Colin hopes gay nights at his Fenland pub might be the answer to boost takings

NEW gay party nights at a Fenland pub have been such a success that landlord Colin Harrison is already planning a gay festival to be held at his pub this summer.

Colin - who runs The Plough at Farcet Fen near Whittlesey - says he has been “pleasantly surprised” at the number of gay men and women who have supported his weekly gay nights.

“I just didn’t realise there was that many gay people out there,” said Colin. “I am not gay myself, but I have a couple of gay guys who work for me in the summer, and we get on very well. We have had gay people of all ages coming along to our evenings, which include music, dancing, and cocktails.

“I have had quite a lot of flack from one or two people, because I have advertised that we are gay friendly, most people would not dare say it. We have had a very hard winter at the pub, and I have answered the critics by asking them, will they pay my mortgage? We need to promote the pub and get customers in.

“I don’t care what people think, I want to get across that we are gay friendly and we provide a safe environment.”

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The gay nights are held at The Plough every Thursday, starting at 7.30pm. Colin added: “We want the gay community to know they are welcome here, in a safe environment. It is important they feel safe, they are still persecuted quite a bit.

“We currently have a disco or background music, but I hope to get some tribute bands to perform at a future date. I am open to suggestions about how we can improve the evenings.”

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One of the recent gay nights attracted around 30 customers. “They are very positive, and say they need somewhere to go,” added Colin. “They have said they will support me.”

The planned gay festival will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28, on the pub’s 10 acre site where a number of other events are held throughout the year.

Colin explained: “We hope the festival will include tribute bands and parades, and I am looking for anyone who can give me some inspiration; I would be happy to receive advice about music, entertainment, and how the gay community would like the weekend to be run. With such feedback, I can construct an organised event.”

Other festivals and events to be run by the The Plough this year include an antique fair, a 1940’s weekend, a biker weekend, and a Young Farmers’ Club ball.

The pub also plays host to a number of gypsy weddings. Colin said: “I am very broad minded and welcome all members of the community.”

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