Sex in Dumbarton was something they carried coal in up Kirktonhill when the people were richer and posher and the accents were plummier.

It was something that was seldom spoken about. I take that back, it was something that was NEVER spoken about.

There is just a chance, however, that sex may rear its (ugly or beautiful, depending on your taste) head here in the 21st century.

Monsignor Hugh Canon Kelly, of St Patrick’s,  and the Rev William Campbell, of Dumbarton Parish Church, would turn in their graves.

The news that sex can be recreational and not just pro-creational will come as a great shock to many people here.

We may soon have a local troupe of the Follies Berger dancers performing in the Denny Civic Theatre  or one of the many licensed premises in Dumbarton and the Vale.

Boris Johnston said nothing about this when he he awarded us £21 million to brighten up the town centre from the Levelling Up kitty.

So, how do I know this? My answer to that question is the same as that guy who is asked whether he has dandruff in the Head and Shoulders adverts on television.

I don’t.

However, West Dunbartonshire is preparing to deal with sex should it arrive on our shores any time soon.

Sexual Entertainment Licensing could be on the cards alright.

They told us this week that while there are currently no SEVs in West Dunbartonshire, and that the introduction of a licensing scheme now means the Council are prepared for any potential operator requests and can have proper oversight of the industry.

Could Santa Claus be wearing something skimpy this year? Off the shoulder wellingtons perhaps for himself and colourful basques or body suits for his elves and angels.

What the fairy on top of the tree might wear (OR NOT WEAR), I haven’t a scooby.

Anyway – should you be thinking along these naughty lines – applying for a licence will mean the Council can assess whether the operator is a fit and proper person, recommend suitable opening hours, ensure appropriate signage is used and other elements which may impact on nearby communities.

Without the scheme, operators would be free to open and operate in the area without any input or oversight from the Council.

Can you imagine what it would be like to see a passing pageant of pretty girls strutting their stuff in the High Street – and without a licence from the Council?

  • You can peruse the proposed Sexual Entertainment Licence Policy.  The consultation is available at and is open until 23/12/2022.

Alternatively, you can give your views in writing to West Dunbartonshire Council, Licensing Regulatory and Regeneration Services, Municipal Buildings, College Street, Dumbarton G82 1NR or by emailing licensing.


I am afraid I would not be of much assistance to our elected representatives should they wish to consult me on the matter of sexual entertainment venues.

My own experiences of this, despite nearly 60 years as an allegedly hell-raising journalist, are dire.

I do have stories to tell though.

When I was a young reporter, fit enough to be jumping out of Chinook helicopters during Army exercises in places such as Northern Ireland, Africa and Germany, I was enjoying an after dinner  drink with some subalterns in the officers’ mess at RAF Guttersloh.

These sessions are known in the Army as “sups” – but much more than a sip of fine Scotch whisky and schnapps is partaken of by the soldiers.

Anyway, we soon had enough for the moment at least and it was decided to have a night out on the town.

We packed ourselves into the back of an Army vehicle and headed off for the nearest “night club” where we were warmly welcomed and regally entertained in the manner all young Argyll officers deserve and expect.

We were given seats in the front row for the cabaret, and we looked a fine a body of young, respectable Scots who were out on the razzle.

Then the show started. A singer was sent out by the management to warm things up and more schnapps were dispensed all round.

Then we got to the tickly bit when a lovely young lady from the burlesque dance troupe appeared in her smalls with a large toy donkey under her arm.

That was when we all got thrown out of the place for laughing.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means that the staff at The Democrat have some spare time on their hands in the evenings.

There is a chance to watch some films on TV and I have recently recommended a couple to readers that they might enjoy over the holidays.

However, hold the bus. Last night I watched Wonder, which was woeful, and I have to get round yet to The Banshees of Inisheer which her indoors and her sister said is just about the worst picture they have ever seen.

George Clooney and his co-star Violente Placido in The American.

Don’t take my advice then. I also watched The American on Netflix, which was tied on at the end of Wonder.

George Clooney was not just starring in this one, but producing it as well.

Which probably, no certainly, means was why the story was set in Italy and the women playing opposite him were beautiful to say the least.

Clooney played the part of a photo journalist on an assignment in the hills near Rome which was the only reason I kept watching it until the end. My interest was purely professional.

I am sticking to my story on that one anyway.

By the way, if you are having your granny round for Christmas dinner don’t, don’t choose any of these films for the crash out and Quality Street session that inevitably follows the turkey and sprouts.

Otherwise the Council official who is organising the Sexual Entertainment Licences will be calling round to your house to ask if you have one.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.



  1. The councilors obviously don’t have any other priorities.

    Potholed roads, reduction of bin collections, housing repairs backlog, faltering care services, recession, – and their priority is sex licences.

    Somebody, very possibly senior officials, are making fools of our councilors.

    And yes Editor, , I smiled at the quip about sacks. Maybe the coalman needs a licence now.

  2. The report on this was written by officials, not councillors whose sexual proclivities I know nothing about – nor do I want to know. I just wish the Labour people would lift the SNP ban that stops me asking questions of their spokespersons. I am beginning to feel like the little boy Santa Claus forgot.

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