'No one would believe there was such a thing as a gay policeman'

Stuart fondly remembers a mysterious relationship with a policeman when he was living in a Huddersfield bedsit in the early 1960s.

Duration 04:51


Well er, when we moved out of the digs we got this flat just at the beginning of Edgerton Road, well it was two bedsits actually. And John took the one on the first floor which was a nice big room and er, had a separate bedroom erm, but that was his because, well with the single bed, but that was his because he was earning more money than me and I took the one in the attic [coughs] which was just a bedsit.

And… I was thinking recently about that, knowing that you were coming, and I began to think about that situation and the flat, erm because, erm, I thought that by us taking two separate bedsits it kind of conformed to the idea that we were being very, very discreet erm, which we were erm, with the landlord. Erm but, I remembered that then, that there was this thing that I never kind of resolved in my mind, which was a-anyway was that I woke up one night er, in my bed and there was this man trying to get in to my bed with me. And it turned out to be the policeman who lived next door. Erm, and this became a sort of regular thing for a while. It was always unpredictable, I never knew when it was going to happen, but we were having this, erm – he’s quite a sexy young guy – so we were having this nice scene together.

Erm, the only thing I could never work out, was how he got in to the house, and how he got in to my bedsit. Erm, but that was just detail, it wasn’t of burning importance, I was enjoying his visits… so [laughs] I didn’t put much emphasis on that. But thinking about it just recently I thought well, we never had any trouble from the landlord and landlady but they must have known, I mean I was eighteen and John was, would’ve been twenty one then and er… he, funnily enough I never, ever asked John if the same thing had happened to him. We had an open relationship but that was one thing I never mentioned to him. And now I think well there were two policemen living in that flat, him and his boyfriend, they were both in the police and I wonder if they both came in to the house and one took me and one took John. And er we shall never know because John died in ‘96. Erm, but er, that was… and I suddenly thought it must have been some thing with the landlord who got suspicious and knew there were two policemen living next door and went and asked his advice and, but I think somehow they must have hatched a plan erm, that they would keep us under observation and creep in in the middle of the night and check whether we were sleeping in one bed together or whether we were sleeping in separate beds. Not realising of course, who would realise, I think in those days, that you know, that a policeman would be gay, and it was a policeman, you trusted them.

So I can well see a person like that handing over er the keys to the house erm, and er, I think… in those days we knew, it was common knowledge, that a lot of gay men, or a lot of men who discovered they were gay, decided to join the police force because it was the easiest place for them to hide their sexuality because no one would believe that there was such a thing as a gay policeman. Erm, so that was one of the events that [laughs] happened to me in Huddersfield.