There must have been an element of disappointment for the organisers, the mental health charity MIND and the local National Trust who were the beneficiaries from the charity event at Druridge Bay at sunrise on Sunday, September 22, who were expecting the record of 414 participants to be broken.
But less than 200 naked people who had each contributed a £10 registration fee to the fund entered the sea.
Being one of those who enjoyed ‘skinny dipping’ in the company of so many enthusiatic people of all ages, I am able to report that for many it was the first-time experience of splashing in the nude at such an unspoilt venue, which was greatly enjoyed.
Through talking to participants, regrettably I found that not many were local but was surprised to be told by a naked lady that she was one of four who had travelled from Dorset.
Unfortunately, The National Trust that owns the land adjacent to the dunes, has spoilt the amenity of car parking close to those dunes, having dug a trench between the road and the grassland, to prevent occupation by ‘travelling people’.
This prevented people from leaving their clothes and belongings in dry conditions in their cars and caused an unavoidable long walk to the beach. It has also inconvenienced other visitors.
Coincidentlly, Sunday, September 22, was, appropriately the writer’s 83rd birthday, so by reason of that trench, he has not visited Druridge Bay for many years, but the opportunity to be a true naturist again just could not be missed.