Sex shop ding dong prompts door move

23/1/12'Secluded doorway in the 'Private' shop,Apsley, Hemel Hempstead.
23/1/12'Secluded doorway in the 'Private' shop,Apsley, Hemel Hempstead.

A SEX shop in Apsley had to install a secluded side door because of the ribald jeers customers received from the pub opposite.

Each time the old door onto London Road opens with a loud ‘ding’ a cheer goes up from drinkers at The Bull.

Landlady Nicola Green said: “In the summer when that bell goes people in here cheer, so they moved it round the side.”

Her daughter-in-law Sarah said: “As soon as you open that door it goes ‘ding!’”

The Private Shop has been open for around 20 years but bosses admitted ‘banter’ from the pub meant they had to put in the side door ‘a couple of years ago’.

Customers can still use the front door but three quarters choose the door in Storey Street, which has no bell and a wooden screen around it.

David Brunt, area supervisor for Darker Enterprises Ltd, which owns the shop, said: “We use the side door because it’s better than the front door.

“In the summer when there are people outside, they do tend to make comments about people. It’s ribaldry, it’s light-hearted banter.

“We try to keep a low profile. People know we’ve been here 20 years.

“Seventy five per cent come in the side door. It’s to keep things quiet for people.”

The only other sex establishment in the borough is the Waggon and Horses strip club in Flamstead, which caused controversy last year when it put up a new sign featuring the silhouette of a naked woman.

A year ago council chiefs were forced to abandon a list of ‘appropriate’ locations for sex clubs, drawn up as part of changes to licensing policy, following a furious backlash.