50000 NUDISTS NOW IN BRITAIN
LONDON (AP).-Nudism is booming in Britain. More people are walking around naked than ever before.
Not in public, of course - the law frowns on that - but in flourishing "naturist'' camps scattered throughout the coun- try.
Leaders of the open-air cult say happily they have never seen anything like lt.
Britain's few hundred timid pre-war nudists have grown into a lusty movement 50,000 strong. In 1938 there were 20 nudist clubs. Now there are 60. Many non-club "naturists" enjoy life in the raw in the privacy of their own homes and gardens.
The British Sun Bathing Association (BSBA) - the big- gest nudist group - has just voted to incorporate nudity, It is forming a limited company of 200 shareholders.
Right now the clammy Bri- tish winter has driven all ex- cept the hardiest "naturists" into long underwear. But the BSBA hopes next summer will be the best ever for the one out of every 1000 Britons it
says likes to frolic naked in
The burning question: Will the sun cooperate? It did in 1949. It was the sunniest sum- mer for 16 years.
Mrs Sylvia Bassam, 34, pretty Canadian-born secre- tary of the BSBA, says the as- sociation is campaigning for three things: The legal right to bathe in the nude on ap- proved public beaches; more young women nudists; to edu- cate sceptics that "naturism" is "a healthy, wholesome way of life followed by intelligent people."
Mrs Bassam whose own sun- tan, she affirms, stretches un- spoiled from top to toe, says British nudists do not want mixed bathing with nudists and non-nudists taking the sun together. They want cer- tain public beaches set aside.
The BSBA does not even like G-string swim suits.
Its insistence on complete nudity for all posed a problem this summer at a club near London. Naked customers in the restaurant could not tell who were the waitresses. They were unclothed, too. The hired help were promptly given armbands.
At that club's entrance a sign proclaims: "This is a se- cluded pleasance in the heart of the woodland, remote from the busy haunts of men." There, as elsewhere, members swim, play tennis and picnic under the trees, wearing not a stitch.
Biggest pain in the neck for British nudist club directors, Mrs Bassam says, is the un- balance of sexes. Far more males than females join, the ratio being about four to one.
"We get many many appli- cations from single men but not enough from the right
The BSBA and some other high-minded nudist groups are preparing a black list of un- desirable characters who have been trying to muscle into the movement with unworthy mo- tives. But the problem is not very acute, she said, nudists being a cut above the aver- age in morality and integrity.
So far the black list contains fewer than ten names.
The BSBA prizes propriety above all. No beer or liquor is sold at the camps, although their many of the members love their pint of mild and
"If clubs applied for drink licences, some people might think we were going in for or- gies," explained Mrs Bassam.