Blackpool Baby, Part II

 

It was a late finish or rather early morning by the time I fell into bed at the Melville.  The evening do on Saturday had been great fun and after an intensive schedule and a day of presentations, chance to catch up socially with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for a year or so.

We chatted, danced, laughed, drank and threw a few quid over the bar. I’m not usually a night owl, more of an early bird as those of you who know me from Twitter can attest but I can turn my body clock on its head if circumstance dictates it.  I was going to bed at a time I’d normally be starting to wake up, with an alarm set for 6:30am.

Years ago when I was an actress darlings, we used to tour around the UK. Seaside resorts featured highly in the touring schedule and it became our tradition among to have a swim, irrespective of the time of year.

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I love UK seaside resorts in the autumn and winter.  They have a distinctive tawdry charm, battered by the elements, without droves of ‘Kiss Me Quick’ Brits in tandem.  Here we were in October, in Blackpool.  My mind instantly defaulted to touring mode, albeit thirty years down the line.  The quest for a dip kept vying for attention.  I mentioned it on Friday.  By Saturday it had become a resolve but I faltered.  Somehow, once you’re warm, cozy and well fed, the prospect loses its allure. There was only one thing for it, a morning dip in the nip.

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Blackpool on Saturday, about 8am

At lunch on Saturday I regaled my friends with the notion.  No way did they want to join me, thinking it a mad prospect.  Undaunted, I mentioned it again during the evening on a slightly low-key basis, not wishing to end up reading my public nudity rights from a scrumpled up British Naturism document to the local constabulary.  They can be blithely oblivious to the salient aspect of British law in relation to nudity on occasions, as documented gleefully in the gutter press. With all the worry surrounding a pivotal member of my family who’d recnetly had serious accident and as the eldest of six, the mediator between concerned family and friends, keeping it small seemed a better plan.

By the end of our boozy Blackpool knees-up, I’d secured another three subjects who were happy to join me first thing Sunday, two of whom I’d been chasing Blackpool’s fabled lights with earlier.

The rendezvous was 7am in Reception.  Three were on time, one had to be prompted with a text.  Perhaps it didn’t seem like such a good idea once the day dawned.

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We set off for the seafront, my light sabre leading the way.  I did say slightly low-key😉.  

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Blackpool was still illuminated, with some venues pumping out their lights 24-hours a day. Gulls circled, the bin men were out on their rounds and the sea was about half a mile out!

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The barman at the Melville had warned us when he learnt of our plans Saturday evening.  “Have you checked the tides?”  I looked at him blankly.  It hadn’t occurred to me the sea would be that far out. It was.

We made our way across the sands, wincing in the face of the wind.  It certainly woke us up! One of our party made his way into the sea without hesitation, receding into the water with purposeful strides.  The rest of us were struggling with clothes and bags as the wind whipped around.  Once he returned (he wasn’t long) we followed suit.  The scenery was glorious. Before we entered the water, dawn was breaking, the sky bleeding out various hues of ochre and red, with Blackpool tower silhouetted against it.

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I paddled around a little.  This was my first skinny dip in the UK in October so I wanted to make the most of it.  Once out I was reluctant to get dressed again, savouring the sensation of being outdoors and naked, with the sand between my toes and the wind swirling around.  It also seemed relatively warm after the temperature of the sea.  Totally illusory of course.

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We made our way back to the hotel and after a HOT shower and breakfast I went along to Reverend Bob Horrocks morning worship.  I recognised a few regulars at Bob’s professional presentation and communion.  Christian Naturist Fellowship website here for those of you who’re interested. 

Today was check out day.  I’d yet to pack and check in with my hospitalised family member. I’m pleased to say at the time of writing, whilst still incarcerated ‘hell in paradise’ as he terms it, he has a release date later this month.    

Returning to my room, I was greeted by the sight of clothes and belongings strewn all over the place, shades of being on tour when we moved from B&B to B&B relentlessly.  I learnt to live out of a suitcase but evidently didn’t have the same stamina three decades down the line. After very little sleep and the worry about my family, with a long drive ahead my priority had to be packing and sleep so I missed the presentations I’d hoped to attend that morning.  It was worth it for the memories we created. 

Fortified by sleep, coffee and lunch, I did make the AGM.  I don’t enjoy meetings but this one was good as far as meetings go, it was quick🙂.  I struggled downstairs with all my bags, business and personal, my light sabre, a bunch of flowers given to me by a friend before I left Bucks, my laptop, walking boots, training gear, music system……..fairly typical.  

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Everyone else was already in place which meant I had nowhere to hide and ended up directly opposite the Executive Committee members who were about to start.  A naked service followed by a naked AGM, not commonplace for all but standard for naturists/nudists.  It’s a life lived naked as far as possible.

About 70 people attended Blackpool Baby.  We crowded into the seating opposite the bar. Ballot papers were handed around, motions were carried and questions asked.  Another Convention was drawing to a close.  What a good one it had been!

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Malcolm Boura stepped down after 10 years as the British Naturism Campaigns Manager and was made an honorary member.  He ran two sessions over the weekend which were very informative and also provided valuable legal advice and insights in others.  Useful public nudity download here

The staff at the Melville Hotel enjoyed hosting British Naturism.  One member Carol, poked her head around the door during a lull in the AGM to say how much they had enjoyed having us to stay and they hoped we would stay again.  It’s a sentiment commonly echoed by venues hired by British Naturism. Any qualms staff might have about being faced with public nudity swiftly disappear once the initial shock of being in the presence of a number of nude people becomes the norm.

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I certainly intend to re-visit the Melville, light sabre and all with a girlfriend next year.  It was a perfect venue, a short walk from the beach with friendly, helpful staff, good home cooking and critically if you enjoy a dip in the nip, a constant supply of hot water.  Be safety aware though because you don’t want to end up in ‘hot water’ adversely and don’t combine swimming with alcohol or you’ll end up requiring the ministrations of the RNLI 

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Blackpool Baby! British Naturism’s 2016 National Convention & AGM

The last time I saw the Lights, I was probably about eight.  My nose pressed up against the glass  peering out at the illuminations, transfixed through the raindrops.  Debbie, my younger sister and I were happily ensconced in the back of our grandparents car where we’d been deposited for the week and this was the highlight of our holiday with them. Roll on a few years and action replay, Blackpool illuminations provided the warm up for our Saturday night entertainment during the bi-annual British Naturism  National Convention & AGM and they still have the power.

I travelled up from Buckinghamshire the day before the Convention began.  The main motorway infastructure in the UK is heaving and predictably it was a slow, painful process. Finding the Melville Hotel wasn’t that easy either, with a multitude of one way roads but the ever-helpful member of night staff Shaun talked me in and helped me unpack.

Shaun was acting as porter, receptionist, barman, cook, waiter.  I settled down with a good home cooked meal and a large glass of red to take in the surroundings.

The Melville Hotel which owner Colin has had for six years, is in a prime location near to the seafront.  It has a faded charm but it’s perfectly servicable.  The staff were incredibly friendly, the food good home cooking and critically at the appointed time, we were able to revert to naturist mode for the weekend.  At 6pm on Friday night 14th October until 4pm on Sunday 16th October, the Melville was a clothes-free zone.

The staff had some trepidation beforehand (public nudity is a new experience for many people) but wherever we go as a group, the management and staff enjoy hosting us. We’re a friendly community and the nudity takes no time at all to get used to, even for nude novices.  By the end of weekend Carol who ran Reception popped her head into the room where the AGM was being held to say how much the staff had enjoyed having British Naturism to stay and we were welcome back anytime, although presumably not nude unless it were a special event such as this otherwise other guests might be slightly startled😉.

Guests started to arrive during the day on Friday and I hosted a coffee meetup in the lounge mid-afternoon which went well.  I’d love to have such a good turn out for our Naturist London Ladies coffee meetups!

As ever, it’s nice to put faces to names which you see on the community forum and greet old friends.  Whilst I enjoy the social events British Naturism put on, this bi-annual Convention is very satisfying because it gives committed naturists chance to discuss issues which are important to the community in person and specifically of concern or interest to naturists in the UK.

It’s not just national naturism which is discussed though, international naturism/nudism was on the agenda with presentations from Nick Caunt, British Naturism’s INF International Director.  Nick spoke about the impending World Congress in New Zealand which is due to be hosted between 16th-20th November 2016.

There was a varied programme of presentations, workshops and discussions during the weekend.  Excuse the ticks, they were my provisional choices.  Sadly I wasn’t able to attend as many as I’d hoped due to a family health crisis but those that I did make were very good indeed.

I did manage to get to Andrew Welch British Naturism’s Marketing and PR Director‘s presentation on the very same subject which was interesting.  I help the Andy, the PRO at Diogenes Sun Club with social media so am always keen to gain insights.

I also sat in on Malcolm Boura‘s discussion on Campaigns.  Malcolm has provided his valuable expertise to British Naturism for over ten years and is now stepping down from his role as Campaigns Director.  We talked through a number of issues facing naturism in the UK practically, politically and socially and discussed ways forward within British Naturism from a campaigning perspective.  This was a lively and productive meeting as you might expect.

Finally on the Saturday, I was able to sit in on the presentation on Beaches Campaigning by George Booth, British Naturism’s NW Representative and Nick Caunt  which was very interesting indeed.  A lot of parallel issues from the earlier discussion with Malcolm were apparent.  Malcolm sat in on the presentation too and it was helpful to have his legal insights and advice during the questions which arose.

After dinner that evening, we had some free time to explore Blackpool and see the lights.  I’d already been out early Saturday morning on a failed quest to find a postbox but admittedly didn’t scour the area for too long, I was rather distracted by the sea and trams.  Call me a bit niche but I love trams.

I’d struck up an accord with a lovely couple from Dundee, Derek and Arlene and a relatively new member of British Naturism and to naturism, Mick.  The four of us traipsed off to see the lights together.  Derek also shared my love of trams.  We were like a couple of schoolkids trying to get pictures and footage of the trams as they trundled past.

After cutting a deal on four flashing light sabres (my history darlings) we wandered along drinking in the sights of Blackpool at night.  I wasn’t prepared for it to be so busy.  It’s like a mini Las Vegas.

Sabres aloft, we boarded a tram where Mick negotiated the tram fayre.  The ride along the promenade parellel to the lights and hotels skirting the seafront was the optimum way to tour Blackpool.  We were on a tram, how often do you get that chance?

Tim Peake‘s influence as part of an AV display on the frontage of Blackpool Tower‘s base to fire up the children’s imagination about space exploration was carried through along the route, with large spacemen coming in to view, climbing lamp posts and perching on illuminated displays.

Journey over we returned via another tram.  Two trams in one day!  This journey was hilarious.  The tram conductor could easily have doubled up as a comedian and his repartee combined with a raucous hen party on board added to the hilarity.

We made our way back to the Melville Hotel for the final chapter of the day, a comedy show and burst into the bar, sabres flashing to the amusement of our nude counterparts. The first comedian ended up stuck in traffic so a substitute was pulled in after coming off stage from a nearby hotel.  He accompanied popular backing tracks well, interpersing songs with a volley of eye boggling bawdy, sexist jokes.  I fell about laughing.  There’s no way he’d have got away with those jokes in another environment but this was Blackpool Baby!

Part 2 as soon as I get the chance to write it

Don’t Turn Your Back On Me Baby

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as sung by Showaddywaddy on their 1974 album of the same title.  Pictures of the band look dated now and I’d argue that’s how many clubs and associations come across with their insistence on portraying members cheeks facing.

We don’t greet people in life bottom forward.  We face them, look into their eyes and extend a hand of friendship.  No wonder prospective naturists are confused.  On the one hand clubs are complaining about diminishing numbers and how they’d like to attract new members but it’s often a daunting prospect for people interested in the lifestyle to pay a visit to a swim or a club, especially if they’re single and worse still male.  Websites are often not that welcoming, the reception often less so.

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It’s an individual choice whether or not you choose to be open about your interest in naturism but the penchant for showing your affiliation to naturism by bum cheek after bum cheek after bum cheek is beginning to wear a bit thin.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they were active shots but normally the anonymous naturists are inert and often lined up. What sort of message is that sending across?  Not a very dynamic one and certainly not one that’s likely to appeal to a younger demographic.

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We can’t attribute the phenomena solely to Facebook either because they’ve only begun to allow rear shots in recent history.  From a marketing point of view its pants and it doesn’t sell the message that we’re revelling in body confidence and body acceptance.

Many naturist clubs have beautiful grounds and facilities.  Some members are happy to be featured in PR shots.  Use them or perhaps hire a naturist model for a photographic shoot. The community is awash with professional photographers, life models, artists, performance artists, many of whom would be happy to be featured.

So come on, turn around, what have you got to lose?

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A family graduation & minibreak at Broadlands Naturist Club

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I’ve got two children who have long since flown the coop. The eldest Alice has just completed her degree in nursing and graduated on Tuesday from the University of East Anglia, Norwich.  Alice notified me a while ago so I was able to block time off from my Practice, also in healthcare.

We decided to book a caravan at Broadlands Naturist Holiday Club.  Broadlands is a short distance from Norwich and ideal for exploring the local area.  Set in 25 acres, it’s a peaceful haven from the outside world, with the usual amenities naturists expect in a club setting; heated pool, boules pistes, volleyball court, club house, camping areas etc.

The warden Stephen was very friendly from the outset and that’s one of Broadland’s notable merits, the members and guests are very welcoming and friendly.  Sadly the same can’t be said for all clubs, although I won’t single the ones out which I’ve found to be frosty and inward looking.

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We’re in the middle of a heatwave by British standards at the moment.  Just my luck that I happen to be on a motorway on one such day and again the previous weekend on the way up to Hull to take part in Spencer Tunick’s art installation, the Sea of Hull.

It was a relief to get to Broadlands. I arrived first, having dropped Alice and her partner off to collect their bicycles.  Paperwork duly completed, ID produced and money handed over, I was shown to our caravan.  We opted for a 6 berth beast.

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Honestly, this had everything you could possibly want.  A little home-from-home and remarkably good value, especially after recent trips away when I’ve been hotel bound.

Typically I’d brought enough to set up camp for about a month.  Alice and Adam meanwhile arrived and checked the pool out.

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The following day, up at dawn typically, I wandered around barefoot and took pictures before Broadlands stirred.  I’d already secured confirmation I could take pictures from Stephen.  As ever, it’s scenery only unless someone is happy to appear in the frame.

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This is a vibrant club with about 300 members and a constant stream of families camping and caravanning.  Particularly gratifying was how welcoming people were towards Alice and her friends, four of whom visited over the three days we were there, three females and one male.  Since none of Alice’s friends had ever tried naturism before, it was heartening to see how well a relaxed, clothing optional approach works which is the policy we also employ at Diogenes Sun Club.  One group of campers, welcomed Alice and her boyfriend and invited them to join them in a bbq which I thought marvellous.  Her girlfriends who may have been wary initially, all enjoyed the experience and there was talk of going back to Broadlands and even looking in to joining as members.

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There’s the usual collection of whimsical gnomes peppering the site and a well established petanque league who play at 2:30pm daily.  According to Stephen, you can set your clock by them.

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On the third and final day when we had chance to relax, soak up the sun and use the amenities, we saw the 2:30 crowd in action for ourselves.  At 2:32 precisely, about ten naturists filed past the caravan, boules in hand to the pistes near the club entrance.

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For those of you who’d like to stay and not take the kitchen sink with them (I enjoy cooking and won’t travel without my spices and condiments), the cafe is open twice daily and certainly appeared to be popular, judging from the number of people sitting outside on the balmy evenings when we were there.

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And just look at how beautiful the little trails are wending around the club

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The final day was tinged with regret, our visit was too rushed.  We’ll definitely be back.   I’d certainly recommend you try Broadland’s hospitality for yourself.

The impressive dawn on Wednesday gave rise to this picture.  It wasn’t a fire but the sun rising over the camp.  This picture taken at about 5am.

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Chance for a final walk around naked and barefoot

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And it was time to pack up and make our way back to Buckinghamshire, via Norwich to drop off the millenials.

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For more information, there’s this You tube video of Broadlands, uploaded on 18 July 2014, an interesting article from the Guardian  ‘A stitch in time,’ Thursday 31 May 2007 and a Gallery on the Broadlands website.

Please allow 48 hours notice for day visitors and address any enquiries to Broadlands, as per the website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a while

since I posted here but I’m out of the winter blues and not being distracted by facebook’s allure😉  *more on that in a future post, I’m functional and productive again.

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In the light of recent *events, I’ve changed my focus and I’m carving up my social media time to greater effect in my (and our) continued efforts to dispel the untruths that circulate around naturism and our community, to educate and inform people who are intrigued by naturism who may wish to join us.

I’ve also been busy with my Practice since resurfacing so life is a bit of a juggling act but the curse of insomnia gives me much more creative time. I’d rather get more sleep but at least life is enjoyable!

My local naturist club is Diogenes Sun Club, a warm, friendly club in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire. The club comprises a large manor house surrounded by six acres of beautiful grounds with about 300 members and rising.

I’m very fortunate to live close to a club with such amazing facilities . For someone who’s mad about sport, it’s the perfect complement to my training regime.

We hold regular events at Diogenes which I help to promote with social media, assisting our P.R.O. Andy.

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This weekend, we held out first minifest’ at the club, featuring a gig with Billy Bottle and Martine Waltier .  It was a huge success and will definitely become an annual feature. 

Without further ado  since Shakespeare is in the news, I’ll leave you with some recent pictures of Diogenes.  Our heated 60ft outdoor pool, widely regarded by members as the jewel in our crown was re-opened this past weekend after undergoing a 40K refurbishment.  Look and drool, it’s a sight to behold.
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The next event is this coming Saturday 4 June.  Specifically to try and encourage Ladies to try naturism for themselves, we’re hosting an evening at Diogenes between 6-9pm where guests are able to try out our facilities.  We boast two swimming pools, a 60 ft heated outdoor pool and a smaller but equally alluring heated indoor pool which is open year-round.

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As well as the ubiquitous tea and cakes which seems to underpin naturism; ask any naturist, guests will be welcome to look around Diogenes or wander around the well-tended grounds.

Ladies, if you’re interested in joining us on Saturday (the event costs just six pounds) here’s the relevant webpage  to sign up.

We’re keen to show the world how beautiful our club is and what a great lifestyle naturism confers. Honestly, once you’ve discovered naturism for yourself, you’ll be loathe to assign your freetime to the ‘textile’domain, especially when it’s hot!

We take our marketing and PR efforts out into the local community with our Diogenes Roadshow, hosting stands at local fetes and seasonal fayres.

Feast of St Peter, Andy & Emma

If you’d like to find out more about Diogenes, contact us as per the attached form.  Please note ‘when contacting us, remember that our club is run entirely by volunteers who will be pleased to help but are not always able to respond to you instantly due to work commitments.  Therefore, we politely ask that you allow at least 24 hours for any reply to be forthcoming.’

And Ladies don’t delay, get your ticket for Saturday so you can join us.  The forecast is promising and you can be assured of a warm welcome.

Emma and Nerida in indoor pool

 

 

 

 

 

Naturism

Naturistrunner's Blog

It’s been a while since I wrote about my stance on naturism. So it’s about time I posted my views again.

I believe that being clothes free is perfectly natural and nothing at all to be ashamed of. In fact, I would be happy to be naked anywhere given the chance. I love hiking naked in the mountains whete it is possible to be clothes free all day without hardly seeing anyone. I keep a pair of shorts close to hand juat in case.
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However society often objects to nudity as it is wrongly associated with sexual activity. However, public nudity events such as WNBR are now becoming increasingly popular and improve the public’s awareness of naturism being natural. I have done 3 WNBRs and found the experience so liberating.
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Anyone who has enjoyed the freedom of social nudity will agree that in doing so barriers are down and people…

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Hasting’s First World Naked Bike Ride, 2014 #WNBR

Last year I took part in my first World Naked Bike Ride.  Coincidentally the ride I elected to take part in was also a first, Hasting’s first WNBR which suited me because as a new ride, numbers were much lower and I’m not exactly confident on a bike.

A number of my friends have ridden on WNBR rides for years and quite a few organise and marshal the events so I had plenty of people to turn to for advice to allay my qualms, not only about my distinct lack of cycling prowess but also as a woman and naturist, taking part in such a public event.

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For those of you who have never witnessed or taken part in a WNBR ride, they’re joyous occasions transmitting a deadly serious message.  Although I haven’t cycled much in adulthood, I’m environmentally conscious, a belief structure which underpins the naturist community.  

Supported by naturists and non naturists, these rides are fundamentally protest rides designed to highlight the deleterious effect we are collectively imposing upon our broken planet.  Consequently riders who take part draw attention to the WNBR aims by daubing themselves in slogans such as ‘think bike’,  ‘it’s oil over,’ ‘less gas more ass’ and in some instances sporting full body paint or dressing up.

As an active networker and naturist, although a recent convert to public naturism (I joined British Naturism in May 2011), I quickly grew a large naturist network, both in the UK and overseas.  One member of my network, Richard Foley a British ex-pat now residing in Germany became a good friend and we communicated actively about naturism/nudism.  

A published author and founder of a free international naturist/nudist networking site the Naktiv Network, Richard has been involved with naturism for many years and is passionate about the WNBR and what it stands for.  In 2012, Richard published his book on the World Naked Bike Ride and asked me to review it for him.  

Many of the questions I had about the ride were dispelled.  The questions I had about my cycling abilities remained and still do to this day.  I do have a bike now but I am still loathe to go out on it unless I am chaperoned.  Lame I know!

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Hastings pictured during the WNBR 2014

I’m a member of Diogenes Sun Club, a large family-friendly naturist club in Buckinghamshire, one of the counties bordering London where I live.  Another member Andy Crawford kindly agreed to take me to the ride and keep an eye out for me which was reassuring.  Andy and I get on well.  He has a great sense of humour and is equally blunt and outspoken which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your viewpoint.

As the ride approached I was still wrestling with the thought of being fully naked given how public these rides are.  Not because I have any issues about nudity but because as a woman I have concerns about the invasive, predatory individuals who leech around these rides with their macro telephoto lenses, whose quest appears to be to take as many photos of the women in attendance as they possibly can and upload them, goodness only knows where on the web.

After reviewing Richard’s book, the activist in me was stirred to think I would do the ride naked.  Nudity serves to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists and being stripped bare on a WNBR ride simply brandishing slogans helps to emphasise the key environmental messages, which the founders of the World Naked Bike Rides were striving to convey to maximum effect.

The body is judged in society just as clothes can demark people.  Every year at least one council representative becomes apoplectic with indignation that a WNBR ride is scheduled to pass through their town or city, failing to take into account that nudity is perfectly legal in England and perfectly normal!

However, most people who favour public nudity, whether ascribing to the term naturist or nudist, choose not to ‘flaunt’ their nudity as some of the tabloids would attest. The WNBR is designed as a peaceful protest, the body brandished for emphasis. 

Nudity still has the power to shock and sadly for many, nudity is wrapped up with sexual connotations, hence the neurotic assumption that a naked body is automatically associated with sex.  It’s an assumption we constantly have to challenge in the naturist community, especially in relation to children.  Infact children who are brought up as naturists are likely to have higher body confidence and self esteem and be more conversant with so-called societal ‘norms’ and perceptions and how the modern media projects its cultural and gender bias.  In turn, this fosters disharmony between the sexes with its pervasive, malign misogyny and in turn encourages a whole host of eating disorders; anorexia nervosa, bulimia, body dysmorphia, low self worth, low confidence.  I could go on….

By encouraging riders to go ‘as bare as you dare’ the founders of the WNBR intended rides gain the optimum amount of publicity and coverage.  However, in recent years in the UK, national media has appeared to fight shy of covering the rides although the local press will cover it widely and generally with good humour, acknowledging why participants take part naked or partially clothed and stressing the environmental issues at stake.

So what did I decide to do on my first ride?  I chickened out and wore knickers.  As a naturist, I’m not shy in getting the message out about naturism and our community.  I did a short interview with Stephen Smith on Newsnight after all but the prospect of those telephoto lenses was more than I could bear.

The ride itself was a relatively gentle, circular six miler, taking in the beautiful promenade and seafront and fringing the shops, which were lined with a combination of largely supportive bystanders.

A carnival atmosphere prevails on the WNBR rides.   Daubed in colourful slogans, some head to toe in body paint, riders honk, cars toot and some members of the public shout out in support while the occasional person crows or chooses to shield their child’s eyes from the sight of a raft of naked people cycling past. As a parent and a naturist I feel sorry for the children, it just serves to perpetuate the ridiculous notion that the body is something to be ashamed of.  My children are completely comfortable with the human body, having been brought up with a naturist parent although there are times when I  embarrass them morbidly.  Isn’t that the role of a parent ;)?

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Hastings frontage

Numbering about fifty, we set off from Alexandra Park, escorted by Sussex Police.  I’d hired a bike from Bell’s Bicycles.  What a treasure this shop is and I got exactly what I’d requested, an old fashioned sit-up-and-beg bike.  I don’t do gears darlings.

Initially I was nervous and useless quite frankly but by the end of the ride I was whizzing along, emboldened somewhat by PC John Beacham’s presence who was safely astride a robust touring bike.

PC Beacham was one of the police who had been assigned to ensure the ride progressed peacefully and safely.  I spent much of the ride at the front of the convey where my wobbling gait couldn’t bring other riders down but also to highlight the fact women also participate in these rides and we can be top free too!

Probably because of the reasons I outlined earlier, women are less likely to take part although nudity isn’t mandatory.  “As bare as you dare,” is a key message churned out by the ride organisers and one lady who joined the ride spontaneously on the day having heard about the ride that morning, took part with her boyfriend and participated fully clothed.  It’s more about taking part and embracing the key environmental issues the ride seeks to promote.

We stopped for a quick break along the route near a lovely little park where I discovered Harold and Edith.

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Ever the joker, I seconded Andy to replicate the pose

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And PC Beacham proved to be a real sport too.  I did warn him I was a blogger and his picture was likely to end up all over the web.

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After the ride, Sussex Police stuck with us so we were able to have an impromptu skinny dip without being unduly harassed.  There was the odd catcall but passers by who were keen to impress upon them why we were butt naked, brandishing slogans settled the taunters down and we enjoyed half an hour or so on the beach.

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Roger Coupe, one of the Hastings WNBR organisers after Hastings WNBR 2014

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Today is the second Hastings WNBR. Sadly I can’t be there but I have friends who will be, organisers and riders.  If you are in the area, why not go along to show your support or better still, take part?

People are meeting at 1230pm in Alexandra Park and the ride starts at 130pm.  Rain is forecast but what better way to spend a rainy Sunday. Live a little🙂

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WNBR. Hastings World Naked Bike Ride 2015

TODAY, Sunday 31 May 2015http://bit.ly/1SJoyIW

WNBR Hastings, Facebook grouphttp://on.fb.me/1rfx9If

WNBR Hastings, Facebook event page:  http://on.fb.me/1JaSiLT