Anthony Turney

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Anthony Turney | Bucks Herald | 14069

The Venerable Anthony Turney died on July 4 in a San Francisco hospice at the age of 76, after three years battling cancer.

Born Anthony Hipkin in Sutton, England, in 1937, he was adopted aged four by Sidney and Ida Turney, who lived in Aylesbury. He joined the army at 17 and was a ceremonial guard outside Buckingham Palace before he emigrated to the United States in 1968.

He spent time in St Louis, Atlanta and Washington DC before settling in San Francisco. When his partner Jimmy Brambaugh died from Aids in 1992 he completed a panel in the Aids Quilt. He was appointed CEO of the Names Project Foundation and in just three years transported 42,000 panels of the quilt to the National Mall in Washington DC, where they were seen by 1.2 million people.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

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Skytrain

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26 September 1977: Freddie Laker and the inaugral Skytrain flight | Uncredited, thought to be Press Association: Copyright details being sought | 14070

In 1977, after a long legal process involving the aviation authorities in the UK and America, the Civil Aviation Authority approved an application by aviation tourism pioneer Sir Freddie Laker to commence a cut price, walk-on walk-off service between the UK and New York, to be called “Skytrain”.

Skytrain took to the air on 26 September 1977 when the inaugural flight departed London Gatwick for New York JFK with 272 passengers on a 345-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-10 widebodied aircraft. The fares charged at the time were £59 one-way from London and $135 one-way from New York.

The attractive fares, and the convenience of the service, made the trip to New York possible for many gay men in the UK and the service was widely used.

Sadly an unrecorded number of the Skytrain customers contacted HIV in New York and the service became known as “Deathtrain”.

Skytrain came to an end the day the airline went spectacularly bankrupt on 5 February 1982, with debts of £264 million in what was termed the biggest corporate failure in Britain at the time.

Sir Freddie Laker died on 9 February 2006.

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Harvey Proctor

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Harvey Proctor | Public Domain | 14071

Yorkshire born Keith Harvey Proctor was born on 16 January 1947 and is still living. He is a former Conservative Member of Parliament. A member of the Monday Club, he represented Basildon from 1979 to 1983 and Billericay from 1983 to 1987. He was known for his opinions about immigration.

Glasgow Herald | 14072

On April 16, 1987, Mr Proctor appeared in court accused of committing three acts of gross indecency with one male and one act of gross indecency with another male – both teenagers. Lurid allegations surrounding Mr Proctor’s sex life surfaced in September 1986 when allegations appeared in a Sunday newspaper claiming he had organised gay spanking sessions with boys in his London flat.

Harvey Proctor resigned as MP for Billericay shortly before his trial which began in May 1987. He pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,450.

The following year, with financial backing from former colleagues he opened two shops selling luxury shirts. In 1992 Mr Proctor and Neil Hamilton, then a government minister, were assaulted by two men on a “gay bashing expedition”. Mr Hamilton’s nose was broken in the attack in Mr Proctor’s shop in Richmond-on-Thames. There is no suggestion that Mr Hamilton is gay. Mr Proctor’s shirt shop business ceased trading in 2000. Mr Proctor now lives in a house within the 16,000-acre grounds of Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.

On 4 March 2015 his home was searched by detectives investigating historical allegations of child sex abuse.

Sources:

BBC On this Day

Glasgow Herald/Google archive

Guardian, 5 March 2015

This article was updated on 5 March 2015.

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