Another outing during Ginny’s long recuperation was to a sun club in Buckinghamshire called Diogenes. We were invited by a friend of ours called Emma, who is also by chance a member of BN. Having never visited the club before, we were both excited by the prospect of visiting another new naturist venue. We had been invited to a day event called “family and friends” but because of Ginny foot we weren’t sure if we’d be able to make it, but thankfully in the end we were. As this event took place on a Sunday we decided as we had free time, to camp if it was at all possible, just for a couple of nights and after contacting the club we got the OK. We made sure everything was packed into the van and we set off. It was late June and by now the weather had begun to warm up a little thankfully, although it was a little breezy. We made our way on to the M25 for the 50 or so mile trip to Diogenes.
We arrived around 3pm and were let in by one of the members and shown one of many places where we could pitch our tent. Being seasoned naturist campers the first obstacle/the only obstacle you normally have to overcome, is getting the tent pegs in the ground. After a lot of banging and puffing we got them in and got the tent up. When we visit a new naturist venue in weather that is not exactly scorching, it is always a relief when you spot your first fellow naturist, a sign you’ve arrived at the right place and off can come your own clothes.
We paid a visit to the local pub “The Dumb Bell” for a few hours, enjoying a couple of pints and some food. On our return we found other people had arrived. It being a Friday a few hours later a number of the other members turned up and we were able to enjoy their company for a time. Outside then inside in the conservatory which is attached to the main building. Established in 1936, Diogenes is set in rolling countryside not far from Chalfort St Peter or the M25/M40.The main building is a quirky old house that is full of character, inside however it is full of modern appliances. Diogenes was originally based in Bricket Wood in Hertfordshire. The village of Bricket Wood had been host to at least six naturist clubs at one time or another: Fiveacres Country Club, Spielplatz, The Sun-Folk Society, Gardenia (originally named Silverbirch), Diogenes Sunlight Society (also known as The Phoenix Recreational Society), and The Suncampers. Of these, Gardenia has now closed and been built on, Diogenes became the Diogenes Sun Club when it moved to near Chalfont.
After a night of lots of talking and a little wine, not to mention rain, it was time to turn in. After enjoying the fresh air and the food, we had no trouble sleeping. Dawn broke and were awoken by the wonderful sunlight on Saturday morning. We got the bacon on had a couple of cuppas, a shower and then sat in the sun lapping up the rays.
Saturday was the day of the Chalfont St Peter Feast a “Fayre on the Green” event, with stalls, a music stage and also some fair rides. We said we’d pop along the only downside being we had to get dressed. The Feast took place on Gold Hill Common, a large village green on top of a hill. Diogenes had a stall here and clothed members of the club were there giving out Diogenes leaflets as well as BN’s “What is Naturism” leaflets. They handed out many leaflets hoping to attract potential new members.
We returned to the club later in the afternoon took off our clothes and settled down to some sunbathing and swimming in the later afternoon sunshine. By this time more club members and guests had arrived and we spent the evening eating and drinking and enjoying the great outdoors as the darkness descended. Sunday was the best day weather wise which was good for the club as it was their “Friends and Family day”. People started turning up from the off and by mid-afternoon the lawns front and back were packed.
There were quite a few people attending that we know online from NFUK. Andy, Emma S, Andrew, Becky, Debbie and Lee as well as our lovely host Emma J. There were people of all ages young, old, middle aged and very young all enjoying the sunshine naked the way nature intended. Up until now, we’ve not yet encountered anywhere with such an age range and never seen so many families either. It’s such a shame that more families can’t or don’t enjoy such places. On the Sunday afternoon there must have been overall around 200 people sunning themselves on the lawn, including three or four leaflet takers from the day before.
Overall Diogenes open stance on advertising and publicity seems to be working well. If more clubs adopted this stance maybe naturism would be seen as a wholesome pastime and something to be enjoyed by all and not a hide behind fences and don’t tell anyone anything. Diogenes is a club we’d like to join if we lived nearer and would recommend it to anyone.