SU POLLARD led a parade of LGBT folk through Bournemouth town centre while in a Bentley Continental. 

This was how the annual wacky, wonderful and fabulous Bourne Free pride event kicked off for 2023 on Saturday, July 8. 

Starting in East Overcliff Drive, a parade featuring LGBT people from all sorts of Dorset organisations (including emergency services, care homes, banks, supermarkets and more) took to the streets. 

The grey skies didn’t dampen this rainbow as the convoy headed through Westover Road before eventually arriving at Meyrick Park.


Speaking to the Daily Echo ahead of the parade, star of sitcom Hi-de-Hi! Su said: “I absolutely love Bournemouth because I started my early career here in about 1974. 

“I have a real affinity for Bournemouth and I love the place... to me it has always been the Riviera of Britain and it is just lovely and it’s always warm. 

“Of course, I absolutely love pride; it is absolutely essential for people, whether they’re inclusive, exclusive, diversity, it means a lot. 

“I love to support people that sometimes maybe feel left out and they shouldn’t be so that is why I have come here, basically.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Pride parade 2023Pride parade 2023 (Image: Richard Crease)

Chris Ashton, chairman of Bourne Free, said: “Bourne Free is Bournemouth’s pride festival, which is a celebration of equality, diversity and inclusion in Dorset. 

“We have 1,000 on the parade, over 100 vehicles, led by Su Pollard, the legend that was in Hi-de-Hi! And it is us celebrating us being visual in our community. 

“Dorset is quite an inclusive county and we are lucky to live here, however hate crime went up by 33 per cent this year – that's why it is still important to have pride. 

“We need to be visual because we give people a platform to talk about equality, diversity and inclusion.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Pride parade 2023Pride parade 2023 (Image: Richard Crease)

David Kelsey, attending the parade, said: “This parade means a lot to people of my age and even more to younger people. 

“It’s really good to come out and celebrate equality with the help of the council and celebrate it within Bournemouth.” 

Set up in 2004 by members of the LGBT community, the event is held to celebrate and promote equality along with and the town’s diversity.