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Street scene in London


sjmuktop
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There used to be a thriving street scene in London up until about the mid to late-1990s, or the very early 2000s at the latest.

From what I've heard, King's Cross station (and the surrounding area including around Euston station), and Piccadilly Circus were the two main areas where you could go to pick up a street worker if you wanted one. The Piccadilly Circus street scene was known as "The Dilly" as well as the "meat rack" or the "chicken rack". It was very (in)famous. It is my understanding that most of the guys who worked the chicken rack and other areas like King's Cross were mainly what we would now call "twinks", and usually British.

This scene appears to have completely disappeared from London.

I'm guessing this is most likely because of the rise of the Internet in the late 90s, with websites such as RentMen being established and the introduction of hookup apps where guys can advertise their services. Places like the chicken rack were made redundant as a result, I assume. 

Or, perhaps, am I wrong? Is there still a street scene somewhere in London?

 

Edited by sjmuktop
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3 minutes ago, Charlie said:

I haven't cruised in London for years, but even when I lived there in the '70s, I don't remember much of a street scene, except outside the pubs at closing time (11pm); many a night I picked up someone on the street outside the Coleherne.

Like Charlie, I never remember much of a street scene in London.  From 1986 to 2001, I worked for a British company and I traveled to London probably 70-80 times during that period.  I would go to Kings Cross multiple times on each trip to catch trains to the north.  I never saw anything going on around Kings Cross.  Perhaps one had to venture into some of the side streets around the station.  Admittedly, I was never lingering around the station.  I was there to leave on or come in on a train and that was it.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Charlieand @EZEtoGRU, I'm really surprised you guys have never heard of 'The Dilly' (aka 'the meat rack' and 'the chicken rack'). It was a very well-known street scene in Piccadilly Circus where rent boys would lean against the railings on the corner of Regent Street and Glasshouse Street - opposite where Boots the chemist currently is. There used to be a Burger King there years ago apparently where the rent boys sometimes used to go for food and sit looking out the windows where they could watch potential clients cruising around looking for rent boys. 

The area outside King's Cross station was also very well-known for the rent boys (and also female prostitutes) who used to hang around there: 

https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/model-released-rent-boys-in-kings-cross-london-britain-222446a ; 

 https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/model-released-rent-boys-in-kings-cross-london-britain-222446e ; 

 

Edited by sjmuktop
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/6/2021 at 4:26 PM, sjmuktop said:

@Charlieand @EZEtoGRU, I'm really surprised you guys have never heard of 'The Dilly' (aka 'the meat rack' and 'the chicken rack'). It was a very well-known street scene in Piccadilly Circus where rent boys would lean against the railings on the corner of Regent Street and Glasshouse Street - opposite where Boots the chemist currently is. There used to be a Burger King there years ago apparently where the rent boys sometimes used to go for food and sit looking out the windows where they could watch potential clients cruising around looking for rent boys. 

The area outside King's Cross station was also very well-known for the rent boys (and also female prostitutes) who used to hang around there: 

https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/model-released-rent-boys-in-kings-cross-london-britain-222446a ; 

 https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/model-released-rent-boys-in-kings-cross-london-britain-222446e ; 

 

As students on a budget in London back then, a lot of us would go to that Burger King during our crazy nights out.  The only way we could afford to go out was by having cheap dinners at cheap, but filling fast-food places.   I remember being totally intrigued by what were obviously rent boys swirling in and out of there.  We called them the Burger Queens.  They probably had more money in their pockets than any of us did!!!

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1 hour ago, Wanderoz said:

As students on a budget in London back then, a lot of us would go to that Burger King during our crazy nights out.  The only way we could afford to go out was by having cheap dinners at cheap, but filling fast-food places.   I remember being totally intrigued by what were obviously rent boys swirling in and out of there.  We called them the Burger Queens.  They probably had more money in their pockets than any of us did!!!

I think their rates were a lot cheaper than the 'professional escorts' who would have been advertising their services in the gay magazines of the time, but still, I am sure they probably did have more money than you skint students did haha.

They used to lean against the railings (now gone) outside that Burger King too, and would be approached by potential clients, but not sure where they would go for sex. I imagine most of the clients would take a rent boy back to his hotel room or something? I know there is a false assumption and impression that street sex workers used to actually have sex in the streets/in dirty, dingy alleyways, but this is of course a load of bulls**t. Show me a discreet alleyway in Zone 1 of central London where you could go for sex and remain uninterrupted for more than 60 seconds ..... you can't !

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2 minutes ago, sjmuktop said:

I think their rates were a lot cheaper than the 'professional escorts' who would have been advertising their services in the gay magazines of the time, but still, I am sure they probably did have more money than you skint students did haha.

They used to lean against the railings (now gone) outside that Burger King too, and would be approached by potential clients, but not sure where they would go for sex. I imagine most of the clients would take a rent boy back to his hotel room or something? I know there is a false assumption and impression that street sex workers used to actually have sex in the streets/in dirty, dingy alleyways, but this is of course a load of bulls**t. Show me a discreet alleyway in Zone 1 of central London where you could go for sex and remain uninterrupted for more than 60 seconds ..... you can't !

Yes!  Those big, sturdy railings were part of the reason they called it The Rack.

Afterhours outside Hurricane Louie's in Earl's Court between there and the tube station was always filled with us guys who were not rentboys, but were not wanting to go home alone either!

 

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7 minutes ago, Wanderoz said:

Yes!  Those big, sturdy railings were part of the reason they called it The Rack.

Afterhours outside Hurricane Louie's in Earl's Court between there and the tube station was always filled with us guys who were not rentboys, but were not wanting to go home alone either!

 

By the way, I loved your comment about calling the rent boys 'Burger Queens' 😂 

I hadn't heard of Hurricane Louie's, so I had to do a quick Google search. Did you perhaps mean 'Harpoon Louis'?

(https://www.thegayuk.com/lost-lgbt-scene-harpoon-louis-earls-court/)

 

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21 minutes ago, sjmuktop said:

By the way, I loved your comment about calling the rent boys 'Burger Queens' 😂 

I hadn't heard of Hurricane Louie's, so I had to do a quick Google search. Did you perhaps mean 'Harpoon Louis'?

(https://www.thegayuk.com/lost-lgbt-scene-harpoon-louis-earls-court/)

 

Yes.  I had just read about a new hurricane, and in my haste wrote hurricane instead of harpoon!

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