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Peter Stringfellow: an Obituary

by Beth Divine 27 Sep 2018

Peter James Stringfellow passed away on the 7th of June 2018, at the age of 77, and following a lengthy career involving nightclubs and women and – if all the stories are to be believed – plenty of steamy liaisons and torrid affairs.

He began work at the age of thirteen, in a cinema, before trying his hand as a tie salesman. He then entered the merchant navy and served for two years, before leaving at the age of eighteen. A brush with the law (a matter of dealing with stolen carpets) saw him gaining a criminal record which put the kibosh on his gaining meaningful employment thereafter.

In a way, this did him a favour as it guided him into the sleazy, exciting world of nightclub management. After a modest start, Stringfellow landed the Beatles who sold so many tickets for him that the venue needed to be changed for a larger one. Following this success came more successes, and Stringfellow was on his way to fame and fortune. For many years, he capitalised on his successes by opening clubs, getting them up and running and turning a healthy profit before selling them on and moving onto his next venture. In the 80s, he began to use his name as a draw, calling his clubs ‘Stringfellows’. He was, by now, able to afford to keep these eponymous clubs while still expanding and spreading his empire ever further afield. Ultimately he ended up with clubs in London, Loss Angeles, Miami and New York, amongst others.

In the 90s, perhaps bored with this run of success (despite taking some heavy losses during the downturn of the late 80s) he turned his attention to adult entertainment, opening strip clubs and introducing dancing girls. He was the first club owner to be awarded a licence for fully nude dancers, as well as being awarded SEVs (sexual entertainment venue) for two of his clubs, the one in Soho and the one in Los Angeles. The Soho club, called Angels, boasted private rooms in which one could entertain, and be entertained by, presumably, young women in lingerie.

He was married three times as well as having a number of significant relationships in between marriages, and leaves four children, ranging in age from fifty-plus to just three years old. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008, and battled the disease for ten years before his recent death. He will be remembered, for a long time, as a mover and shaker in the UK’s live adult entertainment industry, a character, and a maverick who followed his instincts.