Peter Stringfellow, noted lap dancing club owner, has died aged 77 of lung cancer.
He started his career is nightclub management in 1962 in Sheffield. He started by renting St. Aidan's Church Hall in Sheffield every Friday night, operating the Black Cat Club, booking some notable bands at the time. He worked his way upwards
with ever bigger nightclubs featuring ever more famous bands.
n 1986, he opened Stringfellow's New York which was frequented by New York celebrities. In 1989, he opened Stringfellow's Miami, and then Stringfellow's Los Angeles in 1990.
In 1990, Stringfellow introduced table dancing to his New York club with a licensing deal with Michael J. Peters. This became Stringfellow's Presents Pure Platinum. In 1996, Cabaret of Angels, a table-side dancing club was opened for three nights
a week at Stringfellow's Covent Garden.
In 2006, Stringfellow opened his second adult entertainment club named Angels in Wardour Street, Soho. He was the first club owner to gain a fully nude licence from Westminster City Council. In 2009, he criticised the Policing and Crime Act 2009,
saying the licensing changes with regards to lap dancing were unnecessary and he would be appealing to the European Court of Human Rights if his current licences were not renewed.
In 2012, he was granted the necessary Sexual entertainment venues (SEV) Licence for Stringfellow's Covent Garden and Angels Soho, and was able to successfully market Angels as providing rooms for the entertainment in privacy of young women in
Stringfellow's Covent Garden is still operating and will continue to feature table side dancing.
Lap dancing clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas numbers in England have fallen by a third in the past five years.
The BBC England Data Unit sent Freedom of Information requests to all local councils responsible for issuing sex establishment licences with 281 out of 327 responding to how many they had issued. The total number of ex establishment licences
issued by councils dropped from 386 in 2013 to 256 in 2018.
The figures reveal the number of sex establishment licences rose between 2011 and 2013 as lap dancing clubs had to apply for new licences after the introduction of the Police and Crime Act 2009. Previously, such clubs had been regulated under
laws designed to control pubs and nightclubs. Since 2013 the number of active licences has declined every year.
The data supplied by local authorities shows no major city in England has seen an increase in the number of sexual entertainment licences since 2013.
They also suggest the number of active licences has fallen by two-thirds in London. The local authority area of Westminster which takes in Soho, an area synonymous with the British sex industry, has seen the biggest fall in the number of active
licences, from 31 in 2013 to four at the beginning of 2018.
Westminster Council has shut down the Windmill table dancing club after an anonymous feminist group hired private detectives to snitch on no touch rules being broken for private dnances.
The club has 21 days to appeal.
The Windmill is a relic of the area's colourful past as it was previously the venue hosted a long running erotic show.
The Sun visited The Windmill this week to find its glory days are long gone. Low lighting hides stained carpets and scuffed leather seats. On the stage, Eastern European dancers swayed moodily to music. The Sun noted that a private dance costs
£40, and a bottle of Becks beer £8.
Offsite Comment: putting women out of work is about the most un-feminist thing possible.
I've been dancing in strip clubs since 2006, and I query the method and motives behind campaigns to shut down clubs. Closing down a venue may feel like a victory to those who champion the abolition of the industry, but taking work away from
women relying on it is tantamount to taking food from our mouths. Thousands of girls who otherwise have less value in the wider job market (foreign nationals, single mums, anyone with any sort of disadvantaged background) are turning to stripping
and other forms of sex work to survive. According to the English Collective of Prostitutes, record numbers have moved into the sex industry under austerity, which disproportionately affects women, particularly single mothers. In fact, putting
women out of work is about the most un-feminist thing possible.
The move against Windmill Club came after a women's rights group complained the club was breaching conditions banning physical contact between dancers and clients.
The group had hired former police officers to collect evidence and one of them described how a dancer rubbed herself up and down on him and touched him intimately. He also said the dancer paid the security guard 2£10 to look the other way.
The Soho Society said it was concerned women working for the Windmill may end up in a working environment where they are even more vulnerable than they are at present.
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