With body and exercise in mind, the first on-line resource as part of LGBT History Month 2021 is the Rainbow Connections online trail. This virtual resource has been developed on the back of regular physical guided walks that took place before the covid 19 pandemic.
The three-mile route runs from Stonehouse to the Barbican, stopping at 17 sites with a connection to LGBTQ+ people, events and stories. Find out about the now-lost underground gay clubs of Union Street, our local heritage icon – Mark Weston who transitioned in 1936, and the link between Gus Honeybun and Plymouth’s gay community. The trail celebrates Plymouths LGBTQ+ heritage, but also remembers the darker moments, including the brutal murder in central park in 1995.
The trail has been developed by Pride in Plymouth in partnership with Visit Plymouth’s Plymouth Trails App, to highlight our newest project, The Rainbow Connection, a National Lottery Heritage Funded project which involves us working with multiple partners across the city. It builds on the work of our existing Plymouth LGBT Archive in collecting and exploring the heritage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. The project focusses on how this heritage is handed down to the younger generation.
The trail uses archival images along with audio of oral histories from members of Plymouth’s LGBTQ+ community. Users can follow the route with a real-time map. The route is suitable for wheelchair users, with one small alternative route suggested near the end.
As we are in lockdown, the trail is being launched for local people (within walking distance) to enjoy. However, those who live in wider Plymouth can still use the app and content from their homes or wait for local restrictions to lift.
The Rainbow Connection trail is the 7th trail to be added to the app, alongside the Mayflower Trail, Waterfront Walkway and City Centre Trail and we hope will, in time, help provoke intergenerational conversations between members of Plymouth’s LGBT+ communities.
You can download the Plymouth Trails app for free from the AppStore or PlayStore from: https://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/things-to-do/activities/trails/plymouth-trails-app