Chris’s Bar, Bristol Hotel

Run in the late 1970s by Christine Williams, the bar at the Bristol Hotel hosted LGBT+ nights and was a meeting place for the CHE and other organisations.

Christine Williams (former landlady): “I ran the Bristol Hotel on Penarth Rd a couple of years before it closed. After a good clean up, we opened on a Sunday night to sell no more than two pints and a box of matches! I was worried sick till I found out the previous landlord didn’t open on Sundays! I knew Lenny and Bob from the Showbiz, as they were good friends of my parents. One of their bar staff came in and suggested I opened it up as a gay bar, as there was a great need for a friendly place to go before everybody headed off clubbing. The local darts team weren’t impressed, but I didn’t care. I hired a DJ, tidied up the cocktail bar, and on Mondays let the main bar out to LGBT people, free of charge of course! I had a wonderful couple of years there, met so many lovely colourful characters, many happy memories. We would go to the Showbiz after shut tap, and dance the night away! It was a great honour to be invited to the opening night of Sirs by Keith Brenton, as women weren’t allowed. He made the exception for myself and my mum, as we had been so welcoming to the gay community. We were even given champagne on arrival!”