5 The List 12-25 Jul 1996

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Peter Sellers: showing oh his Instrument In A Shot In the Dark

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Naturism in Scotland is alive, kicking and fighting those goosebumps. Fiona Shepherd uncovers the attraction of letting it all hang out.

dam and Eve went for gymnosophy in a big way. Wandering freely and innocently round the Garden of Eden. the world‘s first naturists were without a care for a time. Then of course the Tree of Knowledge entered the picture. Mankind fell irrevocably and everything went complicated and angst- ridden. Crucially. the couple ‘were given understanding and realised they were naked. so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves‘.

Several millennia later. Nick (surname withheld). an Edinburgh-based thermo-acoustic erection engineer (no. really) with a penchant for disrobing in the company of like-minded individuals. is trying to get round the ancient concept that understanding 2 clothing and naturism = several sandwiches short ofa picnic.

"The general public at large perceive as as being perverts. definitely odd.’ he admits. ‘but

‘We do tend to be a hardy bunch, and the further north you go the hardler you have to be! But I’m definitely not a masochist. I do not like being cold.’

we're really normal people doing what we enjoy without harming anybody. Naturists are enlightened people with wider attitudes. They haven‘t got tunnel vision. They tend to be more intelligent I think.‘

‘There‘s a misconception in the popular press.‘ says Doug Beveridge of the Scottish Outdoor Club. ‘but there’s a vast difference between your average naturist and some exhibitionist running around the beach.’

‘People who come for the wrong reasons stand out quite quickly.‘ says Cecilia Prentice, northern region secretary of the Central Council for British Naturism. ‘Some people think it’s a sex club that’s a common one and it’s definitely not.’

However. this apologist stance belies encouraging developments for aspiring gymnosophists. Organised naturism is on the up in Britain. The CCBN has recorded a 20 per cent increase in membership over the last few years - it now stands at 30,000. Britain’s ten official naturist beaches are located mainly on the south