George Montague: Brighton bus named after 'oldest gay rights campaigner'

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Image caption,
George Montague was a well-known figure at Brighton Pride parades over many years but he passed away earlier this year

A bus has been named after Brighton's self-proclaimed "oldest gay in the village", activist George Montague.

Mr Montague, who died earlier this year aged 98, was a well-known figure among the city's gay community.

He fought for and won an apology from the government after his criminal conviction under the Sexual Offences Act was repealed.

Ed Wills, managing director at Brighton & Hove Buses, said the company was "proud" to honour a local hero.

The recognition coincides with Brighton Pride, which is being held at the weekend.

Image caption,
The George Montague plaque was unveiled at Brighton Pride on Saturday

Mr Montague was a well-known part of the event, riding his rainbow-draped mobility scooter at the parade.

Mr Wills said: "We are proud to support Brighton's brilliant and diverse LGBTQ+ community by honouring a local hero such as George."

Mr Montague passed away next to his husband, Somchai Phukkhlai.

He said: "This is such a wonderful way to honour George. He loved the Pride parade, and people loved seeing him part of it. Now he can continue to be remembered every year.

"The bus also runs past my house, so I can now look out for it every day."

Mr Montague's daughter, Paula Farrow, said the family were "extremely proud".

Brighton Pride was cancelled two years running due to Covid-19. US singer Christina Aguilera will headline the event on Saturday, while Brit award-winning Paloma Faith is to perform on Sunday.

A spokesperson for Brighton & Hove pride said: "George Montague was one of the highlights of our annual LGBTQ+ community parade and always got huge cheers wherever he went."

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