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In the forties my grandad used to come and stay with us from his home in a rural idyllic Cheshire village and I remember that he used to disappear for one night each time he came to stay and no one knew where he had gone. He was about 70. One night my dad followed him and watched him sneaking into The Olympia in Bulwell Market where they had strippers on. I believe it was a music hall but have very little other knowledge except that at my tender age of about 7/8 it was the only place I knew that could be described as sleazy. Of course in those days strippers were not allowed to move.

I recall walking home from common ragshop school and laying on the steps of the Olympia to see under the slips of paper the management had placed strategically on the photos to hide the strippers breasts so that they didnt break the law on indecent exposure.

I remember The Olympia closing down with the advent of TV and the theatre becoming Woolworths which it still is. Anyone know if it had any other names or if it was always a theatre or was is it initially one of the multitudinous number of cinemas in the city.

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I had a somewhat lecherous distant Uncle who was also a regular Olympia patron.

Such was his enthusiasm for the stripshow that the bus journey from his Beeston Rylands home was not a problem.....he travelled to Bulwell Market on the hourly Barton 32 (remember that?) which took an amazing route from Mount Street taking in Beeston, Chilwell, Cator Lane, Cow Lane, Hemlock Stone, Coventry? Lane, Bilborough, Broxtowe Lane, Bells Lane then on to its Bulwell terminus.

In those post war austerity years it was fuelled by some peculiar type of 'red diesel', which made such a stench that it hung around for about 10 minutes after the bus had passed!

These static strip shows were severely controlled by not only national regulations, but by the notorious local Watch Committees.

Manned by elderly local worthies - who were usually more lecherous than the punters - they decreed what was, and what was not, acceptable.

Obviously, their authority involved the Watch Committee members enduring regular visits to the shows....


Robt P.

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