03 September 2012

Clinton Cards Brighton Nudist Beach Info - 1979? No, 1980!

Keith writes: 

Just had my birthday (I was born in 1979) and a Clinton cards "Year You Were Born" '79 card, which states: "First British Nudist Beach Established In Brighton". Wasn't that 1980? 

Yep, bit of a boo-boo there - the go-ahead was given to open Britain's first nudist beach in Brighton in August 1979. The opening date was set for 1 April 1980. Until then it was absolutely illegal to bare all on Brighton beach and the local council spent the intervening months fending off furious Mary Whitehouse types and preparing adequate signage to ensure that nobody would stumble upon the beach by accident. Those were far more shockable times! But, when the beach did open in April 1980, many people had a special outing especially to see what was on view! See our original article on the subject (complete with 1980 newspaper cuttings) below. 

1 April, 1980, April Fools Day, and England's - and in fact the whole of Britain's - first official naturist beach opens. Brighton will now seem a little breezier for some. I hope they at least kept their flip flops on - that shingle beach can be murder on the old plates of meat!

From the Daily Mirror, 5th April 1980:

A town's new nudist beach was the hottest holiday attraction in Britain yesterday.

Crowds flocked to the beach at Brighton for a peep. The 180-yard stretch of shingle was packed with picnickers while neighbouring beaches were deserted.

Hundreds of sightseers also lined the promenade railings, many of them with binoculars. A road leading to the signposted beach had the town's only traffic jam...


Keith said...

Thanks for this. I was sure it was 1980 that the beach actually opened.

Drew said...

Yes, it was, and nudity was strictly illegal before April 1980. Thanks for writing, Keith. We at "80s Actual Towers" pride ourselves on our '80s trivia knowledge and love queries like yours! :)

Mick said...

Do you keep many newspapers?

Drew said...

Only 1980s ones! :)