Oxford Gay Switchboard

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Following the success of London Gay Switchboard, Oxford Gay Switchboard was established in 1975. A piece in Cherwell from November that year stated: ‘Oxford Gay Switchboard is an information and befriending service for homosexuals in the Oxford area. Run and financed entirely by volunteers, it is in touch with all local gay groups and has up to date information on discos, meetings, discussions, and so on. A man and a woman are on duty every evening from 7-9 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, and from 7-12 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.’ The early existence of the Switchboard was far from smooth. The organisers received vicious phone calls and the Switchboard’s offices were broken into and vandalised on a number of occasions. A potentially fatal incident was averted when one of the organisers noticed his motorcycle was making a strange noise—it transpired that it had been tampered with. Oxford Gay Switchboard continued serving the community well into the 1990s.

Image: Daily Information, 10 March 1982.

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