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SUN Campaign History - Nov 1997

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The 2nd AGM of Studland United Nudists

SUNs' 2nd Annual General Meeting was held at the Holmcroft Hotel on Saturday, November 8th 1997. The meeting was opened at 8.20 p.m. by the Chairman, Mike Peterson with 29 members present and 36 proxies registered. The Chairman addressed the meeting briefly, thanking all Board and ordinary members for their hard work in making a success of the Group. He said that he would not be standing for re-election. There was only one nomination for the office of Chairman, Mark Nisbet, who was duly elected and assumed the Chair. After addressing the meeting (the text of Mark's address appears here) the Chairman proceeded to the election of other Board members. Gill Williams was elected Deputy Chairman and Chris Phillips and Reg Chapman were re-elected to the Board. (There were no other nominations, so there is now a vacancy for one Representative.)

The Financial Statement was given by the Treasurer, Sue Dangerfield, who reported that the Group's finances are in robust condition. The Chairman added that Limited Company status, which would protect individual members' assets in the event of aggressive legal action, and which was authorised by the 1996 AGM, was almost complete.

Propositions Notified in Advance

Proposition 1.
That the annual membership subscription be increased to £3.00 per member.

On behalf of the Board, the Chairman proposed that, with effect from November 1st, 1997, the membership fees be restructured as follows: new members to pay £3.00, existing members to renew for £2. The Secretary explained that the first year's membership included a badge at 32p, at least two newsletters at an average 37p, and postage of between 90p and £1.30. The current fee of £2 is inadequate although (subject to postal cost increases) it is sufficient for subsequent years. There was some discussion which showed that most members would have been happy to pay a higher joining fee. The proposition was seconded by Chris Phillips and on being put to the vote was CARRIED.*

Proposition 2.
Election of Honorary Life member

On behalf of the Board, the Chairman proposed that in recognition of his work and dedication in the setting up of SUN Group, outgoing Chairman Mike Peterson be elected an Honorary Life Member. RL1134 seconded and on being put to the vote the proposition was CARRIED.

Propositions From The Floor

There were no propositions from the floor.

Any Other Bussiness

SUN Events - Noggin'n'Natter

There was a discussion on the "special" Noggin'n'Natter evenings. Currently three a year, these are funded by individual Board members who provide a buffet, raffle prizes and (in September) a birthday cake. However, support for these functions has been indifferent and the Board seeks the views of the membership on their continuance. After considerable debate it was agreed to discontinue these special functions, although the monthly Noggin'n'Natter would continue.

SUN Events - AGM

It was felt that, in the future, the birthday party and AGM should be combined and spread over a weekend at a suitable venue where we could strip off. By arranging the event from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime inclusive, we might attract more distant members who might currently think it not worthwhile to travel all the way to Bournemouth for just one evening. It was suggested that the weekend - except for the AGM - might be opened to non-members partly to defray the cost and partly to attract new members. The Treasurer stressed, however, that we could accept financial responsibility only for the hire of the AGM room: accommodation, etc., could not be underwritten by the Group and remained the responsibility of individual members. The Board was instructed to proceed with the planning of such a weekend.


There was a discussion on the Litterblitzes, currently two a year, which have likewise attracted indifferent support. Attitudes were ambivalent some members took the view that, in view of the National Trust's hostility, why should we help them by clearing litter? On the other hand, by conducting Litterblitzes we gain bargaining power - nudists keep their area clean, unlike the textiles. It was agreed to pass on the message in the newsletter firstly that we have a duty to keep our area tidy and secondly, that if we see someone leaving litter, we should speak to them about it. It was agreed to combine the Litterblitz with a beach party and to have only one a year, in the main holiday period. A proposition to hold a Litterblitz and Beach Party on August Bank Holiday Sunday, 30 August 1998 was CARRIED.

Recruiter of the year 1997

The Chairman made a brief speech, praising the efforts of several members to swell our numbers during the year. It was a close-run race, but he was pleased to present the Recruiter of the Year tee-shirt to Richard Wickham, who had personally signed up thirteen new members.

CanarySun Sponsor new leaflet

The Secretary informed the meeting that Neil Bateman and Kal Lees, SUN members and directors of holiday firm CanarySun, had promised to supply a new, full colour leaflet and application form in time for the next season. They had already supplied several thousand, which had attracted admiring comments. A vote of thanks was recorded to Kal and Neil for their generous support for the Group. It was agreed that the new leaflets would be distributed to the membership with the next newsletter, and that each member should be urged to recruit at least one new member.

Regional CCBN Rep "Despite representing 4000 CCBN members and living in Poole I was not consulted about the CCBN "agreement" with the National Trust. CCBN were wrong to conduct their business with the National Trust behind closed doors"

The Chairman introduced NS2419, CCBN SW Regional Members' Representative who addressed the meeting. He said that he had not been consulted about the CCBN "agreement" with the National Trust, despite representing 4000 CCBN members and living in Poole. In his opinion, CCBN were wrong to conduct their business with the National Trust behind closed doors; however, unlike SUN Group, CCBN is not a members' organisation and is totally club-oriented. He felt that CCBN should have insisted that the National Trust involve everyone concerned, especially SUN Group, who truly represented Studland users. Mike Peterson, also a CCBN member, expressed the total disgust felt by the Board and membership of SUN at CCBN's handling of the matter. Norman said he would like to take three SUN members who were also CCBN members to the next CCBN AGM, to ask some searching questions. He mentioned that there was a principle in English Law of "established use" - he thought that it was the case that, once an area of land had been used for a particular purpose for more than twelve years, its use for the same purpose in the future could not be denied. He felt that it might apply in our situation. Asked if, now that the National Trust had recognised SUN Group, CCBN would do likewise, NS2419 said that such recognition would probably be dependent on our affiliating to CCBN, which was unlikely to happen. The Chairman thanked NS2419, who has joined SUN, for his contribution to the meeting, and NS2419 thanked the meeting for hearing him.

Should SUN join National Trust?

A suggestion that Board members should join the National Trust at SUN Group's expense, to put our point of view more forcibly, found no support when it was pointed out that the National Trust's constitution prevents individual members' participation in the decision making process.

Should SUN join enlist older nudists?

It was suggested that SUN Group should target older nudists: if the National Trust realised SUN had the support of those who are perceived as more responsible citizens, their attitude might change. Part of the problem, though, is that very few people in the older age group are willing to stand up and be counted.

Sparse support for toilets in the dunes?

Trevor Pratten suggested that we should press the National Trust to build toilets, possibly in the dunes. There was a brief discussion even though this is not part of our remit, and the suggestion had only sparse support.

Five year membership and legal fund

The Secretary gave details (see subsequent items) of the recently introduced five year membership and the newly established Legal Fund.

Should SUN engage our own environmental specialist?

The Chairman gave a brief résumé of the recent meeting with the National Trust. He wondered if the membership approved of our getting more involved with the overall ecological picture, but pointed out that we were getting drawn into it anyway, since our own objectives were entwined with ecological issues. There was general support from the meeting. Reg Chapman suggested that we should consider engaging our own environmental specialist, in view of the importance attached to 'foreign species" (many of which have been here for many decades, if not centuries) in the National Trust/EN argument for wholesale destruction of habitats. It was felt that this idea was sound, and would be kept under consideration.

Possible Channel 4 documentary

The Chairman mentioned the discussions we have had with RDF Television about a possible Channel 4 documentary next year, and hoped there would be enthusiastic participation from the membership.

National Trust should admit that the majority of visitors do not take offence at nudism

JM1125 suggested that we need a public admission from the National Trust that the majority of visitors do not take offence at nudism: from their own figures, not one of the 140 complaints they received in 1996 was about nudism per se, and over 999,860 visitors found nothing whatsoever to complain about.

The meeting was closed at 10.50 p.m., the Chairman having thanked all members for their attendance.

*Members are asked to destroy stocks of the current membership leaflet as soon as the new ones are available. Until then, please amend the application to read "£3 from 1-11-97, renewal £2.'


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