The Yorkshire naturist club and why we shouldn’t be embarrassed by our bodies
I was three miles north of Hull, watching an unusually large rabbit mosey across the grass, when a smiling naked pensioner emerged from the trees. It had been at least a decade since I’d seen another man in the buff and I was immediately overcome with the urge to apologise to him profusely before running away.
Quite where to run to, though, on a gated 26-acre naturist’s site, with a high fence running round it, I couldn’t decide, so I shook his hand and said something nice about the weather.
Desmond – not his real name – has been a member of the Yorkshire Sun Society since 2003. He told me that prior to that he used to wander naked across the Yorkshire Moors with his wife but with the advent of the camera phone, he started to worry that an encounter with somebody unsympathetic to the cause, might lead to trouble.
Founded in 1932, by a local couple called George and Wendy, the Yorkshire Sun Society is Britain’s second oldest naturist reserve. In the pavilion, pinned up on a wall is a grainy photo of Wendy perched demurely on a tree stump with George smiling proudly at her side.
Surrounding them in a collage are other black and white snapshots of a bygone naked Britain. In one photograph, a pair of young women are planting vegetables on the Sun Society site with the caption ‘dig for victory’ above it, and in another, two small children play in a tin bathtub while their smiling parents look on.
The lithe athletic figures in those old photos contrast starkly with the older membership today. Over a cup of tea, the current Membership Secretary, Mo, explained to me, with a smile, that they certainly don’t expect people to have perfect bodies.
“If you were here at the weekend,” she continued, “when the club’s much busier you would see there isn’t really anyone with a perfect body.”
As we finished our tea, Mo recalled that her life before naturism was one long worry about her “bum looking big”. It was only when she found the movement, and started spending time being naked among others, that she came to accept herself.
Source: The Yorkshire Post
Original publication 27 September 2019
Posted on NatCorn 3rd October 2019
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.