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We are still here


Having recently been diagnosed with cancer and after the worst year for me - health wise - with over 8 months of bad health due to a UTI ( Urinary Tract Infection ) where it seemed the NHS were unable to get it right for such a long time - over 8 months - it left me a wee bit nervous and afraid for the future, as being 68 in April I am aware I am getting on a bit and while I hope to have decades yet to come, just reading the paper each day and hearing about all the people years younger who have recently died, puts the wind up you a wee bit.


I have thought long and hard about my future as I am sure - at some point in everybody's life, there comes a time and a place when you consider WTF is the future going and where am I headed.


I have already done my mid life move - sold everything at 45 years of age and bought the hotel for a big new start in life - and not sure it will ever happen again as I am settled and content at Hamilton Hall and I am sure they will take me out of here feet first.


But there are times when I do question WTF am I doing ?


Like anyone, the future is unknown and there are moments when we all consider if it is time for change, be it job, home, career, partner, lifestyle or even just hair style. And there are days and reasons to make you think of change - like this :-


After getting a really vile e mail this week from some scared little boy afraid to sign his name or even use a real and genuine e mail address that can be traced, as he used an anonymous Hotmail account easy to open and close and hide your identity, I seriously just laughed when I scanned its contents and deleted and moved onto something else, as I have always received hate mail here and the envy and jealous attitudes abound - so I choose to ignore what it said as just funny and from some jealous old faggot resentful and envious.


I am like Marmite, some love and some hate and I am not bothered by either as I am what I am and if that is too much for you, then you are missing out - dearly.

When I opened here there was much opposition from some gay mens groups who envied our facilities, and it reminded me how so many within the gay media and other gay venues so resented and knocked The Lighthouse in London ( Aids hospice ) back in the 80's because of jealousy and resentment - and many have envied my passion and envied my commitment to do WHAT I WANTED TO DO and not what someone else wanted - expected - demanded - and I was and still am, a free agent doing what I want and not what others tell me to do.


I made the money to buy Hamilton Hall through years of hard work.


No one helped me.


I do not have a boss.


I do not have a financial partner.


I do not have anyone telling me what to do, in any way at all, unless I ask friends for help and then, I know they are here for me for the right reasons and not just out of petty jealousy.


I do as I want, offer what I want, say what I want and do as I want.


PERIOD.


And that just riles some people who absolutely hate me and my lifestyle while bad mouthing me and my venue relentlessly. Personally, I see it as being quite sad for them. I have what they want. I live the life they envy.


BUT GUESS WHAT -


I AM STILL HERE AFTER 23 YEARS

and in ALL of that time, we have covered our costs, never made a loss, never needed financial help from the bank while offering dozens and dozens of free holidays to those in need and in all of that time, I have not taken a wage at all, and other than my board and lodgings, all monies are applied back into Hamilton Hall and our free holidays.


While some slag us off;- many adore.

While some envy;- some assist.

While some resist;- others move forward with a smile.


Despite all these groups being run by committees, which slows everything down to a crawl;- and while those committee members stay true for a couple of years or for as long as the attention it garners is positive;- almost no one is in it for the long term, the decades of working hard as a volunteer, running events for no wage - offering a service for free and even paying for things for others out of their own pocket.


Many want praise for everything they do.

Many see it as their journey and not what they can do to assist others.

Many are selfish and self centred and is all about themselves and not those they are supposedly helping.

MANY who volunteer do so for all the right and genuine reasons but sadly, there are many who do it for the fame, the attention, the adoration and the ability to brag about how much they do, what they offer, and aren't they wonderful human beings;- When yes, they are, but it would be so much better if they kept their gobs shut and just got on with the work and didn't make such a big thing out of it and be humble about it all.


It seems this is uncommon as many want the fame and glory.


Such as it is.


But who cares for fame and glory when there are people in need and a community fragmented by nastiness from within.

Hamilton Hall is still here - still in the same owners hands and management as it was the day I - John Bellamy - took hold of the keys and created this wonderous venue that has been such a part of the gay culture for almost a quarter of a century, and to them who hoped we would fail, and to those who envy and resent,

WE ARE STILL HERE,

FINANCIALLY STABLE,

BUILDING REFURBISHED AS NEW,

NEW CAMPERVAN FOR SPECIAL EVENTS,

BRILLIANT STAFF AND FRIENDLY IN-HOUSE RESIDENTS,

WONDEROUS NEW AND FRIENDLY DOG ( Elle )


and despite those who oppose, we will be here for a few more years yet and still offering free holidays to those in need ;- Still doing what tens of thousands appreciate:- Still offering the ONLY BLOG / NEWSLETTER to be freely offered throughout the Covid Lockdown and where we did not hibernate like most groups and committees who showed no care for their members;- AND WE ARE MUCH LOVED AND APPRECIATED - and that is what keeps me going for all these years, the love and compassion shared by you.


Thanks guys.


John Bellamy


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