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#14 - Gill Watson / Mildred's / 1990s

Gill-Watson Leica167 edited

I was introduced to Gill Watson via my friend Linda Cole, who also used to drink at Mildred's.

We met at the site of the bar, which is now a restaurant. Gill told me stories about events, happenings and parties that took place in Mildred's, but also about the general vibe of the area. She described the first meeting she held there about putting on a party, with a group consisting of Vivienne Westwood's PA, Jefferson Hack, who was about to start up a new magazine called Dazed and Confused, and the head booker of Models 1 called Paola. And, later, about a party held in Marlene Dietrich's honour, which took place, completely coincidentally, on the very night Dietrich died, with News At 10 arriving at the venue with their bulky cameras and dollies as a result.

Gill also told of times when it was not so easy to be out and gay. And, way before the internet, let alone apps such as Tinder/Grindr/OkCupid etc, the cruising boards they put up outside the loos to encourage people to approach those they fancied.

We made the video to reflect two of the stories Gill told: that of the cruising boards and then the sprint up across the roof to the next door bar to get a brandy for a customer she didn't want to let down..

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