About C&C (after a bit of legal junk)
Information about how this site is organised - some legal mumbo jumbo and then much more personal stuff about us and how we got going.
Some of the more gung ho internet men reckon only a sad person would want to read all our copyright and legal mumbo jumbo but a quick glance down this lot will give you the flavour of what we're about.
This web site is owned and maintained by David Martin (that's me) of Coast & Country Naturists and I carry the can for everything that appears on the site. Some stuff on this website www.coastandcountrynaturists.co.uk has previously appeared on other sites which I own - www.naturistshop.com www.naturistshop.co.uk and www.naturist.org.uk (and www.nudist.org.uk which we just "sit on" to stop the sex industry using it).
I aim to cover the broad spectrum of naturist activities - in fact one of the advantages of being independent is that we're prepared to discuss matters which some "naturist authorities" would prefer we avoided. I want to be honest but also I want to keep the site decent, not contravene good taste and operate within the laws of England. However, this site can be viewed by anybody anywhere in the world and each country has it's own laws and standards. This site is intended for adults and as an adult you are expected to take responsibility for your own actions. If you are still a "child" (under the age of 18 here in the UK) then you should only use this site with parental consent. (Yawwn yawn yawn.)
Back in 1996 this site was conceived to provide a "home" for several naturist outfits who would otherwise not be able to have a web site of their own. In the years since we launched the original site the World Wide Web has moved on. Nowadays nobody is so small that they cannot organise their own internet site but the offer still stands that space is made available here for all who need a way of reaching the public in general or naturists in particular. The largest part of the site is given over to Coast & Country but C&C are only a small section of the naturist scene (albeit a very active and innovative section) and it is our aim to give you access to a very wide range of naturism. This is probably the most distinctive hallmark about C&C - we actually want you to extend your naturist horizons - we don't want you to be confined to one particular (and probably narrow) outlook. It is still the case that some naturist clubs will not display any notices about activities outside that club in case it causes their members to travel to other venues. This sort of straight talking by me brings conflict with much of the "organised naturist bureaucracy" because there are many who secretly wish to contain or channel your own freedom.
It would be tedious if I signed every page of this site so unless an article is signed by another person you can assume that I wrote it. And even when I publish somebody else's article you can assume I am responsible just in the same way that a newspaper editor is responsible for publishing what his journalists write. I don't shirk from standing by my word and I am appalled that so much second hand information and gossip is peddled over the internet as if it were definite fact - this applies to many internet interests and is not a comment aimed just against other naturist internet users. But the fact is that "just because it is on the net" does not mean it is true.
Although we have a generous attitude towards sharing information, please remember that this site is copyrighted. You'll not find any small copyright signs - but then no such sign is necessary to claim copyright - copyright exists once a literary work has been created and no special action is required to establish that copyright. But if it makes you feel better I will mutter the magic words ... David Martin asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
However we encourage the spread of information so you are welcome to copy articles provided that you acknowledge the source as "the naturist site at www.coastandcountrynaturist.org.uk" or something similar. If an article carries the name of an author then it would be courteous to credit him or her as well - "Info from an article by Joe Bloggs on the naturist site at www.coastandcountrynaturist.org.uk" would do fine. Feel free to share articles with friends or post them to other computer sites or print them out and stick them on your club notice board. We would be flattered if you wished to re-print them in your own magazines and all of this is to be welcomed provided you acknowledge the source and also provided you don't try to cash in on our work. (We don't make any money out of this so why should you make money out of our stuff!)
All this copyright stuff might sound a bit heavy handed - it isn't meant to be! In fact as you can see we are being very generous with our attitude. Perhaps (since you have read this far) this general info will be of background help to you in other copyright dealings you may come across - the web is a wonderful publishers medium but it does bring a whole new set of legal constraints and in future years some folk are going to get into hot water probably without even intending to do anything bad.
The future looks bleak for "intellectual property" and it is now regarded as socially acceptable to make copies of CDs or videos or knitting patterns, diet books or guide books. Many copyright pirates justify their thieving by saying that it is a victimless crime. Rip off a Dusty Springfield CD and she loses a few shillings in royalties - but she isn't going to miss the money anyway because she has so much. Or a friend of mine (who is usually a very decent and rational person) rants about CDs costing only a few pence to produce and claims that is some sort of justification for not paying for them. There is a very real danger that some smaller and specialist publishers might be unable to continue to provide new work if they cannot recoup their costs. But of course the rip off merchants will continue to rip off until everybody else starts to suffer. I speak as somebody used to both sides of the fence for my own teenage children grew heartily sick of my complaining about their pirate copied tapes. I'm afraid that in general terms we're on a downward spiral though.
Hey that's got rid of the heavy stuff!! Here's some light weight technical talk.
Money makes the world go round and it's thanks to the Trustees of the British Naturist Association for under-writing the cost of starting this web site back in 1996 and for supporting the change-over of 1999-2000. Throughout 1999 we knew that the site was woefully inadequate and a few naturist pals looked to helping me - Andrew, Ian and Mad Dog all looked at re-working the site and naturists like Nigel chewed over problems when we met at swim nights. However it is clear that running a web site is a huge commitment that you cannot expect others to carry for you. In the end I listened to the advice, re-jigged the site myself and for a couple of years did ongoing maintenance using nothing more than Netscape Navigator and Windows Wordpad. The site hopefully displays OK with Netscape and Explorer and we aim to keep the fancy stuff under strict control so that just about any WWW browser should be able to show the information. If you find that a page has gone all wrong then don't hesitate to report the errors by email. It is not much good telling me "Your site is broken" but it is very helpful to point out the exact page or quote a few lines from the text so that we can locate the fault. If you have any problem yourself in getting to use the site, you could phone and I'll see if I can help - see Contact Info for times when I am likely to be able to call you back.
After 2001 the site got very little maintenance. I had a patch of poor health but I am OK now. I also had a disk crash which (even though we thought we had adequate backups) made life difficult. Then I had an offer from Gary to look after the site but in Autumn 2004 all my sites were off the air so I have taken charge again and bunged everything onto this one simple site.
We're aware that many naturists have to pay their own phone bill (not everybody can dial in from their work place!) and download times can be slow. Most of our pages are deliberately kept to "non-graphics" but obviously images are essential in some sections. All the pundits say that a web site must have the same "look and feel" all the way through but don't be surprised if you find some pages are very "wordy" and drab (that's just like me I'm afraid) whilst other pages look somewhat different - possibly even look good! I'm afraid presentation has never been a high priority with me but the actual information itself ought to be high quality stuff. (I hope!)
Concerning security and privacy. We could have used the free web space given away nowadays by most ISPs but we think that naturists will feel happier knowing the site is commercially maintained and secure. Our move to a new web host in Autumn 2004 has been a good move and I can happily recommend Simon Pearce in Staffordshire - if you want to chat about hosting problems or contact him please do phone me. No system is completely secure but only somebody with a huge ego would imagine that a hacker would want to spend his time and skill in breaking into our site. A lot of the scares reported on the news about hackers are not the work of hackers but people who use very low level means to overload systems etc.
You are most welcome to visit this site in complete anonymity. We do not use any fancy tricks or technologies to try to breach your confidentiality. We monitor visitor movements, how long people stay on line and what they look at, but this is for our benefit and we do not try to identify who the visitors are in any individual sense. Many folk are wary of cookies, we do not use them on this site although we may need them if we get into providing certain services. People worry about cookies needlessly and your own browser software offers a range of protection and warning levels.
We have abandoned the "contact a live person" icons (from www.humanclick.com) because few people used them.
Naturists tend to be more cautious about privacy than your average web user. We will never bombard you with unwanted e-mail. We would only ever e-mail you if it was in response to something you did. You may decide to email us about something to ask a question, make a comment or suggestion etc. If we do e-mail a response back to you then the SUBJECT LINE of the e-mail will always say something harmless like "C&C". We would never send you an email with a subject like "Nudist News". The sender of the e-mail will always be shown as "davidmartin@" You can thus be perfectly assured that any e-mail will appear in your "in-box" without giving any indication that the e-mail is from a naturist source. Just as we post out all our Guide Books using plain discreet envelopes we always use discreet headers and words in emails!
The other privacy matter concerns the sharing of your personal information. We don't do it! We don't sell or give away or share your e-mail address. If we know your name and address or anything else about you, for example the clubs or activities you attend, the books or videos you have bought, or details about your occupation or private life, then none of this information is ever divulged to anybody else at all. None of that information is even stored on our web site. We have been serving British naturists non-stop since 1982 and over the years various people have entrusted us with a great deal of personal information - every word of it is safe. When somebody tells me something personal it goes in one ear and then stays there. Our web site might be new but we have been serving naturists since 1982 and we have a long tradition of respecting your confidence. We operate fully within the Data Protection laws and also in their spirit. Although we personally are very up front about our naturism we follow the most conservative of policies when it comes to keeping your info confidential. Having said that we will not offer an open door to those who wish to attend events "anonymously" our minimum entry requirements into our naturist world are just kept to two - firstly you have to be alive when you arrive and secondly we have to know who you are. You may think we're paranoid but by golly we could tell you some tales - but we're not going to because we protect the anonymity of all who come into contact with us - even those few who don't end up enjoying naturism.
And whilst we're on the subject - we do not "buy in" lists of names from others, nor do we use "ripped off" lists of Members and Subscribers which over the years have been stolen from national bodies and large naturist companies. We have even been accused of stealing CCBN Membership mailing lists. One former CCBN official accused us of having bought a copy of their lists - "It is the only way you could have got my address!" he complained. But when we looked at our records which wasted a couple of hours) we discovered he had actually written to us some years earlier - he had forgotten - we hadn't.
David & Sue Martin formed Coast & Country Naturist Club in the Autumn of 1982. Times then were totally different and the scene as we recognise it today was just stirring into life. Prior to the late seventies the naturist scene was pretty well centred on naturist clubs which owned and kept to their own secluded "colonies". (That word died out decades ago but folk still readily understand it.) A number of initiatives came to fruition from the mid seventies onwards. Several good summers and the work of CCBN stalwarts like Charlotte Peters and Naturist Foundation Trustee Ernest Stanley, resulted in a number of naturist beaches being recognised by the authorities. Phil Vallack blew away the secrecy which had previously surrounded naturist beach locations. Suddenly groups like Mancunians, and SOC and Suntrekkers and Telford all grew up within a short space of time.
C&C was formed in that same era. Our club grew out of a simple need. We wanted a place to swim during the long winter months.
We visited our local school to find out if their swimming pool was available for private hire. To our surprise things moved rather quickly. The Head Master (definitely a Head MASTER rather than a Head Teacher) was seated in his office and he personally took us into the pool where we praised it mightily for it had largely been built by parental self help and the children raising funds. We marvelled at his filtration system, admired the splendid changing rooms and noted gleefully that there were no windows to cover up. Come, come, come. And at break neck speed we accompanied The Head back to his office and checked the availability of times on a huge wall chart. His pen was poised ready to "mark us in" and he pressed us with the fervour of a double glazing salesman into making a firm commitment - would we want to rent his pool on Monday evening or Thursday evening? We settled for Monday. We were frankly astonished that he had moved us on so rapidly - was it really only six and a half minutes since we had first entered the building?
"And what is the name of your club?" enquired the great man.
We didn't have a name! We hadn't really expected to get to see him! Never mind end up booking the darned pool! I gulped and swallowed hard and out of a mind full of memories of balmy days spent on moors and forests and dry hot days sunbathing and swimming along gorgeous beaches, out of some part of my brain came an inspired tumble of words .... "Coast & Country Nudist Club".
We did not know it but in that moment something good and beneficial was born. A fellow naturist recently said "it was like a second Big Bang - it brought forth a whole new naturist universe."
But oh that birth seemed doomed to die. The Head Masters face fell. It fell a foot, and then a mile. His jaw sagged and he assumed an ashen and drawn appearance. "Oh Mr Martin," he said, "Oh Mrs Martin," he repeated looking at Sue, "Oh I AM sorry - we couldn't possibly let you swim naked!" There was a long pause as I plucked up the courage to put forward my arguments - but a nanosecond before I spoke he chipped in - "You see, because of the filtration system, all our swimmers must wear a bathing cap!" And so we did. Bless him, Mr Robson, a first class head serving a tough school on one of Britain's biggest housing estates, an incredible man who could put anybody at ease and take any person as he found them - and put on a good act when he wanted to pull your leg. And he could remember his pupils years later no matter where he met them. Long after he retired and had taken on a "second career" as a local councillor, we bumped into him at the local theatre. I think it was the Halle Orchestra playing a rather forgettable programme and after the interval we reached the doors to go back in at just the same moment as Mr Robson and his entourage. Always being willing to give way to my betters and civic leaders (that's a joke!) we stepped back from the door to let him and his party through. We hadn't met for perhaps eight or ten years but his memory for faces must have been amazing for quick as a flash he stepped back from the door way saying with an impish grin, "After you Mrs Martin, it's so nice to see all of you again!"
Anyway, that meeting in his office all those years ago is how "the club" got started. And it has developed into an essential part of our life for ourselves and many others. Our own children grew up with a social life that revolved partly around the club - although they always had many outside interests too and nowadays they "do not imbibe". Nowadays Sue and I are free to do what interests us. We still enjoy running C&C but we long ago decided that life was too short to waste on the petty bickering and disputes which are a feature in some parts of the naturist scene.
Around 1984 Bob & Marion Shaw were regulars at the Monday night swim. They have now retired (Autumn 1999) from running the Abbots Farm House B&B and even way back in 1984 they were doing naturist B&B. On one particular swim night Bob showed me a business card belonging to Laurie Widdowson who provided B&B for naturists over in Kinver in Staffordshire - the village they refer to locally as the Little Switzerland of the West Midlands. We looked at this card and Bob or Marion or somebody said .... "wouldn't it be good if there was a book with all these naturist B&B places in it." And that was the start of the Coast & Country Guide Books.
The very first issue concentrated only on holiday places and was called the Naturist Holiday Handbook. Almost immediately after publishing the Naturist Holiday Handbook I started work on a book which aimed to tell naturists about everything in Britain that could possibly interest naturists not just the holiday places. At the time Phil Vallack was in his hey day producing his Free Sun Beach Books but he had a totally different approach and did not really cater for naturism away from the beach - in fact he was rather dismissive of "organised naturism".
But we were up to our neck in "organising" and were at that time in close contact with CCBN. When we were first invited to go along and meet some of the other organised naturists with a view to joining CCBN we were so appalled at what we saw and the way they ran things that we decided not to become a CCBN Member Club. A couple of years later and we were again approached and we agreed that Coast & Country would become a Member Club.
We've done our bit for CCBN - having served on committees and drafted constitutions - we have run events for them - done media jobs and expended our own energy and money looking to do things their way.
But then some people within CCBN decided they didn't like the way I did things. There was talk about "taking over" the Naturist Guide Book - they have hated my independent guide for years and now plan in 2005 to produce a book. And there was so much back stabbing and two faced story telling by some of the CCBN reps. Finally we had a bust up about circulating information relating to AIDS and they placed me on their "Advisory List". Then they sent their Vice-President to see me to "make the peace" and for a while I carried on working for them but it was an uneasy truce as there were obviously very many people running the CCBN who had very limited horizons.
We then received one of the cruellest blows of all. Although Sue and I did all the work for Coast & Country Club we had a Secretary who was our interface with the CCBN. He went off to all the meetings and to be honest we paid very little attention. He seemed to enjoy it and I guess we took our eye off the ball! We discovered that he had not been telling us everything that had been going on - we were tipped off by friends within CCBN - there seemed to be some sort of power struggle going on! It was not the sort of thing we wanted anything to do with so we decided to bring C&C Club out of membership of CCBN. Our Club Secretary then decided to form a new group in order to "ensure the continuity" of the fortnightly C&C swimming event. When we went along as visitors (for we were not invited to join the new group) it was made clear to us by the lack of eye contact and the general demeanour of the folk on the door that we were not really welcome at the swims under the new arrangements. That hurt. It was awful to be cut off from our regular meetings with friends at the swims. And seemingly in further retaliation the CCBN again placed me on their black list.
Which was rather odd because I wasn't a member of CCBN at the time and hadn't been for over a year before they made that move. These days I'll bet nobody knows why I was black listed again. One of the problems "with" CCBN is that they don't always work to proper standards. In my youth I personally worked for and ran organisations which relied entirely on voluntary help. I look at CCBN and weep for the way in which they waste the goodwill and willingness of their members. Never the less I still offer co-operation to CCBN as a body wherever it seems to be in the wider interests of naturists. And I have contact with some individuals inside the CCBN. If I think they are doing something particularly well I comment on it if I think that the piece of work deserves to be wider known - usually because it might encourage others. But I don't usually comment on what they do badly since I generally take the view that what an organisation gets up to is of no concern to people outside that organisation. A motorist who is a member of the RAC has no real right to comment on any inefficiency in the AA for example. But sometimes CCBN has over stepped the mark in so far as general naturism goes and I have never been afraid to comment on those situations. I am entitled to comment because CCBN claims in its constitution to represent all naturism in Britain - well they dont represent me nor indeed the vast majority of British naturists.
And that is about where we are today - but something isn't quite right with this story. The story as told so far has a ownbeat ring and yet we are very happy with our naturist lives. Oh yes, I remember now. Our fortnightly swim sessions at the school swimming pool had been going OK, in fact they were going so well that we had switched to a larger pool and moved off the Monday evening swim to a Sunday afternoon. And that was OK - we enjoyed those swims - this was before the bust up when it was made clear we were not welcome.
But January 1990 was a special birthday for Sue and we celebrated by renting Doncaster Dome and inviting naturists to swim there. It was the first time that such a large venue had been thrown open for naturism. We pipped Watford Springs to the honour of being first because Watford was delayed by some mechanical problem. (Mind you I have always said that we only followed in the footsteps of earlier pioneers - events had run at Northgate Arena in Chester many years earlier and at the time that had been a really super top notch venue.)
So January 1990 we celebrated at the Doncaster Dome along with 650 other naturists. The place was literally full - right up to the fire limit. It was a nightmare! Well not really because hundreds enjoyed it although some never returned because it was too busy for them. Afterwards we sat down with our A Team of helpers and the question uppermost in our minds was - "when shall we do it again?" So by the time Sue and I became unwelcome at the swims we had helped to start we were already established in running big venues further afield. Although we were "frozen out" from one group of friends it wasn't the end of the world because a whole new world of naturism had been created revolving around the Doncaster Dome.
And apart from the sheer fun side of things we had discovered that people really need help in a variety of ways. We had gotten engaged in a variety of public relations jobs and supporting jobs which helped naturists - either in general terms by "promoting" naturism or in specific terms by defending naturists who were in trouble with the law. (So far 8 fought and 8 won!) We had also learned a very valuable lesson - that people can so easily turn one against the other even within this usually friendly naturist world. It made us wary I suppose of ever again being cut off from our regular social circle but also it made us very determined that we would never put somebody outside Coast & Country unless there were very compelling reasons. (Over the years you may have heard stories of men being booted out of clubs because their wife had died although you never hear reports of it happening the other way around. We could hardly believe these stories but we have documentary proof of it having happened in at least three separate clubs.) We have only chucked out about 10 people in over 20 years which we think is a pretty good record but even if we do have reason to part company with a Member e believe it should be done in a civilised manner. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you ......" ought to be the motto of every naturist club secretary.
And that is where we are today - doing our best to help newcomers discover naturism and helping existing naturists get even more out of their hobby. We love it and if you get a half as much fun as we have had then you're in for a whale of a time.
David & Sue (who never sits at keyboards)