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London Bridge 'gory scenes' petition

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Friday 23 October 2009 11.37am
Signatories include Canon Andrew Nunn, sub dean of Southwark Cathedral, who writes: "The glorification of horror and the concept of suffering as entertainment make these places a scandal."

Over the top? They might be a nuisance but glorifying horror and suffering!
I'm sure Southwark Cathedral has depictions of a man nailed to a cross and being scourged.
And I assume Canon Nunn would also find the Clink, the Tower, Madame Tussauds and other such places as offensively 'glorifying horror' and 'a scandal'.
Friday 23 October 2009 11.57am
Andrew Nunn is clearly silly but I have seen LBE chasing children into the road so they do need to be contolled. The London Dungeon is a customer of my services but as a local I do wish they were more invisible. I am puzzled why they're targeted by the petition though. I'm not sure a couple of students stood at the entrance with fake blood on their faces is terrifying. The school kids pay no attention.
Friday 23 October 2009 12.06pm
Primary school kids pay a lot of attention and are genuinely frightened by it. Apart from that, all the props, sound effects and other tat make Tooley Street look really tacky, cheap and downmarket - reminds me of the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street.
Friday 23 October 2009 12.27pm
emmab, have you seen primary school kids scared by the Dungeon? I've stood at the entrance for long periods and never seen it but if you have I'll let them know.
Friday 23 October 2009 1.09pm
i agree that it is a tad tacky but it is of benefit generally to the local area - think of the amount of business it brings in and, to be fair, it is generally contained around the immediate surrounds. Clink Street is a bit of a pain these days as it is always rammed full of people but I generally think it's good for the area. Let us not forget that the Dungeon has been there for at least 20 years although I think the marketing efforts of the LBE have been stepped up a gear since the recent dispute wlth London Dungeon but I generally avoid London Bridge station so the effect is minimal. I can't see what the big deal is to be honest.
Friday 23 October 2009 1.34pm
I agree with Andrew Nunn's comments, but he's not asking that these enterprises be shut down. He's asking that the publicity stunts of mock executions be shutdown. Just yesterday I thoughtlessly scared a 10yo guest by joking about it with her as we went by.

For myself I love the idea of a gory rivalry between the 2 businesses, escalating into a murder spree as the employees of each are hilariously dispatched in episodes of grand guignol. It turns out that the real murderer is the Archbishop of Southwark who secretly covets the premises for a chain of lapdancing emporia. Heads on London Bridge, brothels in Southwark....just like old times.
Friday 23 October 2009 1.46pm
Any chance of a petition to control the huge queues that get in the way of people walking down the road and trying to get in/out of London Bridge Station....a much more needy cause IMHO.
Friday 23 October 2009 1.57pm
I last went to the London Dungeon about 2 months ago , and to be honest during the tour of the place . It seemed the kids loved it whilst most of there parents were the ones that were screaming !!!!
Friday 23 October 2009 2.47pm
I don't think kids can distinguish fantasy from reality till their about 5,6 or older.

If we walk past with my daughter then I try to do it with the miniumum of fuss - but she does take a look (where's all that noise coming from?) and shrinks back into the pram. Just because she doesn't scream out - doesn't mean that she isn't scared.

The FAQ section on the LBE site states "Children aged 4 and under are given free entry to The London Bridge Experience...."

No thanks
Friday 23 October 2009 2.53pm
Frankly, that these businesses operate in Southwark is one thing but the way they drum up business is in my opinion questionable.

Firstly, I doubt that a mock execution by guillotine is the first thing we want visitors in Southwark to see. I think few people will disagree with me when I say that the animations are generally noisy and tacky. They probably do not present our Borough in the most favorable light to say the least…

Secondly, it must also be said that some of the staff touting their wares can be quite persistent, sometimes on the verge of being pushy. It's my personal experience speaking here. That's why I think many passersby avoid the actors, not out of fear but simply because they can't be bothered to listen to the same sales pitch again and again.

When you think of it, what the London Dungeon is doing is quite extraordinary. Imagine the chaos that would arise if all the shops along Borough High Street or Tooley Street decided to adopt the same aggressive marketing technique.

Finally, I also wonder how effective these actions really are? I do not recall any mock guillotine at the entrance of Madame Tussaud, yet it seems to be doing quite well as a business. I sincerely believe that these animations are a cost to our community in terms of noise, nuisances and disruptions. But the question remains: how many people does their staff actually persuade to join on a whim the long queues at the entrance of their premises? After all, if the benefits to our Bourough outweigh the costs, why not?

Yet, I believe that there are actually only very few people who jump out of boredom into the Tube, randomly exit at London Bridge (of all stations) and suddenly realize thanks to the antics of a few students in garish clothes and with fake blood, that they could have an enjoyable time in one of Southwark horror houses. On the contrary, I think most of the visitors if not all came to visit the London Dungeon on purpose. This means that all these animations actually bring nothing and are a net loss to the area.

I understand that the London Dungeon was there 20 years ago and that these animations may have been justified then. Yet, 20 years is a long time and the area has changed dramatically in the meantime. The London Dungeon is well established. Maybe now would be a good time to change marketing strategy.
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