Southampton CHE Group was founded in October 1972 by David Porter  The group initially met at Porter's home, then in 1974 at the Anchor in East Street, Southampton. A separate Women's CHE group was founded in September 1974 . Gay News reported in Sept 1974 the opening of Southampton's first all gay club; Beau Brummel above the Ambassadors Club in St Mary Street .At that time the Robert Burns at 9 South Front was listed as a gay pub in Gay News , and the Anchor Inn in East Street was listed as a lesbian venue. An article in Gay News in 1974 claimed that there were 3,000 gays on the scene in Southampton . The Tangier Club, once a gay club, was reported to be 'straight' by the end of 1975 .By 1975 Hickups gay club was located at the Magnum Club, 113 St Mary's Road .
The CHE Conference was held in Southampton in May 1976. On each day of the Conference a special broadsheet newspaper called 'Daily Gay' was published . In October 1976 local CHE group held a very successful and well attended event at the Haymarket where Quentin Crisp spoke. In 1978 the group nearly folded . The group moved to the Joiner's Arms. In 1979 Gay Solent was formed (Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth co-ordinating and producing a regular newsletter).By 1977 Solent Gay Switchboard had been established in Southampton . The telephone number in the 1980s was Southampton 37363 and phone lines were available three times a week.
In 1982 there was a gay disco on Sundays at Nightingales near the Bargate . At that time a Gay Youth Group met in Southampton on Sunday afternoons . In the 1980s other gay clubs in the city included Smugglers and Warehouse . In 1985 Southampton Council issued a pledge of equality which included 'not to discriminate against gay men or lesbians who apply for jobs with the council' . In 1988 two gay men took an industrial tribunal case after the Victory Inn, Southampton, turned them down for a job without an interview .
Solent Pride events were held in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Events were spread over two weeks . In 2012 there was a campaign to hold a Southampton Pride. Pride was held in Southampton 2016, 2017 and 2018.
- Beaumont Society website https://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk/ accessed 24.02.2019
- Gay Solent. Newsletters of the Gay Groups of Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth. Held in the LSE Hall Carpenter Archives Ref HCA/CHE/7/55. Issue 41 Sept 1982 has an article by Phil King 'Ten Years of Southampton CHE'
- Gay News number 59 1974
- Gay News no 55 Sept 1974
- Gay News number 50 July 1974
- Gay News 5 Dec 1974
- Gay News number 85 Dec 1975
- Gay News number 64 Feb 1975 reports that gay women were calling for a boycott of the Magnum Club because no women were admitted to the gay club nights
- Copies in the LSE Hall Carpenter Archives HCA/CHE8/29
- A vote of 7 votes to 5 votes at a CHE meeting in April 1978 saved the group (Winchester Gay Group Newsletter Apr 1978)
- Winchester Gay Group newsletter no 11 Sept 1977 reports that the Switchboard is open Wed evenings on Southampton 32724 and that they average about 5 calls each Wednesday evening
- Gay Solent Newsletter no 43 Nov 1982
- Gay Solent Newsletter no 44 Dec 1982,and 'Gay Youth' No 1 page 3 (June 1981) which states 'In Southampton the gay youth group emerged at the same time as the gay soc collapsed'.
- Information from Mark Ovenden
- Gay Times April 1985 page 14
- The Pink Paper 14 Jul 1988
- Copies of the itineraries and other documents relating to Solent Pride (in Southampton) are held at the London School of Economics Hall-Carpenter Archives