George Lucas

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George Lucas

George Lucas was a gay man who worked in the Civil Service. He documented his life in a series of detailed personal diaries which he bequeathed to journalist Hugo Greenhalgh. When Greenhalgh started to examine the diaries he uncovered remarkable accounts of a man who recorded in some detail his use of male prostitutes in London, and other aspects of gay life. Lucas took a great risk in keeping the diaries as some of the entries incriminated him in matters which were criminal offences before 1967. If the police had got hold of the diaries a number of other men may well have been arrested and prosecuted. The diaries are now being published on a Facebook page for Mr Lucas which is updated by Greenhalgh [1].

Mr Lucas by one of his favourite pubs The Golden Lion, Dean St.,Soho, London 3 Jun 1967 age 41. (Image courtesy Hugo Greenhalgh)

George Lucas was born in 1926 and grew up in Clacton on Sea, Essex. His national service ended in January 1948. His work in the Civil Service appears to have been mostly in the Department of Trade. His latter years were lived in Clapham Park. He died in 2013. An unremarkable man in many ways but the legacy of his diaries now make his contribution to LGBT history important. Here is one example of his description of 1950 in his diary entry for Jan 1st 1968;

I look back 18 years to 1950. When I was 24, the London scene was not changed much; places, buildings, familiar to the homosexual world of 1950 had been familiar for a long time.And how many there were - the public rendezvous at Marble Arch and Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, the numerous gay bars: the Standard in Piccadilly Circus, the celebrated Fitzroy in Rathbone Place, the Bunch of Grapes on the south side of the Strand, with its stone canopy carved in form of a cornucopia over the door, Rainbow Corner by the Monico in Shaftesbury Avenue… and, of course, the lavatories of the “Grand Tour”; starting with Falconberg Court and ending at York Place [2].