Dateline: 13th December 2011
Harrogate's Turkish Baths actually a Den of Sin?
Harrogate Council have been forced to close male-only sessions at the town's famous spa following what is being enigmatically called 'inappropriate behaviour' among its patrons.
What the exact nature of this behaviour is has not been made clear by council spokespersons, but Council Caroline Bayliss had this to say:
"We have unfortunately had complaints from other male users of the Turkish Baths. These are problems that are very difficult for our staff to deal with over a period of a number of years."
The baths employ a largely female staff, so you'll have to fill in the following blanks to create your own idea of what inappropriateness might have been occurring:
- Mostly naked men
- Steamy atmosphere
- Female staff
If you're more imaginative, you might want to cross out the 'female staff' - for after all, we live in commendably open-minded times when it comes to homosexuality. Perhaps the whole affair is better being hidden behind a decorous veil, as the council evidently intend.
Harrogate's reputation as a retreat for poshos dates back to Victorian times, when the town's spa waters (rich in sulphur, iron, zinc and sundry other elements) made it a destination for be-whiskered gentlemen with fob watches and thumbs-in-waistcoat-pockets. Like those of Scarborough, the waters were thought to have life-enhancing powers, and the spa soon found itself housed in a building that harked back to the glories of ancient Rome.
Today, TripAdvisor sagely note that the spa is a 'fantastic place to unwind', although now it seems that it is an equally good place to get wound-up.
Perhaps it could be that the town's waters actually enhance life a little too much after all. If you know what we're saying.
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