Cover of the Guide, Issue 2
The Back Pocket Guide to London
was a street map of London
's West End
, Earls Court
and Camden Town
which showed the location of most of the gay venues in London. It was the first gay street map that had been produced for decades. 40,000 maps were printed and distributed free (paid by advertising) every three months. It was designed and produced by Jonathan Harbourne
, who often distributed them himself outside of night clubs, such as Heaven
. There were four designed and produced during 1993, following which, the Gay Business Association
also produced one, having many members in their organisation already, the Back Pocket Guide
survived only as the illustration printed in Boyz
magazine each week for the next five years. The map itself was quite detailed, with many buildings and landmarks drawn in 3D. Over 70 different gay venues were listed and shown on the map, including bars, clubs, restaurants, shops and gyms.
During its success, The Back Pocket Guide also produced the Cheque Book – a book of 20 flyers designed like cheques, giving discounts or free entry into clubs. The Cheque Book was a victim of its own success, over 800 people queued to get free entry into Heaven before midnight (when the offered expired), most were not able to get in in time, and the clubs were reluctant to engage in another edition. There was only one Cheque Book produced.
The Back Pocket Guide had a stall at the 1993 Gay Lifestyles Exhibition in Earls Court.
See also: Gay London.