Kinky Bee

When I worked for the Italian Board of Trade (ICE) at the Blackpool Fancy Goods Fair, today the enormous trade fair at Birmingham's NEC, I worked for Signor Mancioli who owned an oven to tablewear ceramics factory in Montelupo, close to Florence.  I got my first taste of selling and found I could do so easily. Jewish instincts I guess. I wandered around the fair in my spare time and fell In love with a yellowish funny looking lion on the Kinky Bee stand, I called him Leo which seemed to fit him. Oddity enough my mother's maiden name had been Lyons, coming from Loeb, a Polish name from way back when the great grand parents emigrated to the UK.

I must have bought it and chatted to the owner Mr Kinky Bee - Paul Nathanson with an office in prestigious Bond Street. I don't recall if I worked for him at another Blackpool fair but, when I went to live in London in the late 60s, I recall being invited to his home in London where he lived with his actress wife, half his age.

At some point I went to his pokey office down at the bottom of Bond Street up on a second floor in a gloomy office building. Once inside it was chaos with a big black safe under the window. Samples of his characters, mainly animals, lingered on his shelves and Austrian carved wood faces as bottle stoppers so popular in the 50s and 60s; possibly he was the exclusive U.K. distributor.  A one man band no less with no staff. No room to swing a cat let alone the lion. 

For some reason he wanted to show me the contents of his safe! Money? No, porno!!! There lay on the shelves hundreds of black and white photos of men and woman 'doing it'. Had he taken the photos? I didn't dare ask. Today I would have. But why show me? Why were they locked away in a safe? Was it illegal to have porno photos in 1967?

This was the second time I had been shown porno photos. These ones were boring British black and white ones, the ones in Parioli, Rome were more interesting being Chinese or Thai shown to me by an Italian pilot when I lived in Rome later in in 1967. Another time, another tale!

Written in Casa de los Bates, Motril, Spain 7/2/17.