British Naturism

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British Naturism
British-naturism-logo.gif
Abbreviation BN
Legal status
Non-profit organisation
Purpose Naturism in the UK
Location
Region served
UK
Membership UK naturists
President
Angela Russell
Main organ
Executive Council
Affiliations International Naturist Federation
Website British Naturism
Duke's Mound beach in Brighton

British Naturism (until 2009, Central Council for British Naturism) is a federation of naturist societies in the United Kingdom, and recognised by the International Naturist Federation as the official national naturist organisation in that country.

Definition[edit]

In the British legal context:

Naturism is used to describe the activities of persons who espouse nudity as part of their lifestyle. Whilst many naturists will restrict their activities to specially designated areas and/or places where there is a tradition of naked activity, such as nudist beaches, others may wish to enjoy nudity more widely.

The law recognises that a balance needs to be struck between the naturist's right to freedom of expression and the right of the wider public to be protected from harassment, alarm and distress.[1]

As a member of the International Naturist Federation, British Naturism adopted the 1974 Agde Declaration that states that naturism is:

a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.[2]

History[edit]

British Naturism traces its origins to 1891 when a short lived society called the 'Fellowship for the naked trust' was formed in British India. This trust had ideals and principles very similar to many later organisations.

English Gymnosophical Society[edit]

Harold Booth published articles pertaining to naturism in many magazines at the turn of the century, and in 1922 the English Gymnosophical Society (EGS) was formed as a direct result of his work. It had a site in Wickford, Essex, which it used during the summer, and in winter it held meetings in London.[3][4] By 1926 the EGS was renamed the New Gymnosophy Society and had a site at Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire which has subsequently been used by many different clubs.

Concurrent to this, naturism was also practised at the Welsh Harp in Hendon, apparently from as early as 1921. From this sprang the National Sun and Air Association which ran national advertisement campaigns, as well as running a gymnasium in Westbourne Grove, London. By 1937, membership of this society was running at over 2000.

N F Barford had also formed his Sun Bathing Society which promoted sun and air bathing for families, during the same period.

British Sun Bathers Association[edit]

In 1943 the British Sun Bathers Association (BSBA) was formed and became recognised as a national federation of clubs, which by 1951 had 51 member clubs or groups. However by 1953, personal and ideological differences led to the formation of the rival Federation of British Sun Clubs (FBSC).

British Naturism (formerly CCBN)[edit]

Both organisations existed until their merger in 1964 to create the Central Council for British Naturism (CCBN). By 2006, CCBN was usually referred to as 'British Naturism' but officially changed the name to 'British Naturism' at the 2009 AGM. In 2009, it claimed a membership of about 13,000.[5]

British Naturism has sought legal and political protection against discrimination for naturists in the United Kingdom, where it estimates the naturist population at 1.5 million people.[6]

Milstones[edit]

Notable milestones in the development of naturism in the United Kingdom included:

1957 - Naturist films shown in cinemas.
1958 - International Naturist Federation congress in Britain.
1965 - The hire of public baths for naturist swimming began.
1970 - International Naturist Federation congress in Britain.
1978 - International Naturist Federation congress in Britain, and the setting aside of officially designated naturist beaches.
2003 - Parliament repeals all offences that explicitly make nudity an offence.[7]
2007 - Parliament repeals the enabling power for councils to make bye-laws regulating standards of clothing to be worn for bathing.[8]

Young British Naturists[edit]

British Naturism has an active youth group for naturists under 30 called Young British Naturists, usually shortened to YBN.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nudity in Public - Guidance on handling cases of Naturism". Crown Prosecution Service. 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  2. ^ 2002-2003 World Naturist Handbook, pub International Naturist Federation INF-FNI, Sint Hubertusstraat, B-2600 Berchem(Antwerpen) ISBN 90-5583-833-0 The Agde definition. The INF is made up of representative of the Naturist Organisations in 32 countries, with 7 more having correspondent status.
  3. ^ Worpole, Ken. Here Comes the Sun: Architecture and Public Space in Twentieth-Century European Culture. London: Reaktion Books, 2000. ISBN 9781861890733 p.45 Google Books excerpt
  4. ^ Health and Efficiency, 1935 (as cited in Warpole)
  5. ^ "PRESS RELEASE - NATURISTS TO CHALLENGE PROPOSED BEACH CHANGE". British Naturism. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  6. ^ The Equality Bill: Submission by British Naturism
  7. ^ Sexual Offences Act 2003. London: OPSI. 2003-11-20. 
  8. ^ Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. London: OPSI. 2007-10-30. 
  9. ^ "Young British Naturists - YBN". British Naturism. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]