On this day in history : 9th August 1979 – Black Rock Beach on Brighton’s seafront is established as Britain’s first official nudist beach – despite fierce opposition from those who disapproved….
The campaign for a part of the seafront to be set aside for naturists was led by 47-year-old grandmother and local councillor Eileen Jakes – who being a landlady on the seafront believed it would encourage tourism…. The opposition believed it would attract perverts; opposing councillor John Blackman thought it would be a “flagrant exhibition of mammary glands”…. His belief was that people would be offended and he added “People naively believe what is good enough for the Continent is good for Britain”….
A 200yd stretch of beach, situated to the east of Palace Pier, officially opened on the 1st of April 1980…. Brighton was the first major resort to have a designated nudist beach – and there were those who were determined it would be the last…. In 1983 a majority Conservative group in Brighton Council promised to close it down, calling it a “disgrace to the town”…. However, it remains today as the best known naturist beach in the country….
The law on nudity in Britain is a grey area…. It is perfectly legal as long as nobody is alarmed, distressed or harassed by it…. There are currently around forty locations in the UK that are considered naturist beaches (but bare😊in mind this does not necessarily mean the whole of the beach)….
Nude bathing originated in Germany over a century ago, with the Free Body Culture Movement – encouraging people to get closer to nature – hence ‘naturism’…. However, whilst many places on the Continent have a relaxed, tolerant view on it, naturism is still regarded with distaste by many in this country…. Naturists can often expect to put up with B-list, windswept beaches….
If sunbathing as nature intended is your ‘thing’ – don’t forget the sunscreen!