ass=”thumbnail” href=”http://www.hulllabourlgbt.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Billany-Soldier.jpg”> Hull’s Lost Hero to be celebrated at last[/caption]
The story of ‘Our Dan’-writer,teacher, fighter against injustice, struggler with his sexuality in hostile times and war hero has been told here before. His contribution was recognised at Hull Pride 2015 when a wreath was laid at Hull cenotaph to remember the part he and other LGBT servicemen played in defending our freedoms. Now comes the excellent news that he is at long long last to be given the recognition he deserves as part of Culture Year. Provisional plans are outlined below. Details will be added as they become available.
1. EXHIBITION AND LAUNCH EVENT AT HULL HISTORY CENTRE
The launch event -open to all-will take place at Hull History Centre on 28th February. There will be a lecture by Australian Professor Paul Skrebels who is bringing out a new edition of Dans highly acclaimed but long unavailable semi-autobiographical novel,The Cage set in the Italian POW camp
The theme of the exhibition—-which will run for the whole of March— will be “Hull’s Dan Billany;Teacher, Writer, War Hero
2. It is hoped that primary schools in Hull will be involved with the book that Dan wrote for his pupils at Chiltern Street School off Hessle Road.’The Magic Door’. This marvellous book was intended to teach history by working on youngsters imaginations-and direct involvement in historical events.,They will be brought to the History Centre which actually has a Dan Billany ‘Magic Door’ from a previous venture. Dan was an inspired teacher ,unconventional and loved by his students—if not always by his headmaster who found Dan’s child-centred teaching too uncomventional.
There will be a city wide read-in of this acclaimed Billany novel starting in the New Year—details to be announced
4 ‘An evening with Dan Billany” This will be [according to author Barrie Wheatley!-who should know!] “a review style performance celebrating Dan’s life and work’This will include music and multi media. It will be performed at Kardomah 94 on 9th.and 10th March –with a possible extra venue and date being offered.
5. Hero This highly acclaimed play on Dans life by Barrie Wheatley will be performed at NAPA [Northern Academy of Performing Arts] on 1st and 2nd July and then at Kardomah 94 on 19th 20th and 21st July at Kardomah 94 before going on a short regional tour
It is hoped that Hero will be tied in with Hull Pride in some way. [Don’t worry Barrie—we will see to it that it is!] I have been waiting to see the play about ‘Our Dan’ for so long and will not miss this one.
Derails are a little sketchy—-there will be more. At last Dan is being given the recognition he deserves.Let us celebrate him
Colin Livett November 2016