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A tribute to Peter Stringfellow

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A tribute to Peter Stringfellow 7th June 2018

Peter Stringfellow was probably one of our most memorable speakers.  He joined us at the National Training Conference in November 2015, and it was great to hear from him about his career which started in In 1962, when he rented St. Aidan's Church Hall in Sheffield every Friday night, operating the Black Cat Club. Several bands played in the club, such as the Pursuers, Dave Berry and the Cruisers, Johnny Tempest and the Cadillacs and from London, Screaming Lord Sutch, the Savages, Count Lindsay and Gene Vincent.  In 1963, a booking for the Beatles was so popular, he rented the Azena Ballroom in Sheffield.

From then on his career involved multiple venues playing live music, disco and combining both in venues based in America as well as the UK, but he is probably best known for his adult entertainment clubs which started in 1990.  He was the first club owner to gain a fully nude licence from Westminster City Council, and 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

IoL Director, Susanna FitzGerald QC said:

"He was an iconic figure, very charming and generous, and with a real perspicacity about people.  He had a colourful life, and was a shrewd businessman being the pioneer of table dancing in this country, taking the American model and changing it to suit Britain.  His cabaret of Angels in St Martin’s Lane was the first table dancing licence to be granted in the country.  He was one of the best witnesses I have ever known and a most engaging person to work with, insisting that the girls’ dancing was just “soft” and so innocuous.  He is a real loss to the hospitality industry, and the whole country."

IoL Chairman,  Daniel Davies said:

“On behalf of the IoL, we are saddened to hear about the passing of Peter Stringfellow. They called him the ‘King of Clubs’ for a reason; he was a pioneer of the late-night economy who inspired so many entrepreneurs to follow in his footsteps – me included. I first met Peter over 20 years ago, and I feel privileged to have interviewed him on two separate occasions. He was a true gentleman – always full of energy and passion. Our condolences go out to Peter’s family and friends.”

IoL Patron, Philip Kolvin QC said:

"Peter was a born raconteur, great company and a charismatic leader in his field. Whatever your views of his sexual politics, he will take his place in the history books as a man who drove a conversation about the place of sexual entertainment in urban environments."

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