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Thursday 19 June 2003 4.22pm
The legal capacity of entertainment venues is set by the number, distance to, and width of available fire exits rather than the available area. This is so that in the event of fire or other emergency the venue can be evacuated in an acceptable time.
The capacity was 300 before the Sheridans took over, and remains so.

Thursday 19 June 2003 6.46pm
Mel exaggerates by saying that I am "a photographer for the Sheridans' web sites". In fact, take photos at fetish clubs around the world, have taken several of the Sheridans and gave them copies as a courtesy, as I would for anyone.

Of course I have interviewed the Sheridans in my magazine. They are quite a news story - that's why we are discussing them here. That's what magazines are for.

The Sheridans are welcome to advertise in my magazines until and unless I have good reason why they should not. So is anyone else. I'm not censoring them without good reason

If that is what you call a "connection", then I am "connected" to hundreds of similar business across Europe and the USA. After all, they take ads in my magazines and I take photos at their clubs. Didn't realise I was so well-connected!

What a load of bull. In fact, of course, Mel seeks to imply by innuendo that I am some sort of stooge of the Sheridans. The truth is I have no great knowledge of them, but wish to see fair play. Having followed this thread for a while, I see no prospect of it here - this is largely a witch-hunt. Any reasonable person would tend towards the Sheridans' side of the case after reading these posts

Mel accuses Wicked of deception over their legal capacity. This is a serious point but, given Mel's form so far, how do we know whether to place any reliance on what he/she says? Is it more unsubstantiated rumour, or what?

Someone wishing to be known as 'Nemesis' also make some accusations above, concerning Dick Becker. Again, this would be an interesting point. But the impact is lessened because of the poor quality of the debate. Maybe it's just more bull?

For example, in the recent diversion into fox-hunting, someone called 'Mapmaker' says that i 'clearly have no experience of foxhunting' . How odd, since my dislike of hunting comes after a childhood in the country and riding with the local hunts. Mapmaker has lost the way, I think.

Having never used this form of communication before, it's sad to find that such a lot of it is just made up by people who should get out more. A pity, since the basic issue around Wicked and the anti-sex brigade is a serious one

Tim Woodward
Thursday 19 June 2003 7.04pm
Referring to the last post.

I am sorry that the debate in my earlier post is considered of poor quality to Tim Woodward.

The points concerning the Sheridans and Mr Becker are drawn from public record and fact - no debate there - rather like the maximum capacity of the premises. Similarly no debate about the hard and fast rules and regulations concerning venue safety.

I am surprised you do not recall these from your own club days, no matter how long ago they were.

I think you have more than established your non-connection with the Sheridans and made very clear the fact that you are not their patsy.

Strange though that you seem to be the one holding forth on their behalf while they remain silent.


Friday 20 June 2003 9.44am

I think you should be careful with your stones and your glass house.

On the subject of evidence, we're still waiting for your evidence that foxhunting is cruel. Your contention that it is cruel becuase a dead animal is ripped apart is clearly nonsense as you haven't defended it. Yes, it's a bit messy, but so it butchering a large steak!

Correlating ripping apart a dead animal and cruelty is clear evidence of inexperience!
Friday 20 June 2003 11.38am
Tim says "Mel accuses Wicked of deception over their legal capacity. This is a serious point but, given Mel's form so far, how do we know whether to place any reliance on what he/she says? Is it more unsubstantiated rumour, or what?"

It is a serious accusation, it is also true.

The legal capacity at Wicked is 300. This is the first condition on the Public Entertainment Licence which, as required, is displayed in the foyer at the venue.

There was (it has now been removed) a notice outside the venue falsely stating the capacity to be 500.

The wicked website still falsely claims that the capacity is 300 for the Cyberzone plus 300, soon to be 350, for the Gothic Arches; it is wrong, the site limit is 300.

I have also been accused of going off topic by bring up this matter. I don't agree. The Sheridans claim that if granted their sex licence they can be trusted to operate in a legal a sympathetic manner. Why should we believe that they will change?

Friday 20 June 2003 11.49am
Am I alone in finding this quote from Mr Sheridan rather telling?

"All I want to do is clear up any confusion so I don't have to keep looking over my shoulder when we open the club."
(quoted in the South London Press last month)

Why would he have to "look over his shoulder" if his club was 100% legit at the moment?

I might be reading too much into it, but I just found that interesting bearing in mind some of what has been said in this thread.
Wednesday 25 June 2003 2.58pm
Apparently wicked or occurences there are being invetigated by the police. I have heard this from three separete sources, which is indicative of them being more than rumours. Does the Dean of Southwark know this I wonder?
Wednesday 25 June 2003 6.55pm
Having just returned to London after living for many years all over Europe, last 8 years in Amsterdam, I am astounded and shocked how little this Country.....and particularly this City has changed in it's attitudes.... or more precisely those small minded individuals opposing this or any such club in this debate.

I am not into fetish things persay, haven't tried it ... but believe that people should be able to have places where they can express themselves whether it be in a sexual or any other way.

As I couldn't believe that women at my gym here still get dressed under their towels and they still have single sex saunas, I cannot believe some of the objections in this so called debate..... these are obviously people who are so hung up with their own sexuality that they wish to prevent others from enjoying their's.

I know everyone thinks of Amsterdam only for it's red light district, drugs and coffee shop culture, but that is a tiny part of a beautiful city, and ironically the majority of visitor's to that area are British tourists pointing and giggling... usually after too much intoxicating substances.... and then when they get back start complaining about things which really aren't hurting anyone just because it offends them..... no-one forces you to go..... and as far as I can tell there's more explicite material in every telephone booth in London than any club flyer's!

And as for it being next to a Cathedral, better that people can express themselves amongst consenting adults..... unlike a lot of men of the so called cloth who have been known to get up to rather more worrying activities behind closed doors!

Also I know we'll never be as tolerant as the Dutch but there's even a fetish club in the catacombs of an old Church in the centre of Amsterdam.

Over the years I have found myself apologising or feeling embarraced at being English, either for our behaviour abroad or our archaic attitudes... I had hoped that London as our capital would prove to be more cosmopolitan in it's attitudes.... how wrong can one be.

If you don't like what may or may not happen in these clubs then please just stop thinking about it..... what you don't know ... really doesn't hurt you! (imagination is a much more dangerous thing!)

If you feel offended by it's existance don't pay it any attention, you'll soon forget its there.

And finally please can we try not to be a country who is ridiculed over Europe for being so sexually uptight and yet we have the highest rate of teenage pregnancies..... if we all just got over it and were more open about sex, nudity etc... perhaps we can except and tolerate each others differences!

Thursday 26 June 2003 9.23am
"SM activity is an illegal assault if it results in marks or injuries which are more than transient and trifling." That view of the UK law was made by the Law Lords (1994) and upheld by the European Court in Strasbourg (1997). Recent attempts have been made to legalise SM sex by suggesting amendments to The Sexual Offences Reform Bill currently making its passage through parliament. So far these have all been rejected.

I will readily accept however that just because an activity is illegal that doesn't necessarily mean that it is wrong. It was only very recently that discrimination against homosexuals on the age of consent was corrected. Unjust discrimination continues still against gay clergy, though at least some of the church hierarchy in SE1 seem rather more enlightened.

I don't accept that I am either sexually repressed or small-minded.
You misunderstand me if you think I am advocating opposition to Wicked just because sex is taking place in the venue; that is not something that particularly disturbs me. My opposition is based on a deep dislike of mixing sex with violence, a view I have tried to express in earlier posts. I don't agree with the sentiment of "if you don't like it ignore it."

SM activity is illegal and therefore I do not understand how the council can even contemplate granting licenses to regulate it. Let alone grant further licences to a couple who already openly flout almost all the conditions currently imposed on them.

Thursday 26 June 2003 10.22am
An excellent point, Mel. Whilst I might be liberal enough to

& therein lies the peculiarity of:

Disliking foxhunting which is a legal pursuit, undertaken otherwise than behind closed doors and in a spirit of openness and welcoming all.

Whilst supporting & promoting & excusing as a liberal trendy pursuit those various illegal activities described above which are undertaken in secret.

I don't pretend to understand - and that whole issue of consent is a red herring: you cannot consent for instance to a duel or to be murdered.
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