back to article Unless you want your wine bar to look like a brothel, purple curtains are a no-no apparently

To the whimsically Arthurian-named town of Lostwithiel in Cornwall, England, where the owner of a wine bar has found himself defending his biz in the local media against claims that it looks more like a bordello. And what, pray, is the offending characteristic attracting these claims? Streams of shifty, shame-drenched men …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Good on him for standing up

    Congratulations on how the guy is dealing with the issue : openly, honestly and calmly.

    It is high time the rabid prudes step down a notch and let other people live their lives. Purple is not the colour of prostitution either - it seems to me that it is seen every Easter in Christian churches and catholic cardinals have been seen wearing that color - so zip it, prudes, you're just revealing your shameful desires as usual.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Catholic Cardinals?

      You might want to rethink that one.

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Catholic Cardinals?

        That makes me see red! Obviously it's the Methodist cardinals!!!

    2. Locky Silver badge

      Re: Good on him for standing up

      Purple used to be the most difficult, and therefore the most expensive, colour to dye cloth. So it was reserved for royalty.

      Here endeth the history lesson

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Good on him for standing up

        Purple used to be the most difficult, and therefore the most expensive

        Aye - made from the shells of the Murex shellfish found along the Mediterranean coastline. I takes a *lot* of shells (and some fairly nasty processes) to make the dye.

        Which is why royalty from the Phoenician kings onwards (and up to the current day, even though artificial purple dyes have been available for centuries) use purple as their signature colours (and wearing an all-purple[1] robe/toga in the days of the Roman Empire was effectively a short-cut to a quick flight off the Tarpean Rock[2] unless you happened to have enough[3] legions to back you up).

        Here endeth the (slightly expanded) history lesson.

        [1] Senators has a purple stripe along the border of their tunics and togas to signify their status.

        [2] The standard means of execution for traitors until they started to get more creative..

        [3] Or, in some cases, just the Praetorian legion would do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good on him for standing up

          > Senators has a purple stripe along the border of their tunics and togas to signify their status.

          From my reading of Asterix as a kid, the thing I learned was that purple hem was most likely an after effect of Roman senators drunken wine spillage, then walking through it later on.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Good on him for standing up

        You forgot to add that, being reserved for the Royalty, (Mostly in China, or Feudal Japan), it was pretty much a death sentace for anyone that wasn't noble enough to be wearing the color Purple.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Good on him for standing up

      Ahem, chiming in from NL, the color of *ahem* the worlds oldest profession is RED. Someone should build a district with lights, red ones... lots of em!

      And forget the BlackJack!

      1. Grikath
        Headmaster

        Re: Good on him for standing up

        It is indeed true that the Red Lantern has been used since time immemorial as the "open for business" sign of one of the oldest professions in the world. Although innkeepers nowadays tend to prefer a simple lighted sign professing whatever the local brew is on tap.

        The Ladies of Negotiable Affection , still use the original "lantern", although it's really not that long ago when the main operating theatre for those ladies was local inns.

        1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: Good on him for standing up

          "It is indeed true that the Red Lantern has been used since time immemorial..."

          It had been my understanding that the red lamp dated from the First World War, when a house would put out a red light if they served enlisted ranks, and a blue one if they catered to the officer class.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Good on him for standing up

            My Big Dic says the phrase "red-light district" first showed up in 1894.

          2. Michael Habel Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Good on him for standing up

            No not the Red Lantern...! What would the Green Lantern think

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good on him for standing up

            It's been my understanding that you get an entirely less sympathetic type of officer in the places with the blue lamps. "Ello, ello, ello..."

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Good on him for standing up

        @chivo243 - "the color of *ahem* the worlds oldest profession is RED"

        Which might cause some embarrassment and confusion at Chinese New Year.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a type of curtain that I could see the towns folk having problems with, especially if they were in the window.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks

      Mmmmmmm.... badly packed kebab

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Considering some of the recent happinings in your county... I find that remark to be in poor taste sir...

  3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Lostwithiel was the site of a battle in the Civil War. The Royalists won, so purple curtains are quite appropriate.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I thought Lostwithiel was the site of a battle in The Silmarillion, but I admit I could be wrong.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Keep up at the back!

      I take it you mean the first civil war? Evidently things have changed in the current one.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Keep up at the back!

        "the first civil war"

        You mean the probable one that unified Upper and Lower Egypt somewhere around 3,000BCE? Or do you know of one earlier than that?

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Aarr

    Looks loik a 'ouse of disreputable Bishops to me.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Aarr

      "Ar. So does we sell em a sheep or Jethro's nephew-son?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aarr

        "[...] nephew-son?"

        Nice use of English nuances. Surprisingly that term was apparently first recognised in 2011 but with a different meaning than is probably intended here.

  5. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    "illegitimate goings-on, looking like a brothel or a funeral parlour"

    Illegitimate goings on in a funeral parlour? Damn, I need to get out more often...

    I dont know why but I suddenly have the Doug Anthony All Stars playing in my head.... "Necrophilia, Necrophilia, Rigour Mortis makes me hard..."

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I came to note that same thing. It gave me a good laugh until I realized there are some sick people out there. This would probably include the person complaining about the curtains.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Gimp

      CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

      Well there are some parameters I havent bothersed to search for yet...

    3. Jedit
      Joke

      "Illegitimate goings on in a funeral parlour?"

      Apparently in Cornwall they think necrophilia is dead good.

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    Optional comment

    "Who'd have thought some purple curtains could cause so much of a stir?"

    Such a beef over some curtains, who would have thought it.

  7. DasWezel
    Paris Hilton

    House of ill repute?

    House of Negotiable Affection, surely.

  8. DelM

    Botched subtitle

    The sub should have been, "Brothel, where art thou?"

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Botched subtitle

      Standard resopnse here...

      1. M.V. Lipvig
        Trollface

        Re: Botched subtitle

        Enter standard opposing comment. End with snide, slightly offensive remark.

  9. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    Purple curtains in a brothel?

    Lostwithiel isn't in the diocese of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, but maybe he goes on holiday there?

    https://blackadder.fandom.com/wiki/Bishop_of_Bath_and_Wells

    "illegitimate goings-on, looking like a brothel or a funeral parlour"

    Opportunity knocks for someone to combine the two?

    "Get someone dead into your bed, get into necrophilia now"

    Who sung that folk-song?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Mr Gilbert and his partner Mr Sullivan, perhaps?

      But why restrict yourselves to indoor shenanigans?

      I heard the minx remark,

      She’d meet him after dark,

      Inside St. James’s Park,

      And give him one!

      And then all down to Penzance:

      Alas! there’s not one maiden breast

      Which seems to feel the moral beauty

      Of making worldly interest

      Subordinate to sense of duty!

    2. Blitheringeejit
      Coat

      >Who sung that folk-song?

      Wasn't it one of Rambling Sid Rumpo's?

      /coat (mine's the one with a gander-bag instead of pockets)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

    Sounds a bit .... furrin for Leave-voting Cornwall ....

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

      It sounds a bit foreign to most Brits TBH...

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

      But of course. For one of the most disadvantaged and under-invested parts of the EU it received a large amount of EU grant, grudgingly matched or contributed to by central government. For example, the A30 would not have been made dual carriageway most of its route and lots of communities would not have Internet without the EU grants; The UK government wasn't going to invest in the area. Then there's the hatred of anyone from outside the country, despite holidaymakers (emmets) being a major contributory income in the county other than looking after old people and the support structures that this requires and agriculture. Seasonal farm work requires transitory workers, which are rarely local workers because many of them have left for full time work out of the county and would like to be paid more than near-nothing wages for often very poor conditions of work. As for the disgust about city folk buying up the property... the fact that the locals could have chosen to sell their properties to locals instead is entirely lost on them.

      Nice place to visit though, but mostly shut off peak and crammed full at peak times.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

        Sounds to me like the residents in Cornwall should sendup better representatives into Parliment, then to wait 'round for hand-me-downs from that lot over in Bruxelles.

        1. Chris Parsons

          Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

          If only... My MP is a smug moron.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

            My MP is a smug moron.

            Cue ~629 dittos.

          2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Probably the word "bordello" that did it ...

            Is there any other kind?

  11. Pete 2

    disappointment?

    > "but then at the weekend a letter came through the door signed from 'me' that said the curtains gave the image of a house of ill-repute"

    Maybe the author was writing a complaint. That the w(h)ine bar wasn't living up to "what it said on the tin". One imagines there isn't much else going on in Lostwithiel

  12. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    "looks like a house of ill repute"

    But how does the complainant know?

  13. DCFusor Silver badge
    Pint

    Silly situation

    But the comments here win the internet at least this AM. Have one on me, people, it's good to start the day laughing.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colour me suspicious

    Are we sure this isn't a publicity stunt?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Colour me suspicious

      A Cupid Stunt?

      (all meant in the best possible taste of course)

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Colour me suspicious

        No that One currently resides somewhere in Washington D.C. and, is currently obsessed with farting cows. One, wonders by how much is she contributing to the problems of global warming by, simply opeinig her piehole up to spew this nonsence..

        But, it is good to see her own Party actually turn on her, and do their damndest to under cut her, if only to save themselves.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Colour me suspicious

          Cupid stunt or stupid cunt? I'd say that one in Washington, D.C. is the latter.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Colour me suspicious

      Well, I was going to wonder who in Lostwithiel might be getting bothered by the competition.

      ... and then muse about all publicity is good publicity as an alternative explanation.

  15. SVV Silver badge

    Suggested illegitimate goings-on, looking like a brothel or a funeral parlour

    So, they are saying that funeral parlours in Cornwall are associated with illegitimate goings on? Yikes.

  16. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Quite right...

    "We made the decision not to alter the curtains to go with the opinion of the majority"

    Good on him, and the entirely appropriate response to the time-rich, scared little NIMBY busybodies who think the credence of their own opinion trumps everyone else. I think my response would have been in the same ballpark as his, but unfortunately much less measured.

  17. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Could be worse

    A wine shop down the road from us opened (which was good) and then applied for a variation in license so they could do wine tasting in the evening (also very good). As part of the licence application you're required to list all the hours during which you can accept orders for alcohol. They have a website, so it was "24 hours via the website".

    It didn't take long before some of the thicker (older, bored, europhobic, borderline-hysterical) local residents were up in arms at the prospect of the 24hr nightclub opening in the 200sq.ft premises: "it's the thin end of the wedge I tell you". The bemused counciller who arrived at their frantic behest quite literally took one look at this veritable gateway to hell before approving the license.

    Which all sounds very funny. But a letter writing campaign from people that can write faster than they can think isn't much fun if it's your business on the end of it. So I wish you luck, Mr Gilbert, with your judgemental neighbours. Sadly our shop closed, not because the neighbours continued their campaign of harrassment (they did) but because the owner turned out to be a bit of a wanker. And now I have to buy my wine somewhere other than next door. So no-one comes out of this happy.

  18. Ozumo

    No way is Cornwall Live a news site.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Yet its probably more credable, then the MSM....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cornwall Live is part of the MSM

        "[Cornwall Live] is probably more credable, then the MSM."

        Assuming MSM is mainstream media, Cornwall Live is part of the MSM.

        Sadly, this is what British (English and Welsh?] regional media generally look like these days, not just in Cornwall.

        Cornwall Live is part of Reach plc, which used to be Trinity Mirror, which in recent years has acquired a variety of UK regional and local papers and associted websites, before generally wrecking them (much as happened with the corporatisation of independent local radio in the UK, which is now mostly not-independent and not-local but does have plenty of stations with the same few corporate owners).

        https://www.reachplc.com/

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Reach_plc_titles

  19. jake Silver badge

    Methinks ...

    ... the local curtain twitchers are afraid of the competition. Think about it ... curtains to twitch AND wine-driven gossip, all in one friendly location! Must feel like the end of the world for the poor dears.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Curtain twitchers

    My goodness - there really are some small-minded folk out there if they have nothing else better to do than complain, via anonymous letters, about a wine bra (oops, Freudian typo!).......BAR curtains. Well......really! They should stand up and be counted if it's THAT much a of a concern. I would probably bar them on sight.

  21. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    I'm sure that the patrons of this establishment...

    ...will welcome a happy ending.

  22. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    House of ill repute?

    Is there a building code violation? A drainage issue? A surveying error?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I assume the letter came from the owner of the town’s actual brothel trying to stamp out competition.

  24. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Gimp

    "looking like a brothel or a funeral parlour"

    One assumes it must be a fairly specialised brothel if it can be easily confused with a funeral parlour.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: "looking like a brothel or a funeral parlour"

      Or perhaps they just cater to the tastes of Goths....

  25. VeganVegan
    Pint

    Take a look at the 2nd photo in the Cornwall Live article

    Is the owner being cheeky after the fact, or is the pole-dancing doll (with tassels!) the original source of the townsfolk discomfit?

    Curious minds need to know.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Take a look at the 2nd photo in the Cornwall Live article

      She's properly covered, nothing you can't see on Radio 4.

      Oh. Wait ...

    2. whitepines Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Take a look at the 2nd photo in the Cornwall Live article

      Was wondering that myself. Perhaps a "gift" from one of the townsfolk?

  26. Mr Han

    Disgusted or disappointed

    It sounds like disappointment to me. I see an obvious need for a brothel with net curtains, perhaps rigged up to twitch every few minutes so as to blend in with the locals.

    Seriously though, I don't understand why the offended can't just walk on pasty bar.

  27. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Pint

    Very poor reporting here from El Reg. One would expect the journalists to have made the effort to visit the venue and report first hand on the décor and ambience.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they won't want a pub called "The Rising Sun"?

    1. Huw D Silver badge

      "There is"

      "What?"

      "A house"

      "Where?"

      "In Lostwithiel"

      "What's it called?"

      "They call it the Rising Sun"

      "What's it been?"

      "And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy"

      "How do you know?"

      "And God, I know"

      "Who's a prat?"

      "I'm one..."

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK7m4hlLPv4

  29. A.P. Veening Silver badge

    As the owner of that wine bar, I would have sent an open letter to the council in the local news paper, asking them whether they would prefer me closing down and putting some people on the dole or shutting up those stupid, nonsensical (but I repeat myself) complaints?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019