The Log Books podcast explores the UK's LGBTQ+ history through the handwritten archives of Switchboard and the stories of those who have lived through these times. Switchboard is a helpline for anyone who wants to talk about sexuality, gender identity, emotional well-being and sexual health. Since the charity began in 1974 to 2003, volunteers kept detailed notes in these physical log books, as a way to communicate amongst each other, providing the latest information and sharing the themes of the calls they were taking.
These notes make up dozens of thick, messy log books that were re-discovered by Tash Walker when they were archived by Switchboard at Bishopsgate Institute in 2015. In 2019, Tash joined up with Adam Zmith and Shivani Dave to make a unique podcast. Their aim was to tell the stories in the log books and bring them back to life through the memories of people who lived this queer history. The first two seasons of The Log Books podcast covers the period 1974 to 1991, and includes stories collected from more than 50 contributors talking about everything from nightlife to housing, from discrimination and HIV/AIDS, from censorship to migration.
The Log Books was named Best New Podcast (Gold) at the British Podcast Awards 2020, is five-star rated on Apple and has been featured in The Observer and the Guardian, Esquire, Diva Magazine, Boyz Magazine, on BBC Radio Hour, History Hit with Dan Snow and the Pod Bible podcast.
Tash Walker is a Co-Chair of Switchboard and podcast/radio producer. Tash has brought the charity’s log books to light through archiving at Bishopsgate Institute, talks during LGBT History Month, and media interviews. She is also the Co-Founder of Get In Her Ears, an organization set up to promote womxn and non-binary people in music.
Adam Zmith is a writer and podcaster. He is a London Writers Awardee (2019-20), the literature programmer for Fringe!, east London’s queer film and arts fest, and a volunteer at Diversity Role Models. He is formerly a journalist and social media editor.