had two versions of so far, because the more we do it the more we find out. It started out as a simple map of some of the lost entertainment venues in Cardiff for LGBT+ people, and we were amazed at how much we discovered,” said Power, 67.

“We were particularly amazed at how many things we found out about places lesbians had used because we thought it was going to be mostly gay men, because it’s all gay men’s venues now.

“As the first version went out, people started coming forward and telling us more about other places. So, we did another version of it more recently and since then more people have come forward so it’s really a living thing.

“There’s plenty of people out there with memories we can still harness if we want to have another revision of that project in a few years’ time.

“It’s really a piece of living history and we get a lot of people accessing the Facebook page for it on a weekly basis.”

The project has received an incredibly positive reaction, and Power hopes that more people come forward with information to help keep the work going and evolving.

Ealing Times: Lost LGBT Cardiff's map of LGBT venues and placesLost LGBT Cardiff's map of LGBT venues and places

She said: “There’s been a really good reaction from most people.

“Inevitably there are gaps in what we have, and some people have complained about the gaps in Lost LGBT Cardiff, but we are limited by finding the people to come forward, and we do encourage people to come forward.

“People are thirsty for this, and I think Wales is a country which appreciates history and appreciates stories and has had a real gap in terms of its LGBT+ past. That is now being filled and people are beginning to bring up all sorts of things.

“It’s been really unfortunate that the pandemic hit just as we were about to start queer tours of the museum. Maybe that’s something we need to go back and look at revisiting as well.

“There are many things that can be done and it’s great that our historic institutions here, such as the National Museum, are actually very keen to ensure that they collect LGBT+ history as well as other histories.”

Pride Cymru’s work with Lost LGBT Cardiff and several other projects has been supported by The National Lottery’s Heritage Fund, which has enabled the organisation to create such projects.

Power, who volunteers with Pride Cymru, said National Lottery support is vital for the group.

“We couldn’t have done any of it without the lottery funds. It takes so little. They were very small grants, the historical ones, but have had a tremendous impact nationally,” she said.

“Pride Cymru has done an awful lot to bring the community together with the big project they have, and they want to do more. In terms of the stuff, I’ve worked on, particularly with LGBT+ History Month, the level of impact versus the amount of money that’s been put into it has been a very good return.”

The map can be found by clicking here.

As well as the map there are further efforts to record LGBT+ history as the St Fagans National Museum of History is actively collecting Wales’ LGB+ history, building up the national collection to be fully representative of all the LGBT+ community across Wales. They welcome objects, documents, and photographs that represent both LGBT+ history and current LGBT+ lived experiences.

Those behind the map say they welcome further information that can be submitted by email to hello@pridecymru.com or through its Lost LGBT Cardiff Facebook page.

More than £30 million goes to good causes from The National Lottery across the country every week, making vital projects like these possible. To find out more about how The National Lottery supports good causes throughout the UK, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk.