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SUN Campaign History - Jun 1998

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Chairman's Summer Comment
SUN Board at their wits end

So far this year the weather has not been conducive to regular sunbathing. Lately, the social climate for nudism in the U.K. also appears a bit bleak.

Apart from our continuing dispute with the National Trust over traditional access to the dunes and beach at Studland, it transpires that despite the CCBN applauding the trust's recognition' of the newly limited 'naturist area' at Studland as some sort of 'victory' - one they claim could influence authorities elsewhere into accepting the need for naturist facilities - the very opposite reaction seems to be the case.

Yorkshire Council ban nudity and topless-ness on 96 miles of coastline

For example, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has imposed a 'ban' on nudity and 'toplessness' on over 96 miles of the British coastline. They are not the first to try it on and they will not be the last.

National activist David Martin, who lives in the area, has put out an appeal for funding and support in order to challenge the legality of the decision in the courts. This 'ban' needs nipping in the bud and the SUN Group will be making a donation to the fighting fund. Individual members are also asked to contribute something - however small. East Riding cannot be allowed to set a precedent. The CCBN drag their heels, as usual.

We have passed on to David Martin relevant copies of our own legal documents relating to the battle of Studland - as a gesture of solidarity and to avoid pointless replication.

Meanwhile, in the following Comment, Colin James points out the shifting and shifty nature of the trust's position over Studland. After the last acrimonious meeting with the trust and others, SUN board members were at their wits end and withdrew to consult the membership over our future participation. Clearly, a majority have said we should stay - if only to keep an eye on things - and the Board accepted this decision.

Victory over HM Customs in the courts in naturist book and video case

It's not all doom and gloom. Some readers will be aware from the extensive press coverage this week (July 8th 1998) that Tower Productions won a famous victory in the courts over HM Customs who attempted to prosecute them for marketing naturist books and videos which Customs considered 'indecent'. They lost. Tower insisted upon the need for naturist propaganda in order to promote expansion of the activity, argued pictures of nude people are not ipso facto indecent, and showed great determination in seeing the dispute through to the end. They have done us all a service.

Now, if East Riding can be forced into reverse and the trust conceded the farcical red post demarcation at Studland to be pointless we could all get back to enjoying simple naked leisure again. Wouldn't that be nice!

Enjoy the summer and we look forward to seeing some of you at our beach party on Studland on August 30th and at the forthcoming AGM in November.

Mark Nisbet


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