LGBQT+ History Month Reading Club: The Searchlight Archive

The University of Northampton History department is home to the Searchlight Archive, a unique archive collection of material documenting the activities of British and international fascist and racist organisations from the 1930s onwards.

It is one of the most extensive and significant resources of its type in Europe.

Daniel Jones, the Searchlight Collections Officer recommends:

Kelly, Jon, ‘Nicky Crane: The Secret Double Life of a Gay neo-Nazi’, BBC News Magazine (2013)

This BBC News Magazine piece explored the life of Nicky Crane, a neo-Nazi street fighter most closely associated with the White Power music band Skrewdriver.

Crane led a double life, providing security for LGBT+ events in London while being part of far-right organisations that targeted LGBT+ people for hate and violence. His experiences, and his eventual ostracisation from both worlds, show some of the complex intersectionalities that can exist in identities – how people can hold seemingly conflicting identities, and how each identity informs another.

At one time the poster boy of the skinhead Oi! movement, Crane is a tragic figure – rejected by his long-time friends like Skrewdrver lead singer Ian Stuart Donaldson, Crane died of AIDS related diseases in December of 1993.

He features in the 2010 book Children of the Sun by Max Schaefer as a figure of fascination for one of the main characters, James, who is exploring the gay figures with the far right.

The article is very solidly researched, and the way it depicts Crane can cause some real conflict between the oppression Crane himself suffered due to his homosexuality, and the oppression he himself created for others.

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