Naked swimmers' new Saturday club

NAKED swimmers worried about the threatened future of a Suffolk naturist beach have won the use of a new all weather venue.

James Mortlock

NAKED swimmers worried about the threatened future of a Suffolk naturist beach have won the use of a new all weather venue.

The Mildenhall Naturist Swimming Club used the newly opened swimming pool in Newmarket for the first time on Saturday and the group is hoping its latest venue will attract new members.

The latest development in the naturist world in Suffolk comes as a public consultation is going on into the future of a popular naturist beach at Corton in Lowestoft. The designated nudist beach could be axed by Waveney District Council.

It was founded by the council in the 1970s but now officers say erosion means 80% of usable sand space in the area has disappeared at Tibbenhams Score to the north of the site over the past two decades and the beach at Corton should revert to general use.

But Malcolm Boura, 56, one of the Mildenhall club's founders and a naturist for more than 30 years, is fighting to keep a nudist beach in Suffolk.

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He welcomed the use of the new pool at Newmarket saying it was an important alternative but he said it was different to outdoor naturism and was determined the beach at Corton should not be shut to naturists.

Mr Boura, who lives in Barton Mills, said: “It's only a minority of people who misunderstand what naturism is about. Evidence from polls show that clearly the public in general understand.

“We had one or two hiccups when we started in Mildenhall pool. But Forest Heath District Council, which ran the pool at the time, was very helpful and very supportive and we had remarkably little difficulty.”

He said the club had used the old High Street pool in Newmarket for a short time. But reliability problems with the pool's boiler had led to the club calling a halt on the sessions.

Mr Boura said there was a good turn-out for the first two-hour session at the new Newmarket venue, in Exning Road, where the pool area cannot be seen from outside the building, and he expected both the Newmarket sessions and the swims at Mildenhall to continue to increase in popularity over the next few months. Club members range in age from babies to people in their 90s.

Tony Bass, chief executive of Anglia Community Leisure which runs the pools in Newmarket and Mildenhall, said: “Mildenhall Naturist Swimming Club is an established and well-managed group and its members have enjoyed swimming at Mildenhall and Newmarket pools for many years.”

Anyone wanting to join the club should call 07946 886843.

There are more than a million people in the UK who describe themselves as naturists.

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