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Pole in position - but no dirty dancing!

PUBLISHED: 19:02 21 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

IT may have a reputation for primness but Felixstowe seems to have shed a few inhibitions of late – pole dancers have arrived!

The Edwardian seaside report has swapped promenading along the seafront for attractive young women jigging their bodies on top of a bar and seductively swirling around a pole under the flashing disco lights.

IT may have a reputation for primness but Felixstowe seems to have shed a few inhibitions of late – pole dancers have arrived!

The Edwardian seaside report has swapped promenading along the seafront for attractive young women jigging their bodies on top of a bar and seductively swirling around a pole under the flashing disco lights.

So where can these scantily dressed girls who dance provocatively be found in Felixstowe? And, more importantly, is this rather reserved community ready for the influx of excited men?

But if this is the sort of entertainment that excites you then you're in for a shock – as it's not exactly lap dancing.

The Evening Star can reveal that the Grange Hotel, the target of these scare-mongering rumours, is not the home of a new strip joint, pole dancing club or even lap dancers.

It seems the rumours circling around this traditionally conservative town have been slightly exaggerated and blown out of proportion.

Today the Grange Hotel laughed off claims that pole -dancing sessions were taking place in its premises.

Jo Byford manager of the Grange Hotel said: "We do not have pole dancers, just two girls who dance on the bar.

"There is a pole in the middle of the bar which the girls sometimes use but it's part of the bar itself.

"Most of the time they dance at either end of the bar so not to get in the way of the barmen."

To most people, women dancing around a pole, equals pole dancing!

But the two dancers at the Grange Hotel stand on the bar and shake their stuff while the barmen entertain the crowds and perform tricks as they serve exotic cocktails.

The girls,who come from the Saxmundham area, shake their thing wearing a vest top, lycra shorts, a baseball hat and trainers and the hotel says at no point in the evening are any garments removed.

"No topless dancing takes place. The girls are well covered and not even their belly is showing.

"We are trying to create the image of a fun bar and the girls are purely there to accompany the barmen and make their routines more dramatic.

"The dancers wear more than many of our customers," said Jo Byford.

When the dancers are not performing they serve behind the bar and collect glasses.

A spokesman for Suffolk coastal council said: "We have received a report about pole dancing at the Grange Hotel. The council is considering what if any action it needs to take.

"We can confirm however that the hotel has a public entertainment's licence."

The dancers can be seen gyrating with the pole every Friday and Saturday night as part of the hotel's theme night Cocktail and Dreams.

Businessman Jack Kelly, 68, said: "I don't see any harm in it. The harm is in people's minds.

"It's far better that people know about it rather than sweeping it under the carpet.

"If it was a private club and all hush hush then that's what makes it seedy and talked about.

"There's more life in a graveyard than in this town. Felixstowe needs something for the youngsters and as long as it's a mixed venue then it's just a fun night out."

Jo Lawson who has lived in Felixstowe all her life said: "As long as the age restrictions are right and there is the proper security then I can't see a problem."


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