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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd April 1959 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
23rd April 1925 1st London performance of operetta Fasquita staged
23rd April 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Patience produced in London
23rd April 1775 Artist J.M.W. Turner was born in Covent Garden, London.
23rd April 1705 Richard Steele's Tender Husband, premieres in London
23rd April 1702 The Coronation of Anne I in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1685 The Coronation of James II (and VII of Scotland) in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1661 English king Charles II crowned in London
23rd April 1661 The Coronation of Charles II in Westminster Abbey.
Murray's Cabaret Club
This is where Christine Keeler met Stephen Ward prior to Profumo
Location: 16-18 Beak Street, Soho
Description: This former club opened in 1933, an intimate Soho basement with space for 110 guests. In the 1960's it would be at the heart of the most enduring political scandal of our time.
Admission and membership was strictly controlled and was frequented by London's gangsters (Krays), celebrities (Jean Harlow), royalty (Princess Margaret) and the rich and famous who needed somewhere private to let their hair down. Murrays choreographed floorshows with attractive young hostesses wearing elaborate and revealing costumes.
Christine Keeler was a teenage runaway when she arrived in London and found a job here. She was befriended by the resident pimp Stephen Ward and she became one of 'Ward's Girls'. She was introduced later to John Profumo, the Conservative Government War Minister and Captain Yevgeny Ivanov, a Russian Spy masquerading as a businessman. Within days Ward began orchestrating meetings between Keeler and both men and she embarked on clandestine affairs with the Spy and the War Minister - an arrangement that would prove disastrous for them all. The Profumo Scandal was unleashed.
Times changed and more explicit strip clubs and peep shows opened, and in the face of such competition the club closed in 1975.
Pops Murray the owner died in 1979 aged 81.
Today it's a pizza parlour, bur you can still see the old staff entrance sign around the back.