Some years ago I ran, on behalf of the Group, a couple of Boat Trips on the River Thames. Both were great fun with a grand bunch of people. Just before I started getting these known, a rather loveable "Jack the Lad" became a visitor to 274 Upper Street, always grinning and acting the fool. We all became firm and good friends of Lofty.

Lofty sadly passed away on Sunday 1 September.

Lofty was a person who didn't have a peck of harm in him, a worker and supporter in the early days of our forming a membership, a butt of my caustic wit, and a lover of every pretty girl of either sex. Never still for more than five minutes at a time, a warm lovely clown of the highest order and a great support to Sharon, his wife.

I can only fine good memories of him, they were all fond ones and full of laughs.

See you, Sunshine.

Alison, suffered a heart attack on the operating table during a sex-reassignment operation and died 2 days later

"Get Back Home To Your Wives and My Children"

This was the typical shout of Yvonne's at the end of an evening to inform everyone that the Group was closing.

Philbeach Party, First Wave/Second Wave

More often than not, on Saturday nights, most at the Group would depart around 10.30 - 11.30 to visit The Philbeach Hotel. The Group should have closed around 10.30 but Yvonne would keep it going for another hour to give people time to get changed if they required. Philbeach Party First Wave was the call of the first lot to depart and get down the Philbeach. Second Wave was the call for everyone to leave now because Yvonne wanted to leave

Just Because I Wear An England Football Jersey

"Just because I wear an England football jersey, doesn't mean I play football for England; just because I wear women's clothes doesn't mean I should be a woman."

This was Yvonne's advice to those who may have felt that they should go for the sex-change operation (now called gender re-assignment) and were confused by their feelings.

Dear Faye

A"Dear Faye" letter was coined when Yvonne tried replying to a correspondent in 1981. Before everything was computerised, Yvonne had to write all letters on an old typewriter and every time she made a mistake, she had to start again. Every time Yvonne started the reply she would say out loud, "Dear Faye". Unfortunately, it took a couple of months to answer Faye's query; if it ever was answered and any typing Yvonne did for years afterwards was always accompanied by Yvonne saying, "Dear Faye".

I Don't Believe It

During the Christmas period of 1986/7, Yvonne decided to change the layout of 2 French Place. A number of volunteers agreed to work afer Boxing Day. On the way there, Yvonne turned to a couple of helpers and said, "I bet Scotty (Janette Scott) will be dressed". Everyone else said, "No, even Scotty wouldn't be that stupid, surely, would she?" When we arrived, Scotty was already there wearing a skirt, high-heels and a brand new wig. She was using a hammer and chisel, knocking a hole in a wall, covered in building dust.

Yes, she was that stupid.


Lofty was a lovely man who loved Trannies. During the 1950s Lofty had often been on the wrong side of the law but was now going straight and worked as a gardener in Lambeth Palace. Lofty was also involved with a post-op TS but he liked to stray a little bit from home. One Sunday afternoon, he'd met up with the Liffey Queen for a little bit of sex. Sadly, Lofty died on the job, literally, of a heart attack.

Poor old Lofty was buried with a high churchman from Lambeth Palace officiating blessing Lofty for his wonderful life, little realising that many of the "ladies" weren't ladies at all, and blissfully unaware of how Lofty died, his love for trannies and transsexuals or his earlier life as an armed robber.


Yvonneisms were the little sayings and pearls of wisdom she used to throw out every now and again at the Group

"You look nice tonight. What went wrong?"

"Transsexuals teach themselves the art of depression"

"Man travelled a million miles to walk on the moon; a TV's first walk around the block is for mankind the longest in a skirt".

"If ever a man suffered, it's this woman"

"Why is it that when TVs put their wigs on, they leave their brains on the dressing table?"

The Bearded Sea Captain

One of the few shops in those days that specialised in clothing for trannies was Cover Girl, also in Upper Street at 91. One of Cover Girl's lines was a face mask which was tied around the head. It had two eyeholes and a small hole for the mouth. The mask itself was a grotesque doll-like representation of a female face with powder-blue eye-shadow, red rouged cheeks and bright red lipstick. Cover Girl's by-line for the mask was "Even bearded sea captains can dress up in women's clothes with this face mask". It was hilarious. But even more hilarious was the night someone walked into 274 wearing one! He'd come on public transport wearing this hideous hood.

The Bring and Buy Sale

One of the ways we had of raising money was to hold Bring and Buy sales. Some didn't quite understand that the money was to go towards the Group and thought they kept the money, but that's another story. One Saturday night, we held a Bring and Buy Sale a rather drunken Swiss transvestite turned up. During the course of the evening he began trying on pairs of ladies' shoes but unfortunately lost track of his own and, yes, they got sold; probably for about 50p. At the end of the evening we couldn't track down his shoes and the only ones that we could find were a pair of scruffy mens' shoes. He had to go back to his hotel dressed to the nines wearing a pair of mens shoes.

What's the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual?

"One comes home and kicks her high-heels off, the other comes home and puts her high-heels on".

Yvonne also had another take on the same question: What's the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual?

"One looks like a c**t and the other wants to be one." One of Yvonne's many acerbic comments on transvestism and transsexualism in general.

The Sad Story of Dave and Alison

Dave Cottle joined the group in early 1984, Alison joined sometime in 1987.

At the time of joining the group, Dave was down on his luck, unemployed, stuck in grubby council flat in east London and with a dead-end future. But the group gave him some interest in life and he was a good supporter and a good friend. He met Alison, a British Rail worker, who was going full-time and was living as a female. They became friendly and, over time, Dave moved into Alison's home in west London and began living as a couple. Dave then managed to get a job with a supermarket as a baker, he was a baker by trade and things in general began looking up for this likeable couple.

Alison prepared to have the big operation in early 1990 but unbeknown to her doctors she continued to take the female hormone tablet, Premarin. This was strictly against the doctors policy and had disastrous consequences for everyone concerned.

Whilst on the operating table, Alison suffered a heart attack, caused thorough a blood-clot. Although she was revived, Alison died two days later.

Although Alison had left him well provided for in her will, Dave was bereft. He struggled on for a couple of months but felt he needed support and turned to the TV/TS Group for that support. Unfortunately, Yvonne had now left the group and Dave found no consultation with the those now running the group. Although Dave was desperate for Yvonne's support but whether through malice or arrogance, the new co-ordinator refused to give Dave Yvonne's new telephone number and Dave was now alone in a roomful of people who wouldn't or couldn't help.

Dave Cottle, unable to face the future, committed suicide around March 1990.

There's a fine body of men in here tonight!

One of Yvonne's sayings at the Group


"The Group is a fountain of knowledge. Most people outside drink in the puddles"

Cop This

This story has been told a lot over the years by people who claimed it happened to them but Yvonne told it at the Group and Yvonne re-told it on Janet Street-Porter's show when she appeared in the mid-1980s.

"I was going home dressed one night from the Group and got off the bus near my home. However, I noticed a man get off the bus too and walk into a crescent. Where I lived was a long straight road with a number of side-streets (Shooters Hill Road). I walked on up the the road to my flat when, suddenly, this chap jumped out in front of me (he'd run around the crescent and come out in front of Yvonne).

He had his penis out and his coat opened in an archetypal flasher stance. "Here you are lady, cop this!" he said. So I pulled up my skirts and replied in a rather raucious, cockney voice, "Here you are, son, cop this!"

He was shocked - and then said, "You're a man". I replied, "Worse than that, I'm a policeman".

He ran off."

Yvonne's Bits