15: Admiral Duncan


54 Old Compton Street

On the 30 April 1999, the Admiral Duncan pub was the scene of the worst homophobic attack to ever occur in Britain on a gay venue.

A nail bomb blast killed three people and wounded around 70. Andrea Dykes, 27, who was pregnant, and friends John Light, 32, and Nik Moore, 31, were killed in the attack. Neo-Nazi David Copeland planted the bomb, and two others in Brixton and Brick Lane, in an attempt to stir up ethnic and homophobic tension.

The attack had the opposite effect and became a turning point for relations between the gay community and the police, who were praised for their conduct in the immediate aftermath. A mobile incident van was set up near the site of the explosion on Old Compton Street, and lesbian and gay police officers were on hand to take witness statements and gather evidence.

On Tuesday 4 May, The London Gay Men’s Chorus gathered up the bouquets of flowers and messages placed outside the pub and, in a procession watched by people lining Old Compton Street, they walked to Soho Square to lay the flowers and create a temporary garden of remembrance. A vigil organised in Soho Square the following Sunday was attended by hundreds.