This page is being reformatted.
Some previous CAGS events
Apologies for not having updated this page recently: we really
have been having events in the last few years; unfortunately we're very short
of people to keep this page updated as well as everything
(For future events, see the Diary)
Mardi on the Grass 2011
In August 2011 we had another garden party ("Mardi on the Grass") in Purley.
Our guests this year included Ray Gosling, the distinguished journalist,
broadcaster and vice-president of CHE, so we got him to present the SLAGO Cup.
The runners-up shield this year went to SLG, and the Cup itself (based on the
season’s table tennis, ten-pin bowling, and quiz) went to CAGS.
Entertainment this year was by AGLOW (Association of Greater London Older
Women) with sketches and songs about older people’s experience.
76 people attended, including the five AGLOW ladies, which was quite a few
more than we’d catered for! Fortunately our hosts had invested in a tea urn,
which greatly speeded up the serving of tea and coffee, and will be available
for future events.
The event made a useful surplus, which has been divided between CAGS and
Our Press Release has more
details and more pictures.
In May 2011 we celabrated our 40th anniversary, with a party at the
Bird In Hand, Croydon.
The cake was cut by Andy, who founded the group in 1971, together with Mark,
our newest member.
The afternoon featured reminiscences and entertainment by several of our
members, plus a few numbers by gay cabaret artiste, Peter Scott-Presland. For
more about the event, see our Press Release.
Mardi on the Grass 2010
We held our annual Garden Party on the 22nd of August
2010 in a garden in Purley. The rain kept off (bar a slight sprinkling at the
start), there was plenty of food, and the music by the London Gay Symphonic Winds were much
appreciated. Brian presented the SLAGO Cup, several people
joined in the impromptu “open mike” session, we raised £55 towards SLAGO
funds, and picked up two new CAGS members. There was a small display of
historic LGBT memorabilia in the summerhouse, and Tony was selling copies of
Out of the Shadows.
Altogether, including the hosts but not counting the band, we reckon the
attendance was 60, the biggest since we started this event in 2002. We put out
a press release
afterwards, and got somecoverage in the local
CAGS had a stall in Trafalgar Square for the 2009 Pride festival.
Lots of people visited the stall, and took leaflets, left their contact
details, or just chatted about CAGS and the other local gay organisations to
our volunteers, who were all wearing the special CAGS t-shirts, printed for the
We're hoping to pick up some new members as a result.
A celebration of same-sex relationships in English
CAGS’s contribution to LGBT
History Month 2008 was a public event to celebrate same-sex partnerships
down the ages. It explored the traditions of Sworn Brotherhood in Chaucer and
in traditional English ballads, continuing with a further presentation of our
re-enactment of the church ceremonies used by the Eastern Orthodox Church in
previous centuries to unite same-sex couples.
For more about this, see our press release.
The CAGS Christmas Party went ahead as planned on the 15th of December,
2008. David hosted the event and provided a splendid spread, Roger cooked up
the mulled wine (with and without alcohol) and a good time was had by all.
At the height of the festivities, Father Christmas arrived (looking rather
larger than a year ago) and gave gifts to all those present.
CAGS events continued over the Christmas holiday itself, with various
members opening their houses to the group on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and
Mardi on the Grass
For several years now we have celebrated the end of summer with a garden
party, with seasonal refreshments, games, and good fellowship.
Special events have included a novelty musical entertainment in 2009, and a
demonstration of Scottish dancing by the Gay Gordons in 2008.
CAGS Play reading
CAGS’s contribution to LGBT
History Month 2007, our play reading at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon on
5th February, was a resounding success. Rex Batten, author
of Rid England of this Plague, introduced the reading adapted from
the incident which is the turning-point of the book, and the parts of “Tom”
(the younger Rex) and the other characters were taken by CAGS members with a
couple of other friends.
Rex answered questions from the floor, and Ian from Paradise Press (who publish the
book) was on hand and sold a number of copies.
After the interval, a smaller cast read extracts from Beautiful
Thing, bringing the story of gay life more nearly up to date.
For more about this, see our press release.
Re-enactment of same-sex union ceremonies
As part of the campaign to support the passing of the Civil Partnership Act,
CAGS members and others took part in re-enactments of the ceremonies used by
the church in previous centuries to bless the union of two people of the same
sex as "sworn brothers" — very much the equivalent of the proposals then
going through Parliament. See www.samesexunions.org.uk for more
It was good to see so many CAGS members (and visitors and members of other
groups) at the Bonfire Parties held over several years in Ross's garden.
We were very lucky with the weather, and the bonfire blazed away brightly.
Roger served home made soup under the Treehouse (as illustrated), we watched
Janet and Reg set off the fireworks in the rose garden, then we moved on to the
Gazebo where there were baked potatoes, bean sauce, and some of Stanley's
famous coleslaw. Drinks were on the patio, and finally we all moved indoors for
the dessert provided by Keith. Many thanks to all who contributed.
Croydon - Celebrating Diversity
CAGS took part, together with Croydon Lesbian and Gay Forum, Croydon Friend,
and Palace Pinks, in Croydon Council's "Celebrating Diversity" day. The gay
stall in the Braithwaite Hall featured a good display of leaflets and other
information, and the CAGS banner was hung from the balcony for maximum
The entertainments during the day were given by various ethnic groups and a
disabled group, and the hall seemed to be filled almost entirely by the friends
and relatives of the performers. We can't claim that many of the general public
dropped by - but at least we were there, and managed to give out a few
leaflets, and perhaps made the point that gay people are part of the cultural
diversity of the borough. And it was good to meet old and new friends from the
other gay organisations.
Fuller details of events like these appear in the CAGS Newsletter,
circulated once a month to all members.
The SLAGO Cup
The SLAGO Cup is competed
for annually amongst the various groups in SLAGO. The competition has included
various events over the years, including quizzes, table tennis, and treasure
LGBT History Month 2009
For LGBT History Month 2009 we arranged with Croydon Council for a special
showing of the acclaimed film Milk, at the David Lean Cinema, Croydon
Clocktower. The 3pm showing on that day was preceded by an introduction led
by the gay historian, Michael Brown, who also led a discussion after the
showing. Everyone who attended either showing that day was invited to a
reception in the Clocktower Court We also had an exhibition about CAGS and
other local LGBT organisations all that week in the Clocktower.
Sculpture day a great success
The Sculpture and Social event organised for SLAGO by RAGS was extremely
well attended, with about 80 people from London, Surrey, and even Sussex.
The torrential rain that had dampened the preparations miraculously cleared
in time for the start of the event, and the gardens of Neil Godfrey's South Godstone
studios were an ideal setting to display his sculptures, not all of which,
perhaps to the surprise of some of our members, feature the male nude.
In the sculpture quiz, or "scullotery", John from The Arun Gay Society
(TAGS) won a £100 sculpture voucher and the rest of Team D received
interesting prizes. Thanks to Roger for organising the whole event so capably,
and to Stanley for providing the food.