British Naturism

British Naturism
British Naturism
Abbreviation BN
Legal status Non-profit organisation
Purpose/focus Naturism in the UK
Location 30-32 Wycliffe Road, Northampton
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 recognised by the International Naturist Federation as the official national naturist society in the United Kingdom.



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 Gymnosophist Society

Harold Booth published articles pertaining to naturism in many magazines at the turn of the century, and in 1922 the English Gymnosophist Society 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. By 1926 the EGS was called 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 Bathing Association

In 1943 the British Sun Bathing Association 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.

British Naturism (Formerly CCBN)

Both these organisations existed until the merger in 1964 created the 'Central Council for British Naturism' (CCBN). By 2006 CCBN was usually referred to as 'British Naturism' but has officially dropped the 'Central Council for' in favour of the less formal 'British Naturism' since the 2009 AGM, and had a membership of about 13,000.[1]

Britisn 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. [2]

Later dates

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.[3]
2007 - Parliament repeals the enabling power for councils to make bylaws regulating standards of clothing to be worn for bathing. [4]


External links

News items

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