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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Cynthia Paynes House of Cyn
This is where infamous Cynthia Payne held her sex parties.
Location: 32 Ambleside Avenue, Streatham, London
Description: This house was notorious in the 1980's as the house where Cynthia Payne (born December 24, 1932) was a party hostess and was accused of being a madam and of running her brothel.
She first hit the headlines in 1978 when the police raided her home, and again in 1986, the police raided her home this time while a party was in progress. Although she was acquitted, the resulting court case in 1987 made headlines for several weeks with lurid tales, some details of which she aired on The Dame Edna Experience in 1988 where she also launched her book, Entertaining at Home.
Queues of middle-aged and elderly men waited to exchange their 'luncheon vouchers' for food, drink, friendly chat, striptease shows and a trip upstairs with the girl of their choice. Vicars, MPs and lawyers were among those who considered her the best hostess in London.
Cynthia stood for Parliament as a candidate for the Payne and Pleasure Party in the Kensington by-election in July 1988, followed by her standing in her own area of Streatham in the 1992 UK General Election. She did not achieve entry into Parliament.
There have been two films made (by David Leland) based on her life. Wish You Were Here, about her adolescence starring Emily Lloyd and Tom Bell, and Personal Services starring Julie Walters about her adult life.