In 1974 Albany Trust was in the middle of moving offices. Since returning to the Trust in July 1971 (following Peter Righton and spooky Robert Chartham/Ronald Seth almost gaining control of the counselling files, especially Doreen Cordell’s work with various interested clergy into ritual/religious ceremonial abuse) Grey and the Trustees had relinquished the Piccadilly/Shaftesbury Avenue lease (at the end of 1972?) and become itinerant with Grey holding the fort at two different addresses in Highbury Grove and Kilburn until a permanent location in Clapham was found.
It soon became clear that the Trust must be placed on a firmer footing, or else wind up. Once again Raymond Clarke came to the rescue. Now head of the national organisations division of the National Council for Social Service, he approached Miss (later Dame) Geraldine M. Aves CBE who had recently retired as Chief Welfare Officer of the Ministry of Health, and she agreed to chair a small working party to examine the Trust’s future. Miss Aves was a formidable personage who was widely held in considerable awe – although she was never anything but extremely charming to me. She quickly perceived that the Trust was a pioneer in an increasingly visible field of unmet need. Largely thanks to her guiding hand and influence a three year development grant, initially of £10,000 a year, was obtained from the Voluntary Services Unit of the Home Office late in 1973 [sic – date must have been 1974 see below], conditional upon the Trust giving an undertaking ‘that these public funds will not be used to exert pressure on the Government for any change in the law on homosexuality.’
I was sitting along in the small house in Highbury which was the trust’s temporary home when I received the anxiously awaited phone call telling me that our application had been successful. My feeling of relief was profound.” [Loc 3608/6001 Grey’s Quest for Justice: Towards Homosexual Emancipation]
In 1969 Raymond Clarke had organised the Social Study Project with Peter Righton, Ian Greer, Rev. Michael Butler and Antony Grey [ see further blog post here ] and in 1970 organised the Social Needs Conference at York University. £10,000 in 1974/1975 would be worth approx. £93,000 in today’s money so this was a very substantial cash injection from the Home Office to the Trust and as will become clear, the Trust was to have virtually no office overheads at this time due to a generous offer.
In December 1974, partially due to not having fixed offices but also because Albany Trustee Lil Butler, aged 33, was heavily pregnant with twins (who would arrive on 29 December her fifth and sixth children in 15 years of marriage to Samuel Butler, Lord Butler’s son) the Albany Trust met at her house at 11 St Alban’s Grove, off of Kensington High Street. In July Lucilla had hosted a networking/fundraising event for Albany Trust as mentioned in the minutes. Sadly, shortly after the twins’ birth on 6 January 1975 both of Lucilla Butler’s parents would die in a motor accident in a gale. The Edith Borthwick school in Essex near Braintree is named for her mother.
Six Albany Trustees were in attendance: Rev. Michael Butler, Antony Grey, Dr John Robinson (former Bishop of Woolwich, currently then Dean of Trinity College Cambridge with Lucilla’s father-in-law Lord Butler as Master), Dr Charlotte Wolff along with David Barnard (formerly of the NCCL) who at the meeting was officially appointed Organising Secretary to the Trust.
Following abandoning the lease on 32 Shaftesbury Avenue at Piccadilly (over which there was dispute) the Trust being itinerant had held sporadic meetings during the period 1973-1974, first in Kilburn and then in Highbury at 18 Corsica Street, N5 – opposite Dr Rhodes Boyson’s school Highbury Grove he’d founded in 1967, where he’d implemented a caning policy, leaving in 1974 to become a Conservative MP and later an Education Minister under Thatcher.
In 1989 Anthony Gilberthorpe has said he gave Thatcher a 40 page dossier and later met with William Hague to put forward his allegations
“I underlined the names of Keith Joseph, Rhodes Boyson and one MP still serving today. I also said I had seen Michael Havers at a party in Blackpool held at the hotel pool in 1983.”
David Barnard reported some good news regarding permanent premises being offered to the Trust for 2 years virtually free of charge which they were scheduled to move to from March 1975:
“David Barnard reported that the Trust had generously been offered offices by Miss Betty Shortt of Henri Dorot Ltd at their premises at 31/33 Clapham Road, London SW9. The offices comprised nine rooms and a warehouse on three floors, all of which had been recently carpeted, decorated, rewired, centrally heated, etc. The proposal was that the Trust occupied the offices on Licence for a period of two years, during which the Trust would have no liability for rent or rates, but would pay a proportion of the cost of lighting, heating and office cleaning. The Trustees’ expressed their appreciation of Miss Shortt’s offer and confirmed its acceptance by the Managing Trustee.”
The nine offices would allow for Albany Trust to step up the counselling services offered to sexual minorities. The use to which the warehouse space could be put would shortly become the subject of discussions between Albany Trust and PIE/ Nucleus’s Charles Napier as providing a Youth Centre for young homosexuals although ultimately it was thought Earl’s Court would be a better location.
Grey also had good news and announced ‘successful negotiations’ with Tony Hart of the Home Office Voluntary Services Unit at the meeting at Lucilla Butler’s house in December 1974
Home Office Grant
“Antony Grey reported on his successful negotiations with Tony Hart at the Voluntary Services Unit of the Home Office. The letter from Mr Hart offering a grant to the Trust had already been circulated. The Trustees noted with appreciation the grant received, and the help given in this matter by Miss Geraldine Aves and her colleagues of the ad hoc Advisory Group. The Trustees’ agreed that a letter of thanks should be sent to Miss Aves.”
“I am writing in reply to the application for a grant which you sent us on 18 July. I am sorry I have not been able to let you have a decision on this before now, but as I think you know we have had to consult a number of interested Departments.
I am glad to be able to tell you that the Minister of State, Lord Harris, has agreed that we should make a grant to the Albany trust of £10,000 for this financial year. We would be willing to consider a figure of a similar order in 1975/76, subject to further discussion next March and to Parliament agreeing the necessary funds. The grant is a contribution towards the administrative costs of your Headquarters as set out in your application and so far as possible the expenditure should be allocated in the manner you proposed. We should wish to be consulted on any significant variation in the proposed expenditure or the purposes to which the funds will be allocated. The grant is offered on the understanding that the Trust will give an undertaking that these public funds will not be used to exert pressure on the Government for any change in the Law on homosexuality.
The grant for this financial year will be paid in two instalments, the first at once and the second in January 1975. I should be grateful if you could let us have regular reports at six monthly intervals on the progress of the work. We should also like to see an audited account of the expenduture within four months of the end of each financial year, ie 31 March. Any balance of the grant unpsent at the end of each year must be returned. Could you please let me know as soon as possible to whom the cheques should be made payable.
I should be grateful if you could confirm that these arrangements and conditions are acceptable to your Trustees.”
- President of the Oxford University Union 1963 [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_Oxford_Union ]
- Principal in Ministry of Transport
- Transport adviser to Malawi Government
- Ran VSU [1974? duration?]
- 1978: Assistant Secretary in Civil Service Dept for controlling annual expenditure on public service pensions
- Moved to Treasury – Under Secretary to Cabinet Office
- Headmaster of Cranleigh School, Surrey
- Retires to Cyprus, Pissouri becomes Chairman of Residents’ Association
Before retiring to Cyprus Tony was the Headmaster of Cranleigh School in Surrey. In his university days he was President of the Oxford University Union. Thereafter he pursued a career in the Civil Service where he became a Principal in the Ministry of Transport. Later he was the Transport Adviser to the Malawi Government and then ran HM Government’s Voluntary Services Unit. In 1978 he was an Assistant Secretary in the Civil Service Department for controlling annual expenditure on public service pensions. On moving to the Treasury he was offered promotion to Under Secretary to the Cabinet Office.
With such a varied experience of government and administration Tony’s address on how his Residents’ Association liaise with the Pissouri Mukhtar and the Pissouri council was of great interest. He told Shipmates how the Association was set up, how they found Club premises and how cross cultural issues were handled. Bingo seems to be a good vehicle for meeting on common ground!
After his presentation a question time led to a good discussion of issues common to all ex-pats and hopefully an increased understanding of our host country.
Julian Gibbs – ‘A leading insurance broker of the time’ had hosted a fundraising/networking event for the Trust on 22 october 1974
Future Chairman and Additional Trustees: It was agreed that a new Chairman for the Trustees should not be sought for the time being. It was agreed that it was desirable to have additional Trustees and that the following be invited in due course to become Trustees: –
Susan Barnett (Family Planning Association Grapevine)
Harold Haywood (ex-Director NAYC)
Tony Smythe (Director, MIND)