Northern Soul‘s Head Photographer, Chris Payne, was one of two photographers at the opening of Never Going Underground. He captured images of Sir Ian McKellen as he launched the exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

The exhibition explores the movement and stories of diverse LGBT+ communities and their quest for equality. It marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act). Supported by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the exhibition serves as a reminder of the way that LGBT+ people have been criminalised, persecuted and erased from history for hundreds of years, and the struggles they have had to encounter to achieve equality. 

Four partners are working with the People’s History Museum on Never Going Underground: The Proud Trust, LGBT Foundation, Proud 2 b Parents and Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus. The exhibition also forms part of a year-long programme of events, talks, community projects and a schools learning programme.