An Accrington gay rights activist who inspired a BAFTA award-winning film returned to his home town for a screening and talk.
Mike Jackson, 60, originally of Willows Lane, returned to town to answer questions about a feature film based on his life. Mike was a founding member of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) group which came to the unlikely aid of a Welsh mining village in the midst of strike action during the 1980s.
The extraordinary story of LGSM was recently told in the feature film ‘Pride’, which had a special screening at Accrington Town Hall on June 4 followed by a talk from Mike.
Mike, who has lived in London since age 16 and is a freelance lecturer in horticulture, said: “It went really well, around 40 people turned up including several of my family.
“My old school pal is a volunteer who did the lighting and he’d lit the ballroom with rainbow colours which was sweet of him.
“The was a good Q&A afterwards and a good mixture of young and old folk.”
Mike and his fellow activists saw the miners as another group who were seemingly being ostracised by society; particularly after Margaret Thatcher labelled the strikers as “the enemy within” during the bitter Miners Strike of 1984-85.
The group raised thousands for miners in the Dulais Valley in Wales and forged a friendship that would ultimately result in the National Union of Miners supporting gay rights and paving the way for future equality legislation.