BLUF Local: London

Information about London specific events, from Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) and Master Thomas (33). Most BLUF London events take place at The Backstreet in Mile End, but many members also regularly attend the London Leather Social and meetings of London Leathermen. We also organise a presence at the London Pride Parade.

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News from BLUF Local: London

Backstreet: How you can help save it

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen a call being circulated on social media to help try and save the Backstreet from closure. I’ve gathered together some information here to help you make the most effective submissions.

What’s happening?

In January of 2019, a planning appeal will be held that will determine whether or not The Backstreet continues in its present form. The appeal is a public inquiry, into a planning application submitted in 2016 to redevelop the site. The redevelopment will replace the present buildings with a tower comprising retail space on the ground floor, residential space above, and a new space for The Backstreet in the basement.

So, this is not a new situation by any means, just the culmination of a process that has been going on for a longtime; at the bottom of this article you can read earlier pieces about the situation for additional background.

The inquiry is scheduled to last for five days; a planning officer for the council (Tower Hamlets) will put their case, which is that the redevelopment should not be allowed. The developers will argue their side, in the hopes of overturning the decision, and after five days the inspector will make a report. That - unless it is challenged in court - will be the end of the current proposal, one way or another.

How you can help

In the strictest of terms, it is not possible for members of the public to submit material to the planning appeal. Objections sent to the council earlier form part of the evidence at the inquiry, and people who wrote during the earlier stages of the process will already have been asked if they wish to make any additional submissions. The deadline for those has now passed.

However, the council officer who will be making their case at the inquiry has until the 18th of December to submit her material. If she receives relevant information, it will be included as part of her submission, and so become available to the inquiry.

By sending submissions to her, you can make your voice heard, regarding the importance of The Backstreet to the gay community, and in particular the leather and rubber community, both in London, and beyond.

What you should consider saying

I won’t provide a cut-and-paste letter, because things always have more weight if they are expressed in your own terms. You should also at this stage focus largely on the preservation of Backstreet; the other reasons for refusal of the planning permission, regarding air quality, access and so on, can be quite complex, and it is not necessary for you to raise them.

These are some key points to highlight:

  • The Backstreet is one of very few strict dress code clubs still operating, not just in the UK but in Europe too
  • It is home to many successful nights, such as Mastery, BLUF, and IGNITE, which attract visitors from all over the UK and from overseas
  • The dress code and the nature of the nights mean that there is a unique atmosphere to the club that cannot easily be replicated by simply moving some of the events to a different venue
  • As one of the oldest continually running LGBT spaces in London, it is an important part of our culture, and of the night time economy
  • The night time economy is considered a key part of London, and in particular LGBT spaces in Tower Hamlets and elsewhere need to be protected, as was recently done with the Joiners Arms
  • The Backstreet has operated for over thirty years, and not caused trouble or disturbance, unlike the clubs that have operated in the other part of the building

You may also want to note that, while there is a proposal to build a new club in the basement, this remains a matter of concern for some of the following reasons:

  • A legally binding agreement needs to be in place, not just to grant the new space to The Backstreet, but to ensure that it’s financially viable
  • With residential space above it, the rebuilt club would be vulnerable to noise complaints from the new neighbours
  • As a newly built club, there would be a requirement for a new licence, and this may impose additional constraints upon the club that it doesn’t have at the moment
  • The proposed new development would mean the loss of the smoking area, which is an important part of the club, and very popular for events like IGNITE and Mastery
  • The proposed alternative to relocating the club to the basement would be difficult to finance

In short, while there is a proposal on the table to move the club to the basement, we no longer believe that there are sufficient safeguards to guarantee not just that it will happen, but that the club will remain viable afterwards.

You could also include some personal information, to explain why Backstreet is so important to you personally, or if you are writing on behalf of an organisation, explain why it matters to that organisation.

Where to send your submissions

You can submit your comments to the council’s Principal Planner, Christina Gawne. She will be representing the council, and arguing their case at the inquiry - which is that the application to redevelop should be refused. So, in this she is very much our ally. Your comments will be included as part of her evidence, if you submit them in time.

You can send comments by email to christina.gawne@towerhamlets.gov.uk or by post to her at Development Management, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Mulbery Place, PO Box 55739, 5 Clove Crescent, London E14 1BY.

Please send them as soon as possible - remember that the deadline of the 18th is for the council’s submission to the inquiry, so aim to send your information to them sooner.

The appeal reference is APP/E5900/W/18/3204874 but if you simply say you are writing about The Backstreet, or 562 Mile End Road, she will know which case you are referring to.

Previous reports about this (newest first):

Another Backstreet update (August 2018) Backstreet: developers are appealing (June 2018) Planning wheels grind exceeding slow (November 2017) Backstreet planning update (August 2017) Backstreet Planning Update - Digging Deeper (July 2017) Backstreet - another win (April 2017) It lives! The Backstreet planning application has been revised (March 2017) Planning committee minutes (January 2017) Step up to save London's leather bar (June 2016)

Categories: venues

Monday 03 December, Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3). Updated 14 Dec, 10:59 by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

BLUF Blog: London

London Pride Photos, 2017 - gallery 4

The photos in this gallery were taken by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) during the London Pride Parade 2017. Principally of BLUF and London Leathermen, it also includes a few other general shots of Pride. Click the photo to launch the gallery, and click the link below a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 14 Jul 2017 • Read more

London Pride Photos, 2017 - gallery 2

Thanks to Longshot (2710) for this collection of photos of the BLUF/LLM group in the London Pride Parade

Published 10 Jul 2017 • Read more

London Pride Photos, 2017 - gallery 3

The photos in the gallery on this page were taken by a variety of people during the 2017 London Pride Parade, and show the BLUF / London Leathermen group. To view full details of each photo on Flickr, click the link below each picture.

Published 10 Jul 2017 • Read more

London Pride Photos, 2017

The photos in this collection were taken by John, aka nettyjohn (2553) on the Pride Parade, and follow the BLUF and London Leathermen group from our rendezvous at the King's Arms through the march. Click the photo to start viewing the gallery of over 200 images, or view them on [Flickr](https://

Published 09 Jul 2017 • Read more

The battle for Backstreet

Last night, at a meeting of the Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee, the future of London's only leather bar was secured - for the time being at least.

The proposal

Backstreet is the only part of a large building that's still in use. It occupies the back of a

Published 17 Feb 2017 • Read more

BLUF and London Leathermen at London Pride

Once again this year, BLUF took part in the London Pride Parade, and we formed a joint group with London Leathermen (formerly MSC London).

With around 80 people taking part, we think this is the biggest ever leather turnout for the parade. Thanks very much to Paul Turner of LLM

Published 27 Jun 2016 • Read more

Back to the Backstreet, renewing a pledge

You don't know what you've got till it's gone, sang Joni Mitchell and sadly that's all too often been the case with leather bars, which is one of the reasons we started the BLUF 12x12 pledge back at the beginning of

Published 20 Dec 2015 • Read more

BLUF in the London Pride Parade

On Saturday 27th June, London had its biggest ever Pride parade, and as in recent years, we had an official BLUF walking group.

It was our biggest turnout for the march so far, with thirty people making up our group, please the BLUF and leather flags.

We enjoyed a great

Published 30 Jun 2015 • Read more

Photos from London Pride 2015

View image | gettyimages.com

The images in the photo gallery below are public photos from Flickr that show the BLUF group on the London Pride Parade.

If you find more photos of us, please send an email to pride @ bluf.com

Click on a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 29 Jun 2015 • Read more

Photo highlights from London Pride 2014

The photos below are the highlights from over 100 that I shot on the London Pride march in 2014, and show members of BLUF and MSC London in our joint walking group.

Click on a photo to view it on Flickr, where you'll also find all the other photos

Published 13 Aug 2014 • Read more

London Pride March photos - set 2

More photos from the London Pride Parade, taken by leather bln (1879)

Published 02 Jul 2014 • Read more

London Pride March photos - set 1

Thanks to Longshot (2710) for this set of photos showing the BLUF and MSC group in the London Pride Parade.

Published 01 Jul 2014 • Read more

Flickr photos from London Pride

This Flickr gallery shows photos from the BLUF and MSC marching group in the London Pride parade; click on a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 01 Jul 2014 • Read more

More Flickr photos from London Pride

This Flickr gallery shows photos from the BLUF and MSC marching group in the London Pride parade; click on a photo to view it on Flickr.

Published 01 Jul 2014 • Read more

London Leather Social

Although not a BLUF event, the London Leather Social is well attended by BLUF guys, along with a good selection of men into all the different sorts of leather.

It's a friendly event which takes place in the upstairs bar at Comptons on the first Sunday of every month -

Published 06 May 2014 • Read more

More Pride Parade Photos

These photos were taken during the Pride Parade by Pillion Guy (2663)

Click an image to view it on Flickr

Published 13 Jul 2013 • Read more

BLUF photos from London Pride 2013

2013 marked the second year that BLUF was registered as an official participant on the London Pride Parade. We were joined in our walking group by members of MSC London as well, and had a total of around thirty people present on the day.

The photos here were taken by

Published 09 Jul 2013 • Read more

Photos from London Pride

Around 30 people took part in the Pride March for BLUF and MSC London. The photos on this page were submitted to us by FllLthr (1386)

Published 05 Jul 2013 • Read more

BLUF in the London Pride Parade

BLUF is once again taking place in the London Pride parade, which this year is on Saturday 29th of June 2013. We'll be marching towards the front of the parade, hopefully with a fair few people in full leather gear.

If you're into leather, and you'd like

Published 29 May 2013 • Read more

More photos from London's World Pride March

Here are some more photos from the BLUF group marching in London's World Pride Parade, July 7th 2012.

These photos have been kindly contributed from a number of sources. The first four were kindly sent to us by Polari Magazine, followed by three from Recon user 'Evilgrin'

The next

Published 01 Aug 2012 • Read more

BLUF in the World Pride March - photos

For World Pride 2012 in London, and since BLUF will be fifteen this year, we arranged a marching group in the parade. These photos, taken by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3), show the group - which numbered around 25 by the time we finished - plus some of the other sights from the march.

I'm

Published 11 Jul 2012 • Read more

BLUF in the World Pride March - public photos

This collection of photos is from various users on Flickr who took photos of BLUF members as we passed by in the parade on 7th July.

In spite of the weather and the change to the start time, we had around 25 people marching with us by the end of

Published 09 Jul 2012 • Read more

Marching in gear

Pride is upon as and, for the first time, BLUF is registered as a group to march in the parade in London. Amongst all the outpourings of emotion and anger that have been caused by the poor organisation and near collapse of the event, there are also some familiar themes,

Published 06 Jul 2012 • Read more

BLUF in the World Pride march, 2012

BLUF is a registered group in the World Pride march on 7th July 2012, and we welcome those who want to come and join us with the BLUF and leather flags, whether you're in gear or not.

The start time for the march has been rescheduled, and it now

Published 03 Jul 2012 • Read more

Weather today

Gentle Breeze, clear sky, sky is clear

  • Day: 8.0°C
  • Evening: 5.5°C
  • Night: -1.7°C
  • Humidity: 0%

 

BLUF at Pride 2015

BLUF at Pride 2015

Events

The Leather Social

Sunday 07 Apr, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

Fetish Bound

Friday 12 Apr, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

IGNITE

Friday 19 Apr, 22:00

The night for men who smoke, and their admirers! Gear up and get along to The Backstreet, where the private outdoor smoking area awaits you! Normal Backstreet entrance charges and dresscode apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 05 May, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

Fetish Bound

Friday 10 May, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

BLUF at Backstreet

Friday 24 May, 22:00

Join BLUF men at The Backstreet, from 10pm. Normal Backstreet entrance charges apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

IGNITE

Saturday 25 May, 22:00

The night for men who smoke, and their admirers! Gear up and get along to The Backstreet, where the private outdoor smoking area awaits you! Normal Backstreet entrance charges and dresscode apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 02 Jun, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

Fetish Bound

Friday 14 Jun, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

BLUF in the London Pride Parade

Saturday 06 Jul, 11:00

BLUF will be participating in the London Pride Parade again this year, with London Leathermen. All fetish & leather people are welcome to join us, even if you're not a member of either group. However, we do have to register in advance, and request enough wristbands for everyone, so please let us know if you want to come. BLUF members should add this event to their Travel Plans, and non-members should email us with a request to take part. We'll have more details nearer the date. Contact Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3) if you have any questions.

Central London, UK

The Leather Social

Sunday 07 Jul, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

BLUF at Backstreet

Friday 12 Jul, 22:00

Join BLUF men at The Backstreet, from 10pm. Normal Backstreet entrance charges apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

IGNITE

Friday 12 Jul, 22:00

The night for men who smoke, and their admirers! Gear up and get along to The Backstreet, where the private outdoor smoking area awaits you! Normal Backstreet entrance charges and dresscode apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

Fetish Bound

Friday 12 Jul, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 04 Aug, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

Fetish Bound

Friday 09 Aug, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 01 Sep, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

IGNITE

Saturday 07 Sep, 22:00

The night for men who smoke, and their admirers! Gear up and get along to The Backstreet, where the private outdoor smoking area awaits you! Normal Backstreet entrance charges and dresscode apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

Fetish Bound - Mummification Special

Friday 13 Sep, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 06 Oct, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

Fetish Bound - 10th Saimhan Party

Friday 11 Oct, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 03 Nov, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

Fetish Bound - 10th Birthday Party

Friday 08 Nov, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

The Leather Social

Sunday 01 Dec, 18:00

Join other guys in the upstairs bar at Comptons, on the first Sunday of each month, for an informal leather social. No dresscode, no attitude. You don't have to have gear to come along - just meet and mix with other guys, and find out more about the leather scene.

Comptons of Soho, Old Compton St

BLUF at Backstreet

Saturday 07 Dec, 22:00

Join BLUF men at The Backstreet, from 10pm. Normal Backstreet entrance charges apply. More info: Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3)

The Backstreet, Wentworth Mews, Mile End, London, United Kingdom

Fetish Bound - Yule Party

Friday 13 Dec, 19:30

A Bondage Fetish Event For Men Only. There is a Dress Code but its not all leather and rubber - there is so much more on the list that you will be able to easily meet it, like full team sports kit, uniforms and so much more. It's not all about rope either - chains, restraints, sleepsacks, straitjackets and much more. The aim is to create a small friendly no attitude play space to meet play and socialise in, for all levels from the new to the experienced. If you want to play you just need to ask, but equally you can just watch what others are doing with no pressure.

The Underground Club, Central Station, 37 Wharfedale Road, London N1 9SD, United Kingdom

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