Photograph, 'Stork Hotel'
Nothing is known about the private lives of the people depicted in this salesman’s dinner. However, the photograph is a rare glimpse of the interior of the Stork Hotel which stood in Queen Square. The Stork Hotel was located in the centre of Liverpool’s first ‘gay district’ which had sprung up around Queen Square by the early 1960s. Its Aintree Bar was very popular with gay men as well as actors from the Royal Court Theatre, opposite. In the early 1960s the gay-friendly barmaid from the Aintree Bar in the Stork Hotel moved to the Magic Clock pub nearby. Many of the customers followed her, turning the Magic Clock almost overnight into a gay bar. One man remembers, “It was a husband and wife team in there and they couldn’t quite realise what had hit them”. (Brian S, Our Story Liverpool, 2008) Redevelopment of the city centre led to the demolition of much of the old ‘gay quarter’ by Queen Square in the 1970s. By the end of 1976 the Stork Hotel had also been demolished to make way for a new bus terminus.