As part of NAG’s campaign for the acceptance of naturism in London, on 7 July, Richmond Park was the location for a naturist picnic. Keith Palmer gives this report:
“Peter and I met Steve at the information kiosk at Richmond Station as the sun emerged from behind the drizzly morning clouds and a fine afternoon seemed in prospect. We waited 15 minutes to see if any others turned up but no-one else appeared, possibly put off by the poor weather earlier. As we three ascended Richmond Hill we looked down upon a super view of the river curving away into the distance.
“In the park we found a sunny glade among scattered mature oaks to make our encampment. We stripped off and settled down to our picnics. We were positioned discreetly but certainly not hidden. A number of cyclists and dog walkers passed by, clearly noticing us but making no comment either negative or positive. I think we can take that as acceptance?
“The turn-out of three was distinctly disappointing, given the improvement in the weather after midday. Many thanks to Steve for guiding us across the sandy paths of the park to a suitable spot.”
Yet another indication that the NAG hard work, along with BN over six-years, on getting a better awareness of the legitimacy of naturism paid off. That work led to new guidance from the CPS in 2013 and the College of Policing in 2018. Police officers, court prosecutors and open space managers now realise that public nudity by naturists is not illegal.
Having established naturism as a legitimate activity on Hampstead Heath, NAG is currently looking at other open spaces and parks around London where naturism may take place. It is important not to rely on advance weather forecasts, when a day may instead turn out sunny.
Unless it is clearly unsuitable weather, NAG will always check at the meeting point on the day. If you would like to be part of future NAG activity in Hampstead Heath contact Chris Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women who would like to join action at Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond should contact Louise Ponting through www.naturistwomen.org. For Richmond Park contact Steve Harrison at email@example.com.
For other enquiries on NAG London activities contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 20 July 2019 and at 2.00pm, to a clap of thunder, 25 naked cyclists started the 7th Clacton WNBR from the west sea front near to the Martello Tower. Organised by Robert and a small local Four Seasons WNBR collective, the route took the naked riders from an assembly point in the Toby Carvery car park on a gentle 8-mile circular route around the streets of Clacton in sunshine and showers.
Without fanfare, other than the thunder, they could not match the Colchester send-off the Saturday before when 20 riders and watching crowds heard music from the Street Orchestra Live. Naturally, amongst the tunes played was the hit ‘Ride my Bicycle’ by Queen.
To aid traffic control a motorcycle escort, provided by Michael, helped to clear the way at road junctions. Riders came from far and wide; London, Brazilian friends Gabriella and Milton, Eastbourne, Gloucester, a WNBR ride organiser from Australia, Cambridge, Ipswich as well as the area around Clacton. They included Ken on a special trike which accommodated his oxygen cylinder. and to add to the carnival atmosphere Adam wore a colourful straw hat.
For Barry Greenope, definitely not to be confused with Barry Freeman, it was his 99th WNBR. Barry was disappointed that he will not attain 100 rides until the start of the 2020 WNBR season. Advance coverage by local paper Clacton Weekly Gazette meant that thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on the naked cyclists.
Robert gave a good interview on BBC Radio Suffolk, at their invitation, on the Monday after the Ipswich WNBR. Then on Wednesday Robert had a phone conversation with inspector Matt Breeze, a police officer from Ipswich, who said they had received no adverse comments from the public about the ride. Along with the public, police officers were looking forward to the carnival atmosphere created by the ride. Patrons of Marine Parade pubs and restaurants had a lucky opportunity to cheer on the ride twice.
After the ride ended some of the jubilant cyclists went to the new naturist beach nearby. A small stretch of beach is just past the Martello Tower and easily identified by the big rocks in the sand. After a spot of sun and sea we had a joint meal in the nearby Toby Carvery. Another special rider was Alan, who is autistic and collected £125 for the charity National Autistic Society.
Four baffled police motorcycle outriders arrived at 1.00pm at the Espace Naturiste in Paris on Sunday 8 September. Paris WNBR organisers then had to inform them that the Paris local government had cancelled the planned ride – just the day before on Saturday 7th. But the local government department officers had not informed this police unit. That meant the police escort to clear the WNBR route through Paris traffic was not needed.
Months of planning by APNEL’s Jacques Frimon, together with Gilles had gone into the ride. APNEL is the French equivalent of the UK’s Naturist Action Group. All the correct procedures were followed and permissions were granted. Then on the Saturday Didier Lallement, Prefect (head) of the Paris Police decided that the ride should not be classified as a protest – as all other WNBR rides are accepted to be internationally – but would instead be classed as an illegal sexual display.
On the Sunday morning hundreds of riders turned up at the Espace Naturiste in Bois de Vincennes. Also there in force were
Ton Dou (poet speak for Anthony Douglas) a Bare Body Freedom Activist singer-songwriter from Las Vegas is running for President of the United States 2020. He will be holding an outdoor clothing optional campaign rally at Duffy Plaza in very central Times Square New York City during his Ultimate Freedom Concert Sunday, September 1, 2019.
San Francisco Body Freedom activist, who is supporting the campaign, has been writing loosely campaign related news-essays-blogs which Ton has been posting. Aside from FaceBook and Change.org, they can be read in the blog section of nuderallies2020.com. Especially interesting to me is essay #2 titled, “What about the children?”
If Donald Trump could be elected, anything could happen. It would be an interesting change to have a bare US President instead of an unbearable one!
We are delighted to announce that Louise Ponting has agreed to join the NAG’s Management Collective, and look forward to working with her in the future.
You can learn more about Louise through her website: NaturistWomen.org.
Sandra Ballard has negotiated a performance, for a naturist-only audience, on Friday 9 August 2019 in Oxford, of the play Redcoatsby the well-known travelling Mikron Theatre.
“Mikron’s radiant Redcoats will guide you through 80 years of Butlins splendour with their trademark mix of fun, pathos and songs. Join us as we delve into holiday huts, bonny babies and knobbly knees with guest appearances from Marlene Dietrich, Gracie Fields and Laurel and Hardy.”
This special performance will be at Toad Oxford Artisan Distillery, Old Depot, South Park, Cheney Lane, Oxford OX3 7QJ. Don’t forget to bring a towel to sit on!
Arrive on Friday 9 August at 6.30pm for tasting a gin or two, before the play starts at 7.30pm. Tickets for the play are £15.50 each and can be purchased from the BN website. Book early to avoid disappointment!
MIKRON is an award-winning Yorkshire-based national arts charity now in their 48thyear. Travelling on-board their historic narrowboat, Tyseley, Mikron is a professional theatre company that travels the country by inland waterways to give performances at non-theatrical venues by canal or river in the summer months. They also travel by van in spring and autumn.
“I have seen many performances by Mikron over the past 40 years, they are always good fun.” They commission two new plays each year, and the companion to Redcoats during the 2019 season is All Hands-on Deck; the story of two WRENS during World War 2, the polar opposites to each other.
MIKRON perform in repertory and tour between April and October. Further details of their 2019 tour can be found on Mikron’s website.
Our London colleagues have been looking at organising a short trip to Paris and a visit to Bois de Vincennes. Planned for over the weekend of 28-30 June 2019, you can learn more details in this leaflet or contact John Paine by emailing him on email@example.com.
The Website is now back in working order, and my apology for the delay in getting back to normal.
Jordi Casamitjana is taking the League of Cruel Sports to an Employment Tribunal claiming that his dismissal by them was due to him being a vegan, which they deny. I won’t repeat all the details about the case here; you can go to the BBC News website for that. What Mr Casamitjana is saying, is that his brand of veganism, which he calls ethical veganism, is a matter of ‘belief and effects every single aspect of (his) life.’
The tribunal next March will have to decide, therefore, is veganism a philosophical belief and protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. If they say it is, it could mean others with equally deep rooted beliefs could seek similar protection.
Is naturism a philosophical belief though? For some it might be but how prevalent is it among naturists? We don’t know but we might get a clue from the Survey of UK Naturism. We have had a stunning start, with over 300 respondents already by last Monday (3rdDecember) and I was wondering if we could make it 500-plus by the end of the Month? There is still plenty of time for anyone who hasn’t already completed it, a nice 30-minute break from madcap Christmas preparations, perhaps. And don’t forget to remind your naturist family and friends to complete it too.
5th December 2018
Eight years ago, when we launched Naturist Action Group, we had two aims; to campaign for the lifestyle’s wider acceptance and to represent a broad range of views within UK Naturism. We thought we had a reasonable grasp of the issues involved, and we had the beginnings of a plan.
Today though, NAG is announcing what will arguably be its biggest project to date, it is an attempt to learn more about UK naturism, the opinions of naturists in this country to find out how we think collectively. Let me ask the question that must be forming on your lips by now: Why?
In part it is in response to Rayner Otter, who last year wrote an essay [H&E Naturist, March 2017] about what he saw as the future of naturism following his nine-years of observing the European naturist scene. You could say, I’m putting my money where my mouth is, for I argued that naturism didn’t need conclusions based on observation but from robust research [H&E Naturist, July 2017]. To be fair, Rayner responded generously saying he too agreed with the premise. However, as a British-based organisation we are chiefly concerned about UK naturism, so the survey we shall be conducting will be restricted to those living in the United Kingdom, or British nationals living abroad while maintaining strong links with the UK.
The other part is that it’s really time we took a look at ourselves; are we serving naturism and naturists well? Are the things we think we know, accurate. Could we do things differently, better, smarter? And finally, can we describe the British person attracted to the lifestyle in any detail?
These are our goals and while I cannot promise we will achieve all of them perfectly we shall, with your help, make a good attempt.
This survey is for anyone 18-years and over, so married couples or co-habiting partners can complete separate questionnaires, as can any adult children. Once you have completed the survey, please share this post on social media, or by whatever means is available to you, with your naturist friends and family, encouraging them to complete it too. We want as many replies as possible, from the young and old, male or female, Black, Brown or White, computer savvy or not. The more replies we get, from as broad a spectrum of society as possible, the more accurate the survey will be.
UK NATURISM SURVEY— Closing date for replies: 31/12/2018.
If online forms are not your forte then we have a Word document (.docx) that can be used either as an editable electronic document on your desk top or printed, to be used as a paper survey. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Survey” in the subject line and you will receive a reply within 24hours. Or send a self-addressed envelope (DL or C5) with a first- or second-class stamp to: UK Naturism Survey, c/o Reg Barlow, 6 Brunswick Street, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 4PL and a pre-printed paper survey will be posted to you. Surveys returned by post and postmarked 31/12/2018 will be accepted. Just follow the instructions provided.
Many thanks for your co-operation, and don’t forget to share.
18 November 2018