coast of England. but the I30 clubs are scattered throughout the country.
Scotland boasts only five of these clubs. two of which have their own land — the Scottish Outdoor Club on lnclunurrin Island in Loch Lomond and the optimisticalIy-namcd Sunnybroom near Aberdeen. Yet it was a Scottish judge. Lord Monboddo. who first advocated ‘naked air bathing‘ in I779. Thereafter it was the Germans who took the lead with ll’anderi'ugel. ttntil llitlcr pttt a stop to naturism in l‘)33.
Around this time the likes of George Bernard Shaw were advocating the use of ‘less than a bathing costume‘ in letters to The Times. By l93b’ The Scottish Outdoor Club was up and running. based originally on the Fcnwick Moor. south of Glasgow. Now Mick. in his capacity as chairman of the northern regional council of British naturism. estimates numbers throughout Britain could range anywhere from l()().()()() to half a million. ‘but no one really knows. It‘s not the sort of thing you could run a national surv ey on.
Ninety-nine per cent of the population at some time or another have practised naturism.’ he goes on to say. ‘whether it be as children progressing through adolescence into skinny dipping. into walking around the house with nothing on. Everybody's tried it basically and left it at that. A lot of people would like to do it a tad more openly if they knew how to. where to go. etc. We‘re promoting it slightly more than we used to. We‘re “coming out" because it's summer.‘
There will always be those who have their doubts. though. Tracey Major of the CCBN hasn‘t succumbed in nine years of providing information by phone to would-be naturists. ‘I just don‘t fancy it really.‘ she says.
However. there are plenty who happily advocate the minimalist approach to the wardrobe. Beveridge first went back to nature in the late 70s while on holiday abroad. The discovery of a naturist beach in Ayrshire coupled with the conducive temperatures in summer I982 brought him and his wife into contact with other Scottish naturists and their membership of the club was soon secured.
‘To me. one of the main benefits of it was the setting. and the sense of peace you can get there.‘ he says. ‘lt’s purely a case of getting away from the pressures of business and telephones and unwinding. There’s a greater sense of relaxation. The feeling is when you shed your clothes. you shed some of your business worries and stave it all off till Monday
‘The general public at large perceive us as being perverts, definitely odd, but we’re really normal people doing what we
enjoy without harming anybody.’
morning. You feel you‘ve found somewhere idyllic and you don’t want to give it up.‘
This latterday Eden is open from April to October each year with the majority of its 40 adult and seven child members using the facilities at weekends. when barbecues. short tennis tournaments and visits from clubs elsewhere in Britain are the norm.
Like most naturist clubs. the social make-up of the Scottish Outdoor Club comprises mainly couples or families. though singles are not unheard of. Members are drawn from a wide range of professions — doctors. lawyers. architects. joiners and lorry drivers are all cited by Beveridge. who is himself an accountant- turned-commercial manager of a large UK company. No matter what their background. dedicated naturists see it as stress-free socialising without the hassle of which-outfit-to- wear.
Clth rules take less to do with conduct and more to do with practicalities like no dogs on site (hence no fouling. hence no unpleasant barefoot encounters). Neither is it compulsory to disrobe in club environs.
'With our climate that would be rather foolish.‘ says Beveridge. ‘If you don‘t feel warm enough. you don‘t do it. You do get diehards who‘ll sit in on a freezing cold day and turn the heating up until it’s warm enough to take their clothes off but mostly if it's cold enough to require you to wear something. you wear something.‘
Nick agrees: ‘We do tend to be a hardy bunch. and the further north you go the hardier you have to be! But l‘m definitely not a masochist. I do not like being cold.‘
He is a member of Xanadu. an Edinburgh naturist club founded two years ago. which takes the unfavourable Scottish climate into consideration and opts more often for monthly skinny dipping-and-sauna sessions.
‘I can‘t understand people putting clothes on to go into water.‘ he says. ‘You don’t in the bath. and until Victorian times nude swimming was the norm. Then along came the bathing costume and the bathing machine and it went to the other extreme. Unfortunately. the British have still got the remnants of this Victorian attitude. There’s an awful lot who only do it abroad because they don’t want to meet the neighbour — you still get a lot of that attitude. but we live in more enlightened times generally speaking.‘
Enlightenment for Adam and Eve may have meant straight down to Next. but it seems that for the growing numbers of Scottish naturists the naked truth is - get your kit off and your rocks will follow.
hazards of baring all.
1. Don’t barbecue anything likely to spit and a sausage recognition course could come in handy.
2. Nude beekeeping is a singularly bad idea.
3. Chain sawing isn‘t too clever either come to think of it.
4. Ice ﬁshing could result in frost bites on your tackle rather than anything biting on the end of your line. 5. Just say ‘No‘ to naked blackberry picking sessions.
6. Going to the beach nude can result in sand in
The bare necessities
Before you think of stripping for Scotland, Jonathan Trew considers the
unfortunate places. Sandblasting nude can result in sand in places you will wish you didn‘t know existed.
7. On no account slide down an unﬁnished bannister. 8. Weed whacking can cause problems.
9. Glass blowing is another one best done clothed. 10. Crowd-surﬁng at rock gigs while in a state of undress is ﬁne if you‘re supposed to be on the stage (step forward Jesus Lizard's David Yow) but tends to lead to den'sion if practised by audience members.
NUDIST SCOTLAND FEATURE
Naturist contacts in Scotland
Anyone with a genuine interest in naturism can find out more about clubs in their area through these numbers:
Central Council for British Naturistn (CCBI) 0/604 2036 /.
Scottish Secretary tor the 003' Mrs Prentice 0/324 485485.
Scottish Outdoor Clllb (based on Inehmnrrin Island. Luv/i Lamond). Mr Beveridge 0/ 563 534 320.
This club has a main club house with two bedrooms. kitchen and lounge as well as plentiful camping space. There is a volleyball/mini-tennis court and a large timber hall for indoor games and socials. Being surrounded by Loch Lomond. swimming facilities are obviously ample.
Xanadu (based in Edinburgh) PO Box [2 767. Edinburgh, EH7 6X E. 0/3] 555 4294.
This is Scotland‘s newest natun’st club which runs a swim and sauna session on the second Saturday of each month as well as organising beach visits, barbecues. social evenings and occasional visits to other clubs.
Solway Sun Club (nr. Car/isle). Mr Trail. 0/46] 204855.
Solway stands in ﬁfteen acres of secluded woodland and boasts a volleyball and mini-tennis court. swimming pool and sunbathing lawns.
Tay Valley Sun Club (Tavside and Fife). Mrs Prentice 0/324 485485.
While the club has no grounds at present. it runs swimming and sauna sessions at Forfar on alternative Sundays through the winter and camping weekends. beach barbecues and visits to other clubs throughout the summer months.
Sunnybroom (nr. Aberdeen). PO Box 1000. Aberdeen. A89 60A.
Set in pine forests outside Aberdeen, Sunnybroom is a converted two-storey cottage with a large community room and a glass vestibule for chilly days. There is a grass games court. a large ﬁeld for camping and plenty of sunbathing grounds.
The List 12-25 Jul 1996 7