9 Aug: Britain’s First Nudist Beach

Black Rock – a 200-yard strip of pebbly beach in Brighton – was first set aside for naked bathers on 9th August, 1979. It came after a campaign by the Central Council For British Naturism, who had previously petitioned 140 local authorities.

When Conservative councillor Eileen Jakes responded positively to the call, she was accused of pandering to weirdos and perverts. Fellow councillor John Blackman said the beach would facilitate a “flagrant exhibition of mammary glands”.

In this episode, Rebecca, Olly and Arion consider whether the concerns about the beach concealed latent homophobia; compare their experiences of shedding their own clothes in public; and reveal which nations are most prone to getting naked…

Content warning: sexual references, crude comedy.

Further Reading:

• ‘Britain’s First Nudist Beach’ on BBC World Service ‘Witness History’ (2011):


• ‘Gay Nude Beach in Brighton, England UK’ (Pink Planet, 2011):

• ‘Naked as nature – if not weather – intended’ (The Guardian, 2 April 1980):