It was 27 years ago this week that the first ‘nudist beach’ in this country was set up by Brighton Town Council. This ignominious anniversary cannot be passed over by the RCC without our issuing a salutary note to our members, supporters and the general public about the evils of full-frontal nudity, especially when practiced in public places which are properly suited to wholesome family activities.
In this regard, it is surely profitable to reflect on the words of councillor John Blackman, who was one of the few voices speaking up for sanity and moderation at the time this deplorable matter was discussed by the council. Interviewed by the BBC, he quite properly described the very purpose of a nudist beach as being ‘the flagrant exhibition of mammary glands’, and went on to issue the following unimpeachable statement on this whole sorry affair:
“Personally I have got no objection to people showing their breasts and bosoms and general genitalia to one another. Jolly good luck to them but for heaven’s sake they should go somewhere more private.
What distresses me is that people naively believe what is good for the Continent is good for Britain.”
How right you are, councillor, how right you are! It is notorious that our European brethren, aside from their bizarre fascination with getting beaten by us in wars, are characterised by their love of nudity and exhibitionism.
This is all part of the national temperament of such races as the French and Germans, and is to be condoned as a harmless pastime for these simple folk. One day, perhaps, the gentleman of Europe will learn to love cricket as we do, and then they will have no time to be nude. Until then, we must regard the possibility of encountering nudity merely as something to be cautious about whenever we are abroad, and to take appropriate steps to avoid it.
However, the prospect that we, the very inhabitants of this island of high destiny, might, when taking a stroll at sunset along the seaside, find ourselves face to face with a simpering middle-aged housewife, her naughty bits quivering hideously in the gloaming as she lunges at a volleyball or some such, is a quite different matter. It will no doubt fill all right-minded members of the RCC with that sense of outrage and indignation which that great Englishman Moses felt on descending from Mount Sinai and witnessing all that unpleasantness with the golden calf. ‘It simply isn’t cricket!’ he said, and he was not wrong.
Whatever happened to the bathing machine? That’s what I’d like to know.