It’s that time of year once again, its November, it’s birthday time and its almost time for BN’s Blue Ribbon winter naturist event. This event takes place at the Alton Towers Splash Resort in Staffordshire in just over a week and is attended by naturists from around Europe as well as from the UK. For us it gives us a chance during the winter to strip off if only for a weekend and enjoy and catch up with people we’ve previously met and also make new friends too.
” too much socialising in the bar ??? “
Now in its eighth year it has run since 2006 and apart from a break in 2012 has been a great success. In 2006 the Uttoxeter Post reported the story of the inaugural event:
August 23, 2006
“Nudists to splash land at Park Hotel”
Naked thrill seekers are preparing to take over part of one of Britain’s top theme parks near Uttoxeter just weeks after a themed Muslim day was cancelled at the site. British Naturism has hired Alton Towers’ Splash Landings Hotel and Cariba Creek Waterpark for a weekend of naturist activities in November. Guests will be able to strip off on their arrival and have full use of the Splash Landings Hotel and water park, but will be asked to cover up by the end of the weekend as other guests arrive at the hotel. The news comes just weeks after organisers Islamic Leisure had to cancel a planned Muslim Day at the theme park due to a lack of ticket sales. Rachael Lockitt, spokesman for Alton Towers, said: “We make no distinction regarding sexuality, religious, ethnic or lifestyle choices, and if an organisation wishes to hire the park or hotels for a private function, we will always work to ensure that we are able to deliver what they want from the event.” “The nudist weekend has been confirmed and will be taking place within the Splash Landings Hotel between November 17th and 19th. “The dates for this event have been carefully selected in the off-peak season to ensure that we are not compromising our broader resort offering and we are confident that it will run smoothly.” “The event will only be open to members of the British Naturism and the Alton Towers Hotel will also be cordoned off to allow other guests to be separated from the naturist weekend”. A spokesman for British Naturism said: “We will have the entire place to ourselves and nudity will be permitted throughout. We hope to make it an annual event.”
The Stoke Dentinal also ran a story along slightly different lines:
17th November 2006
“Banned film to be Shown”
Hundreds of nudists are expected to descend on Alton Towers this weekend for the screening of banned naturism film, Travelling Light.It will be shown for the first time in 40 years during the landmark naturism event – which is the only one of its kind ever to be held in the UK. Managers at the Moorlands tourist attraction, which is closed to the general public until next season, invited the British Naturism Society to stage the event, which will attract 250 thrill-seekers of all ages.Commercial manager at the society, Andrew Welch, said: “Naturists used to be on the fringe of society, so to be invited to host an event at one of the UK’s leading tourist attractions is a major step forward.“You never know how successful an event is going to be when you run it for the first time, but 250 guests is a really good response.” Guests will stay at the resort’s Splash Landings hotel, and are free to roam naked around the Cariba Creek water park indoor tropical lagoon, Alton Towers Spa, restaurants, bars and conference and function rooms.Other activities include a beach bar party in the water park, a treasure hunt and a disco.Travel companies and the Eden Project will set up stalls set up at the naturist exhibition hall.
Directed in 1960 by Michael Keatering, Travelling Light made cinema history as the first genuine British naturist film, but was censored due to its allegedly lewd content. It is one of several films of its kind which will be screened at a nude cinema over the weekend. British Naturism representative, Kelvin Roffe, aged 54, of Suffolk, will attend the event with wife, Gill, aged 51 and 26-year-old son, Steve.Mr Roffe, said: “This is a once in a life-time chance which could become a regular event. “To spend a weekend in a high quality, well-known, hotel is just fantastic and will hopefully be the first of many, more mainstream, events. “In the past we have been limited to where we can go but now places like Alton Towers and the Eden Project are helping to raise awareness of naturism and make it more socially acceptable. ”If the event is successful it could become an annual feature at the park.Mr Welch added: “This year we only announced the event in August when most people may already have planned to go away. If we can set a diary date for an event next year before Christmas then I think it could gain a lot more interest. ”Guests will arrive on Friday for the event which will run until Sunday.”
In 1960 Travelling Light, the first genuine British naturist film, was released. It is produced by Michael Keatering [pseudonym of Craven Walker]. Edward Craven Walker was born in Singapore in 1918, where his father was a port agent for P&O. After the war and back in civilian life, Walker and an RAF friend, Simon Templar, set up an international home-exchange agency, “En Famille”, arranging for families to swap their homes for holidays abroad. The venture accorded with an optimistic post-war spirit: “It was good fun,” said Walker, “and it encouraged international friendship.” It also seemed to lead naturally, as it were, to his next great enthusiasm: naturism.
On a visit to the Ile du Levant, off the south coast of France, Walker was inspired by the naturist movement. As part of his mission, he turned his hand to film production, directing Eves on Skis (1958) – Austrian madchen on the piste – and Travelling Light (1960). The first naturist film to be passed (not banned) by the British Board of Film Classification, it ran for many months in the West End and was distributed world-wide, albeit to audiences who did not always have a serious interest in the healthy benefits of the naturist cause. “I didn’t make it to make money,” said Walker, “although it did make me very rich. I made it as propaganda for the naturist way of life.” In the mid-1950s, Walker and a friend chanced upon a bizarre contraption on the bar of the Queen’s Head near Ringwood, Hampshire. A novelty egg- timer dating from the Second World War, it had been filled with odd oily globules – when the wax melted and rose to the top of the glass, your egg was ready. Craven saw potential and set about perfecting it and turning into a lamp. He set up a lab in a small shed where he mixed ingredients in bottles of different shapes and sizes. The Astro Lamps Craven made with his wife Christine and they set up a company to produce the lamps, naming it Crestworth. Operating from small buildings on an industrial estate in Poole, Dorset, Crestworth has supplied the world with lamps since 1963, changing its name to Mathmos in 1992. They were a big commercial success through the 1960s and early 1970s and became a symbol of psychedelia. Toward the end of the 1990s, Craven battled with cancer. He died at Matchams Dorset and was buried in a small cemetery in the New Forest. He was 82.
Both newspapers tried I think to make a scandal over the inaugural event but neither attracted any comments and since then the event has run every year apart from 2012 when it was a victim of the recession. This naturist weekend is enjoyed by singles, couples, families and children who all enjoy the event where most use the water park, while the others who don’t enjoy the water enjoy the other entertainment that is laid on.
You cant always please everyone but a recent review said of the venue :
“I loved this hotel when we stayed last year. The hotel has a Caribbean paradise theme and staff are kitted out in hawaiian shirts. Parking at the hotel is free. We were greeted at the hotel door and all the staff at the hotel were so helpful. They gave us all the information we would need to know about our stay and the waterpark.The hotel contains this waterpark which is amazing. My kids loved watching what was going on.Our room was made up with a double bed, single bed and a cot for our baby. There was plently of space for us in the room. The bathroom was big but didn’t have a bath only a shower. Everything was clean. The highlight for me was on entering the lifts music started up and it was everybodies going surfing. Fab. We are going to return again this year. Excellent”
Despite some media comments Naturism continues to grow in popularity in the UK with 4 million enjoying the pastime in some form or another.BN is the national organisation in the UK and is a member of the INF (International Naturist Federation).It organises events all around the UK and should you wish to attend these event you have to become a member. Membership is open to all and details can be found by writing to British Naturism, 30 – 32 Wycliffe Road, Northampton, NN1 5JF,emailing firstname.lastname@example.org telephoning 01604 620361 or you can join online at http://www.bn.org.uk/membership/index.php