Plaque to be revealed in memory of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners founder

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A plaque is to be unveiled on Friday in memory of the founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM).

The group was founded in 1984 by Mark Ashton, the secretary of the Young Communist League.

Ashton died in 1987 of AIDS-related complications at age 26.

Mark Ashton

As told in the film Pride, Ashton and allies at the Gay’s the Word bookshop in London linked up with mining communities in south Wales to offer support against pit closures.

The bookshop, in Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury, was decided as the best site for the plaque.

The unveiling of the commemorative plaque will take place on what would have been Ashton’s 57th birthday.

As well as collecting money in London’s gay bars and clubs, and raising around £20,000, LGSM also hosted the ‘Pits and Perverts’ concert, inspired by a tabloid newspaper headline.

Co-founder Mike Jackson tells Morning Star: “To this day, Mark’s loss remains deeply felt by so many family members and friends.

“Driven, principled and charismatic, Mark would have achieved so much more if he had not died so young.

“We are so proud to now be installing a permanent memorial to our lost friend. Solidarity forever!”

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said he “blubbed” when he watched the film Pride.

Jackson, the co-founder of LGSM told PinkNews in 2014 that he thought the story of the organisation would be lost forever.