London launches tourist guide to Soho’s red light district


The National Trust in London has launched a new phone “app” that will help guide tourists through the sleazy streets of Soho’s red light district. The ‘Soho Stories’ app uses GPS technology to guide visitors through the capital’s red light district as they hear colourful stories of sex, violence and wild partying The free device, which can be downloaded on a mobile phone, enables tourists to wander the London backstreets listening to outrageous behaviour made famous over the past 60 years. The organisation charged with protecting Britain’s historic sites, houses and gardens, has created the “no-holes-barred” audio guide in a bid to shed its conservative image and attract younger members. Officials said on Monday that the stories involving “famous and not so famous Bohemians” provide extraordinary detail on the capital’s “long love affair with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”. For the first time in the Trust’s 117-year history, the “X-rated” tours come complete with warnings about bad language and “references to sex and violence”. It concentrates on events since the 1940s including the development of music, the area’s “many outrageous personalities”, social movements, feminism and homosexual liberation as well as vice and crime. Listeners, who will be restricted to those aged over 17, will be able to listen to drunken tales from the Groucho Club while another details how gangster “Mad” Frankie Fraser operated his protection rackets. Other more colourful stories include those of Francis Bacon, the homosexual artist, being whipped and a former vice-squad officer pointing out a phonebox that was a front for a crack den.