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Leisure as nature intended

Posted in This months highlight on 01 Aug 2015

The Berkshire Sun and Leisure Club was a naturist society founded in 1976 with the purpose of providing 'opportunities for persons of all ages to enhance the use of leisure time and the general well-being of the community, by the promotion of naturism'.

The letter on the left welcomes new members whilst below the club reassures new members that it is perfectly normal to have 'first time jitters', but that it 'would be a pity to go through life without ever knowing what you had missed'. Therefore they recommend that people should try naturism at least once.

They also had some useful tips as this clip from a newsletter shows. It reveals how midges and mosquitoes - a nuisance to anybody regardless of clothing - could be kept at bay with Spike Lavender. 

The collection of minutes, letters, newsletters and other records of the group held at the BRO (catalogue reference D/EX2267) shows that they undertook all sorts of activities such as discos, swimming and barbeques. If they were at venues where other members of the public would be, they kept their clothes on. It was only in the comfort of woodland adjoining the Downshire Golf Club in Bracknell - known as Badgerwood and owned by the club - that they were freely able to be at one with nature and unclothed. 

The club ceased to function in the mid 1980s, but their records provide an interesting snapshot into life in Berkshire, albeit a naked one.