Vintage Kingston: Christians launch moral crusade against lads mags

Surrey Comet: Where and when? Can you guess what this picture from the archive shows? Where and when? Can you guess what this picture from the archive shows?

From April 14 1989

Christian campaigners launched a moral crusade 25 years ago, attempting to stamp out porn magazines in the borough.

Activists from the Surbiton Christian Response group tested the consciences of newsagents to stop them stocking girlie mags.

They said the men’s magazines degrade women and deprave children, and it was their moral duty to defend family values.

Members listened to women’s views on what were euphemistically known as “men’s entertainment magazines”.

This was followed by a campaign concentrating on individual vendors who the group hoped to bring abreast of the “corrupting influence” of the images.

Group chairman Brian Sage said: “Pornography has no dignity. On the one hand it portrays women as mere physical commodities and on the other it promotes unnatural and destructive fantasies within the mind of the reader.

“Sex is a beautiful gift of God, but pornography spoils it. We are trying to restore sex to its rightful place within a loving marriage relationship.

“Selling soft porn magazines may not break the law as it stands, but their easy
availability is a very disturbing trend.

“It seems absurd that we have a situation where otherwise responsible newsagents are supplying this material, often just because it is company policy.”

The campaign was part of a national drive to promote public awareness by the Christian
Action, Research and Education (Care) group.

Care had more than 50,000 members campaigning on family issues.

The operation did not cover the sleazier end of the tabloid newspaper market. Some newspapers printed pictures of topless women and were openly on sale to children.

April 14 1989 Jubilant residents won a battle against a proposal to build a four-storey block of flats in Surbiton.

At a packed council meeting, planners unanimously rejected the proposed 16-flat block in Portsmouth Road.

Dozens of residents had protested in The Mall, Surbiton, with placards against the development.

14 April 2004 A cider festival, the brainchild of a Kingston landlord, celebrated its seventh year of success.

Paul Adams, who ran the Canbury Arms in Canbury Park Road, started the festival because there was nothing else like it in the area.

He said he wanted to introduce punters to the many varied types of cider.

15 April 1964 The main hall and gymnasium of Hollyfield Road secondary school, Surbiton, was gutted by fire and all the equipment severely damaged.

The fire was first noticed by a passing couple, who informed Mr E Gould, the caretaker.

Headmaster O C Humphreys said it would take eight or nine months before the hall was usable again.

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