Peckham Levels hosted an exhibition by Southwark Archives for LGBT History Month 2018 called ‘Southwark Queerstory’, which looked at over 150 years of life for the LGBT community in Southwark.
The displays showed a great range of Peckham history including a painting of a 1930s drag troupe that performed their high-kicking routine for the public regularly on the streets around East Surrey Grove with a barrel organ. It also told the stories of local support and campaign groups of the 1980s and 1990s based in Peckham including the Southwark Sappho Sisters who were based at Southwark Women’s Centre on Peckham High Street, the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre that was in the railway arches on Bellenden Road, and the Gay Men in Southwark group who met at the Willowbrook Urban Studies Centre. There was also a series of photographs by the Peckham Society’s photographer Phil Polglaze taken at gay and lesbian events at the North Peckham Civic Centre. A collage of old flyers for events and venues included a weekly gay disco that took place at the old Kings pub on Peckham Rye on Wednesday nights from 1983 onwards – does anybody remember it?
Overall the exhibition was very popular with good reviews in Time Out and the Evening Standard and over 2000 visitors. The exhibition was curated by
Southwark Council Heritage Officer Chris Scales with support from local musician Rina Mushonga and was sponsored by the Southwark LGBT Network.