Baroness Joyce Gould



Baroness Joyce Gould of Potternewton was born and raised in Bradford. Educated at The Roundhay High School for girls she later studied pharmacy at Bradford Technical College. Before entering politics Baroness Gould worked as a pharmaceutical dispenser from 1952 until 1965. During her time in the Labour Party, Baroness Gould has campaigned tirelessly around many issues including women’s rights, sexual health and reproductive rights and the rights of gay men and women. She consistently fought for the repeal of section 28 of the Local Government Act which banned the so-called ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities; legislation which had devastating effects on the lives of young gay and bisexual people. Baroness Gould was made a Labour peer in 1993. Although she now resides in Brighton (Edward Carpenter’s birth place) she remains proud of her Yorkshire roots and describes trips back to Yorkshire as ‘coming home’. She was delighted to be invited to be The Patron of Friends Of Edward Carpenter, believing passionately that there is a need to recognise the courageous deeds of those in the past; and acknowledge their impact on furthering the rights of marginalised groups and their contribution to the fight for a more fair and just society.

Mike Jackson


Associate Patron

Mike grew up in Accrington. His grandmother was the first person who taught him about the importance and relevance of politics. Mike left home at 16 in 1970 with a passion for horticulture which he later studied at Kew. Living in London gave him the opportunity and confidence to ‘come out’ due to the wonderful patience and support of staff at the Gay Switchboard. He was a founder of North Staffordshire Gay Switchboard and in 1981 volunteered for London Gay Switchboard after being interviewed by Mark Ashton. Mark and Mike became firm friends, organising collections together for striking miners in 1984/5 and forming 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ (LGSM). Mike was secretary. Tragically aged 26 Mark died of AIDS only two years later. Mike initiated the film ‘Pride’ – one of the most celebrated British gay films in recent years. He has ensured that this story of struggle, solidarity and friendship has been told. Mike combined horticulture and his social concerns by working for a charity. He is now self-employed as a horticulturist and loves running gardening classes for beginner gardeners. As a socialist, gay rights campaigner and political activist Mike is along time admirer of Edward Carpenter.

Sheila Rowbotham


Associate Patron

Sheila is a renowned socialist, feminist, historian, writer and campaigner. Sheila’s work takes up the task of unearthing and documenting the ‘hidden histories’ of our everyday lives, emphasising the ways in which class exploitation and sexual oppression have shaped these histories. As a founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain, helping to organise the first conference in 1970, Sheila’s activism in socialist and feminist politics made her a key figure of the British left. Much of her activism and work reveal a desire to highlight the personal aspects of political struggles and to make politics and history come alive with the stories of those who make it. Sheila’s highly acclaimed biography about Edward Carpenter - A Life of Liberty and Love - is a compelling portrait of a man described by contemporaries as a 'weather-vane' for his times whose life heeds the importance of looking at sexual struggles alongside socialist concerns.