North Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee

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The North Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee (NWHLRC) was a committee founded in Manchester in 1964, to pursue the aim of reforming the law relating to male homosexual acts. In 1969 it was renamed the Committee for Homosexual Equality, and in 1971 it became the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE).

In 1963, Antony Grey, then Secretary of the London-based Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS) was authorised by his Executive to investigate setting up local committees of the HLRS. Grey put Allan Horsfall in touch with Stanley Rowe, who had begun setting up a local group in Manchester, and Horsfall attended a meeting at Rowe's home on 4 June 1964. Also at the meeting was Colin Harvey, Senior Social Worker for the Church of England North West Board of Social Responsibility. Harvey reported to the Board, and its chair, Ted Wickham, Bishop of Middleton, offered to facilitate the group, provided it became a properly constitued committee and allow it to meet in his board room, on Blackfriars Road, Salford. The NWHLRC was formally launched at a public meeting on 7 October 1964, at Church House in Manchester.[1]

Allan Horsfall was appointed Secretary of the NWHLRC, and Niel Pearson, a local solicitor, as its President.[1]

The NWHLRC issued a leaflet, "Something you should know", giving Allan Horsfall's home address as the contract address, as a result of which a front-page article appeared in a local paper, the Leigh Reporter.[2] The first chairman was Rev Bernard Dodd, succeeded in late 1967 by Colin Harvey.

On 11 November 1966 the NWHLRC held a meeting in Manchester, chaired by Alfred Jowett, Dean of Manchester. Other speakers included Alan Fitch MP and Antony Grey. Humphry Berkeley MP was billed to speak but unable to get to Manchester. Allan Horsfall and Niel Pearson spoke from the floor.[3]

50th anniversary

The 50th anniversary of the initial public meeting was celebrated on 7 October 2014, with the unveiling of a plaque at Church House.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Amiable Warriors, Volume One, pages 119–121.
  2. Amiable Warriors, Volume One, page 123.
  3. Amiable Warriors, Volume One, page 123.