Last Friday the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum and Studio Voltaire unveiled London’s 2nd Rainbow Plaque dedicated to the film, My Beautiful Laundrette. 

The plaque has been installed opposite at 11 Wilcox Road, Vauxhall SW8, the location of where Powders laundrette was based. 

Rainbow plaques are designed to make hidden moments in LGBTQ+ history visible. They can be to celebrate and remember a person, film, song or indeed a venue that has a significant meaning in the LGBTQ+ Community.
The latest plaque to be installed is the 4th in the U.K but the first of the Rainbow Plaques to incorporate the Progress Pride (2018) colours.

Like the previous Oscar Wilde campaign in 2019, this plaque was able to be installed following a successful crowdfunding campaign – which included a special screening of the film at Clapham Picturehouse followed by a Q&A with the film’s cast and crew – in which the £2500 needed was raised in just 6 days. This paid for the design and production of the plaque, as well as some of the costs attached to the official unveiling event. 

The plaque was unveiled by the films, screenwriter – Hanif Kuershi, director – Stephen Frears and lead actor, Gordon Warnecke. They were reunited on Wilcox Road with other members of the of the talented production team, many of whom have not been back to the site since filming was complete. 

Hanif (who was nominated for his screenplay at the 1986 Oscars ) said
“What a privilege and honour it is to see ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ being recognised with a Rainbow Plaque.
I’m really touched to see that the film still has such resonance within the LGBTQ+ community after all these years.
To everyone involved in making this plaque happen, on behalf of all the cast and crew, a huge heartfelt thank you.”

Also in attendance were the project partners and the generous donors who helped make the plaque happen along with local residents and businesses. 

Wandsworth Oasis were also in attendance and played a key role in the day by awarding a grant (to the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum) to help with the unveiling event costs. 

Also in attendance were the project partners and the generous donors who helped make the plaque happen along with local residents and businesses. 

Local HIV charity Wandsworth Oasis played a key role in the day by awarding a grant (to the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum) to help with the unveiling event costs. 

Christine Ansell (Wandsworth Oasis CEO) said.

 “It was a delight to be at the unveiling of London’s 2nd Rainbow Plaque, and see so many come out to support this great cause. Wandsworth is coming back to life after our long time in lockdown and it has never been so important for us all to work together to support each other and the groups in our area who deliver a much needed service especially to our LGBTQ+ community, as many of these groups such as the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum, do not receive regular funding from the authorities.

Wandsworth Oasis was proud to help fund this event and we continue to be active in and for our local community. We support Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum and work in partnership with them on their much-needed projects.”

David Robson (Chair Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum) said

“This was a really special event for all involved and a day I will remember for a long time to come.
In the absence of Pride (for a 2nd year) it was wonderful to be connected to community again and see all the hard work be received so well. 

It’s took over 4 and a half years to get this in the ground but well worth all the delays and challenges. Especially to see the cast and crew, stood on Wilcox Road again, shoulder to shoulder with the community, in celebration of this iconic piece of work.”

The plaque is available to visit now.

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