This Virtual Pub Crawl Is A Journey Through London's Queer History

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 26 months ago
This Virtual Pub Crawl Is A Journey Through London's Queer History
Brunel Museum. Image: Matt Brown

You've probably heard of the Prospect of Whitby. It claims to be London's oldest riverside tavern — having served the likes of Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens and JMW Turner — and today remains popular with tourists and Londoners alike.

But did you know that in the 19th century it was a haven for queer Londoners? A place where "dock labourers, sailors from across the world and families mingled freely with flamboyant local queens... where queer men and casual homosexual encounters were an accepted part of everyday life"?

This is just one of the hidden LGBTQ+ histories that you can explore on a new virtual pub crawl by The Brunel Museum, which launches at the end of the month.

Led by LGBTQ+ historians Sacha Coward and Sheldon Goodman, the Rainbow River Virtual Pub Crawl invites you to travel through time via seven historic riverside haunts, including the Brunel Museum itself. Along the way, you'll learn about (and possibly even "meet") Hannah Snell — a 17th-century woman who disguised herself as a man to become a soldier and later opened The Widow's Masquerade pub in Wapping — and other queer trailblazers.

The tour runs 6.30pm-8pm on 30 April, 1 May and 7-8 May, with tickets from £13 per person. Click here to get yours.

Last Updated 16 April 2021