Even if you’ve never been there, you will almost certainly have heard of Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Well it is world famous, but quite why it should stand head and shoulders above similar districts elsewhere is unclear.
However if new plans go ahead, it soon will be as plans are afoot to move the whole area into a new 5-storey “erotic centre”!
This is all the “brainchild” of the city’s first female mayor, FEMKE HALSEMA and has come about following decisions by the government of Amsterdam as part of an effort to cleanse the city’s image as a capital of debauchery, and stop tourists arriving only for the city’s drugs, alcohol, and sex trade.
Well good luck with that then!
Sex workers have traditionally been on show fronting windows for the benefit of passers-by in the De Wallen district, closing the curtains only when they are actually with a client.
But now tours of the Red Light District have been banned in an effort to prevent overcrowding and also because authorities don’t consider it appropriate for tourists to leer at sex workers.
And now the city’s first female mayor Femke Halsema has announced plans to build the Erotic Centre – complete with offices, rooms for workers as well as bars and restaurants with an expressed aim of improving the lives of sex workers and clamp down on organised crime.
“I hope it’s possible to create an erotic centre that has some class and distinction and isn’t a place where only petty criminals and the most vulnerable women gather,” said the mayor!
And for a complete change of direction, in the second hour of today’s show, Margaret Mills took us well away from Amsterdam to a pub in Wanstead.
But not just any pub, but specifically, THE GEORGE, where on the 17th July 1752, a stonemason doing repairs to the pub, allegedly stole a cherry pie from a vendor walking past with a tray of pies on his head.
It seems that massive pies were a feature of 18th-century Essex rural festivals, and Wanstead was famous for the cherries grown locally.
After being caught the miscreant was apparently taken before a magistrate who imposed a fine of half a guinea – the equivalent of about £275 today!
Listen again here to what Margaret had to say on this subject: –
Hope he’d earned enough to pay the fine.
Hope to see you again next week,