Your host at
Sometimes known as Basil or Sybil Fawlty.
Sometimes as Homer Simpson.
It all depends on the day.
Your host at Hamilton Hall is John Bellamy,
who originates from Bournemouth although moved away at the age of 16 and spent the first 8 years living on Guernsey in the Channel Isles with his first lover who was 25 years older than John. They owned and ran a large and popular hotel and tea room on the island and John grew use to being around and helping older people.
After over 8 years together, they split and John was left penniless, badly let down by his lover financially, yet as John always had the ability to 'fall on his feet', it was not long before he was living with his next lover in the United States of America with extended periods on various Hawaiian Islands or in Mexico and travelled extensively during this period.
Psychology - Body Energies and Massage Techniques / Bereavement & Addictions Therapy and an assortment of courses followed and enjoyed in order to grow as a human being and as John had interests in many things, and continues to this day to have an 'enquiring mind. '
At 30 years of age, his relationship with his partner in the USA came to an abrupt end and he found himself - once again - broke, homeless and almost destitute. Having lived a very rich lifestyle in the USA, it was a hard landing coming back ' down to earth with a bump' and yet John knew his destiny.
At 27 he had had an out of body experience and this had showed him the way forward - he joined an escort agency as he knew this was to be his destiny - plus he could make some good money quickly.
He soon became a leading light in the London escort scene and as London was, and still is, the centre of the sex industry in Europe, John quickly rose to become one of the best sex workers for men in Europe.
During his time as a sex worker in London - 15 years in all, he was involved in all sorts of weird and wonderful things, specialized in the heavier sexual experiences and saw tens of thousands of clients and remained negative to all STD's throughout, which is testemant to how well he ran his business. Sensibly.
He also created an escort agency called 30PLUS - employing hundreds of escorts OVER the age of 30 - 'men not boys' - as he would say, and this proved to be hugely popular and busy.
Going from destitute to prostitute, - renting a flat he eventually bought off the landlord , he then bought a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom terrace house in Hammersmith and he was doing very well indeed. He was always legal had a book keeper, accountant and even declared his income and paid tax - which is very unusual for someone involved in the sex industry.
( Did you know that the illegal drug monies and sex industry monies are included in the GDP of the UK. So while they claim it to be illagel income - the government includes in in our GDP... amazing huh...)
As a volunteer - he also hosted and ran 'The London Gay Naturist Group' for around 3 years, hosting dozens of events and writing and editing their news magazine.
As a volunteer again, he was the editor of 'STRETCH' magazine for a non profit organisation and provided buddy work for guys with HIV who needed an extra hand, a lift in the car and whatever he could do to help others.
Always 'putting something back' into a community that John felt lacked some soul.
He was a voluntary Bereavement Therapist with the Lesbian & Gay Bereavement Project for 3 years.
Then he started his own GAY SPIRITUAL GROUP and this proved hugely popular with hundreds of members, scores of events at his house and eventually culminated in him renting the London University Students Union Building, twice, in 1998 and 1999 to host CONNECTIONS - 2 massive spiritual workshop days for up to 300 people with 28 different workshops provided by an assortment of world class facilitators, and with a lunch and everything, these were the beginning of gay spirituality coming ' out of the closet'.
He produced ' The Pink Path' monthly newsletter for GSG members.
Eventually a new calling beckoned and after a great deal of soul searching - he closed his escort agency and sold his London home in late 1999, returning to Bournemouth where he grew up and left almost 30 years prior - and after a very long journey, full of the usual stresses of selling and buying property, he bought Hamilton Hall Retirement Home and converted it back into a hotel, and after a 4 month renovation programme which saw the entire venue re-done from top to bottom - he opened in July 2000.
Opening as a Spiritual retreat for the gay world, it has evolved over the years and as he says it is for : -
and as a Not For Profit Venue and where he has only ever received expences and not a regular wage.
Hamilton Hall has proven to be a bit like Marmite, you either love it - or hate it - or more to the point, everyone loves Hamilton Hall - it is John who admits to being the one you either love or hate, and as he says, it really is up to others what they feel and not him to adapt and be what others want him to be and this Marrianne Williams quote below rings very true -
Marianne Williamson web site HERE
Having written and published numerous newsletters and magazines as a volunteer, he also produced a quarterly magazine with 10,000 copies called ' The Vine' - on spiritual issues up and down the south coast, and having been on many charity boards and helped run various self help groups and been on several committees, he decided that Hamilton Hall was to be run by a Benign Dictator, - himself naturally,- as it was far easier than working with others who slow things down and where many who have nothing to add, just want to add something to hear their own voice and all it does is irritate. It slows proceedings down and create havoc, so John works alone and it suits him and it seems to suit his business.
The LGBT Community as a whole is not very supportive of its own. Some of the smaller groups help each other but the cohesion between most organisations is almost non existant and every time John tried working with other organisations, be it the Elton John Foundation - Terrence Higgins Trust, and several others over the years, the level of incompetance offered and the level of complete and utter disrespect offered to a volunteer offering masses to the community for free, has been an eye opener for John and brought to light the warnings given to him by friends who had decades ago ran gay venues.
Bryan Derbyshire - publisher and gay rights campaigner - who was loved and hated - much as John is and for much the same reasons, warned John decades ago that there would always be those who would resent - are jealous - envious and bitter because their own lives have not been as open and as free - and this is common within the LGBT community, and hard to take when it is those offering nothing at all - who are bitching those who work hard for no wage - and it does create disharmony.
Appearing in Channel 4's ' THREE IN A BED' won many new fans, actually over 4 million watched the initial broadcast and he received tens of thousands of e mails from all over the world praising how he had dealt with the homophobic bully who shared the programme with him, and how well he handled himself in front of the camera, and put this man in his place with kindness and thought.
John is single and other than his dog, sleeps alone and is quite happy with it that way. Turning 62 this last April ( 2017 ) he is enjoying his maturing years and while he is full of life and energy - he is creating a future for himself and sharing it with others - and never having had any time alone throughout his life - even being an identical twin - John's future at Hamilton Hall looks bright and it is hoped all those who choose to live here have bright days and restful nights as well.
sexual, self and spiritual development of mind, body and soul of men
As John says - life is too short to be miserable - to be jealous and resentful of others - to see everything as half empty all the time - and he loves to laugh, loves to share the fun and enjoys those who smile and cheer each day just by being there.
While there are days when he feels like one of the cast in the TV programme GRUMPY OLD MEN - he does work hard at 'keeping his pecker up' and fighting against this negative world we live in - and admits at times it is hard going. But at the end of the day, he loves every minute.
Having first had the idea of a Community Living space for gay men decades ago in his 20's - he is thrilled that it is now coming to fruition.
He is not pleased, necessarily - at being old enough to need it - ha ha - as we all know how quickly the years fly by and suddenly you are the old fart who gets offered the seat on the bus - yet he is enjoying playing at being the older man and being there for others more 'in need' and together - making a future of fun and laughter where we can all enjoy our old age and if and when that day comes - we can go with a big fat ( careful.... ) smile on our face.
Copyright 2017 © John Bellamy & Hamilton Hall Promotions. All Rights Reserved