Saturday, 17 August 2013

Cynthia Payne - Infamous Hostess

This woman came to national prominence in the 1970`s & 80`s when she faced charges of running a brothel.  She was jailed but later had the sentence reduced on appeal.  Cynthia Payne was born in Bognor Regis in West Sussex on 24th December 1932, but there is long gaps in her life where much is unknown.  She ran parties at her house in Ambleside Avenue, in Streatham, in South London.  Here, it was said that you could have a girl, meal and a drink, and pay in luncheon vouchers.  This later gave way to headlines that the British tabloids are famous for.

    The Police had sent undercover officers in.  I recall seeing the photos of the two officers in newspapers.  One posed a gentleman farmer with typical muttonchop sideburns, the other dressed foppish and wore makeup. In a raid, one person arrested was Monty Python star Terry Jones.  He said he was researching a film.  He did make a film about Cynthia Payne called "Personal Services" starring Julie Walters, as like Pete Townshend who, notoriously, was caught subscribing to a child porn site.  Townshend said he was using the material to research a book about child abuse.  He did write a book abut child abuse.

    Cynthia Payne was convicted for running a brothel and sentenced to eighteen months jail.  This was reduced on appeal to six months jail and a fine.  Later, she ran for Parliament twice, to try to alter the sex laws in this country.  The laws have changed over the years because of what you can buy in adult shops though the extreme end of porn is still outlawed.  Cynthia`s career as a hostess ended after her arrests, but what harm did she do to anybody?   You would always get the "outraged" cops busting her but if you wanted to see the bluest of blue films, there was never a better organisation than the Police!