Life After IML - July 2007

John at home wearing black leather jeans with a reflective stripe down the outside of each leg

Tuesday 22nd May - Leather jeans and arm bands by new company Fetish Freak, who have opened a store in the second arch at the Hoist in London.
Photo credit: Dave Harris

On Saturday 30th June London's gay pride went ahead, despite a terrorist alert the day before and some very wet weather. Dave and I joined in the parade, which started at one end of Oxford Street and finished with a festival in Trafalgar Square. Celebrations were also held in Leicester Square, Soho Gardens and gay pubs and clubs in the capital. The increased security didn't appear to affect the mood of the day, but it was a shame that it was raining.

Earlier this year patrons and stallholders at the London Alternative Market raised over £2000 for the Spanner Trust in a single day. I was one of the volunteers running the coat-check, where I met Eric, a veteran of the straight fetish scene. Eric was of full fascinating stories about life in London from the 1940s to the 1960s. I asked him if he'd be willing to take part in an interview for the Leather Archives and Museum Oral History Project. A few weeks later he sent me an 8,100 word essay of his reminiscences, which has been forwarded to the LA&M along with a signed donor form. Here are edited highlights:

Since this essay was written the UK Government has published the first draft of it's new Criminal Justice Bill. The bill proposes legislation to "criminalize possession of extreme pornography", which could include images of consensual SM scenes. To learn more about the campaign against these proposals please go to the BACKLASH website at

Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with.

Best wishes,

John Pendal
International Mr Leather 2003

To my home page To the full index To the next column