1980’s Britain – Sex shop survey

Residents of Skipton surveyed

A chain of sex shops was looking to identify ‘consensus’ towns to enable it to increase its chain of 100 shops.

This was to avoid the problems it faced in Barnsley when the front door if its brand new store had superglue piped into the lock and was picketed by local residents.

The shop was opposite a school and next to an old people’s home. A local man explained the opposition: ‘The Barnsley miner is a puritan at heart. He may go out, drink 15 pints and go home and beat his wife, but he is still a puritan.’

The sex chain’s retail director asked the residents of Skipton to take part in a consultation by writing to the local newspaper’s letter pages. A selection of letters opposed the opening.

A spokesman said: ‘People who write to newspapers are often members of religious or feminine groups. Those who want a sex shop don’t like to put their names and addresses on a letter to the editor’.

Nevertheless in Bedford 80% of the ‘hundreds and hundreds’ who wrote in to the editor were in favour of a sex shop. In St Albans there was outright hostility. The results from Skipton are not in.