a failed businessman mocked
one who had been hauled before the magistrates and Kerry Allon, Conservative
candidate for Lesnes ward, thought it was worth publicising too.
Someone told me there was an element of pot and kettle about it as Kerry had also appeared before the beak for a retailing offence but if that is true I can find no record of it. Maybe one of you knows better?
However it is true that Mr. Allon has retail experience and I don’t just mean campaigning against ASDA. (Click image for his complete anti-ASDA poster.) He was manager of four central London branches of Ann Summers. That may have been a fun job if he doesn’t easily blush.
A magazine interviewed him on one occasion. This is some of what it reported…
It’s Saturday afternoon and the passion punters are out in force. As manager Kerry Allon points out, you get all sorts in here. “Businessmen pop in during their lunch breaks and coach loads of Japanese tourists reckon we’re a tourist attraction” he says. “Some people feel a bit nervous on their first visit. You can often smell the alcohol they've drunk to summon up the courage. The atmosphere is easy-going and fun, a bit like shopping at Tesco, really.”
“We do attract a dirty raincoat contingent” Kerry warns. “They tend to hang out in the magazine section.” As if on cue, seven rowdy Dutchmen swagger into the shop. Leering at the displays of black lace and blow-up dolls. “No filming, please” says Kerry. (Where did he get that from?)
As for the saucy outfits section, it’s Frankie Howerd, Benny Hill and the entire Carry On films cast rolled into one.
Taking centre stage in the dressing-up department is the good old naughty nurse's uniform, complete with Red Cross apron and headband. “Our best seller” says Kerry proudly. “Last year we sold 85,000” and he doesn't mean to the NHS. Today a buxom 20-something girl is browsing through variations on the same theme. “Fancy dress?” I ask. “No, it’s for work” she replies conspiratorially. “I’m a stripper, it’s for my stage show.”
Meanwhile, giggling like schoolkids over the crotchless panties is a middle-aged couple from Somerset. “We come to London once a month for this” confides the woman, while her husband slinks shyly to the door. “It’s a real treat for us. We stay at a hotel, go to a show, and buy some naughty knickers for later. We’ve been married for 20 years and this is what keeps us spiced up.”
Goodness! I know a couple who flit between London and Somerset. No surely not!