The Independent London Newspaper


Flying Scotsman pub can run its strip club for one year in bid to become restaurant and offices

Published: 21 June, 2013

A PUB owner in King’s Cross was given an extra year to run his strip club so he can develop plans for a restaurant and offices on the site.

Robin Norris, owner of the Flying Scotsman in Caledonian Road, argued that being forced to close the sex venue would make it difficult to raise extra millions for the new development.

However, community safety chief Councillor Paul Convery told an Islington licensing committee on Monday that the sex licence should be refused on the grounds that the image of King’s Cross has vastly improved.

“While I appreciate the ultimate aim is for the new development I believe we should call time on the sex venue,” he said.

“It’s had a good innings so to speak – about 30 years – and times are changing for the better in King’s Cross.

“It is no longer a red-light district thanks to a policy by Islington Council of closing licensed and unlicensed sex venues.”

Cllr Convery, who was backed by two members of the public, argued that the Flying Scotsman was close to a residential area, churches and two primary schools.

“I have seen scantily dressed performers in overcoats outside having a cigarette and chatting to customers,” he said. “I don’t think the standards of management are particularly good.”

Mr Norris said he accepted the area was changing but he needed a little more time before the sex venue closed and the new development materialises.

“We’ve spent up to one- and-a-half million on the new development so far as part of a five-year plan,” he said. “But there is still a lot of work to do. We believe our management is robust and the Scotsman is regularly inspected.

“There have been no complaints from the police or the licensing department.”



Christians are as intolerant

Christians are as intolerant as ISIS and deserve the same Contempt they will be coming for us gays next

Scantily clad in overcoats?

Er, how does Paul Convery know the women outside were 'scantily clad' if they were also 'wearing overcoats'?

So, Paul Convery has the right to tell people how to dress?


'"I have seen scantily dressed performers in overcoats outside having a cigarette and chatting to customers,” he [Paul Convery] said."'

Isn't this reminiscent of the Toronto Police Chief who said that women should stop dressing like sluts if they didn't want to be raped? What business of it of his how women dress, be they strippers or otherwise? There are plenty of women who aren't strippers who dress in scanty clothing. Are they next for his sights?

He is clearly using 'decency' to win votes from religious communities. This is unacceptable victimisation of minorities for political gain, or, as we could also call it: bullying (he also said that he was against strip clubs and adult cinemas on the grounds that it offended the religious beliefs of people in the community - so, on that basis we need to close down pubs and wine bars [so as not to offend any strict anti-drinking Muslims], casinos [because gambling is not allowed by some religions], sex shops, book shops that sell books that have sexual references in them, art galleries hanging nudes, start censoring films that are rated 18 and contain any nudity at all, the Burka [because some people of Christian faith find it offensive], and on and on and on.

This man has his priorities wrong and set only to try and attract more votes for him, not to serve his community, of which I am a part.

Agree but only for Kings Cross Image

I have seen Kings Cross go from a seedy red light area to a busy up and coming place full of investment opportunity. The day of any strip club has long gone and I should know because I have visited every one.

The FS used to be packed and was a great placed to spend a few hours after work. Sadly its now just a joke and the dancers are sad along with the depressed bar staff.

I really hate to agree but FS must now close. Very sad to see its death I must have spent thousands of happy hours in that pub.

Think Again Council

As a middle-age, middle class single man, I'd be disappointed to see the FS close. It allows me to have a beer on my own, without feeling out of place. On what basis does Islington Council want it shut? What problem does it cause? Is there not a compromise that Council could offer?

Totally harmless

Its got no windows, I've never seen a single fight in there. Just get the girls to smoke out the back

I mean really

Just how much harm does it do? Friendly and no coercion plus most girls have natural not artificial bodies. As with TV or films or the internet, if you don't like don't visit if you don't like. I can't see how the FS can have a negative impact on any child or adult. Please let me know specifics if you disagree. J

Shame to close

What a shame to close one of the only strip clubs in the area. Surely it serves a social function.

Angry from Birmingham

May I take this opportunity to ask the landlord if he will consider adding banks's bitter to his already large range of ales.
I feel sure this will help his 'million fund' no end.

Cllrs detached from "real life" again

If this place does need to raise an extra million to refurb then its going to take at least 10yrs+ years to generate (£1,000,000/364 days*/500 dances/50p per dance). These so called politicians need to wake up and smell the coffee. I wonder if opinions would change if they realised that most of the dancers are registered voters! IMHO its a lack of education and Cllr Convoy should shut up shop early on a Fri and get the lads down there

* taking in to consideration Christmas Day closure

Councilor Political

Councilor Political correctness gone mad as usual! Islington needs to wind its neck in. If you close these places down they will just appear elsewhere suped up and more in your face in places like Upper Street or Stokie theyve done research. This place has a cracking little bar, great beers n snacks, superb clientele, banter, friendly lucky ladies, well run, great drink offers juicy doubles who can beat it locally? No one. Keep this place alive, keeps me young and happy chappy

"develop plans for a restaurant and offices on the site"

I’m sorry I find it quite farfetched to see how this pub can "develop plans for a restaurant and offices on the site" as I know many of the girls currently employed do not speak English as a first language and they would not be properly attired for an office environment. I can only think that Mr Norris the proprietor could open a restaurant like Hooters if he wanted to avoid TUPE regulations but this is not the racy image Kings Cross should be aiming for in my opinion.

Save the Flying Scostman

Cllr Convery must have led a very sheltered life if he considers young ladies wearing overcoats as being scantily clad, even if the brazen hussies do talk to customers without having formally been introduced.
The pub is a discrete and well run establishment with none of the gaudy sex shop advertising seen in Soho. In fact the exterior is so bland that you wouldn't know it existed if it wasn't for the free advertising from Cllr Convery.
As Cllr Convery well knows, most of Cally roads problems stem from the 24 hour booze outlets fuelling crime all day long.

Outraged from Islington

As a local home owner I cannot fathom why the last poster would want this sort of establishment to remain open. Our last and only visit a few years ago came after it was recommended to my husband by an old city colleague. Our wine was ruined by what one punter insidiously referred to as a badonkadonk (this later transpired to be youth parlance for rear end). After three and a half hours at the behest of my husband to see if the entertainment would improve we had seen enough to put us off returning again.

Robin Norris for Mayor!

It would be such a shame to see The Scotsman close after all these years. I've been a regular punter since the early 90's and can't recommend this establishment highly enough. Robin and the girls are always more than welcoming and venues like this in the Kings Cross area should be welcomed rather than forced to shut down in response to the wishes of the vocal minority.

I agree . There will always

I agree . There will always be places like the flying Scotsman in a big city like London and near a main line railway station is ideal./

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