CAGS logo on rainbow flagCAGS – Croydon Area Gay Society

For lesbians and gay men in and around Croydon

For contact details, see our "How to join" page

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 else!

(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 SLAGO.

Our Press Release has more details and more pictures.Guests at the party

40th anniversary

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

Guests listening to the bandWe 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 papers.

The Croydon stall at PrideCAGS at Pride

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 occasion.

We're hoping to pick up some new members as a result.


Photo of the re-enactmentA celebration of same-sex relationships in English History

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.

Some members and guests at the Christmas partyChristmas festivities

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 Boxing Day.

Some guests at a CAGS Garden PartyMardi 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 ReadingCAGS 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.

Photo of a re-enactment of a same-sex union ceremonyRe-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 for more details.

The soup stall at one of our bonfire partiesBonfire Party

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.

The gay stall at the "Celebrating Diversity" dayCroydon - 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 impact.

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 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 hunts.

LGBT History Month 2009LGBT History Month (logo)

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.

One of Neil Godfrey's sculptures 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.