With all the events that have been canceled this year, it’s always good to hear when an annual event actually IS happening. Well, unless it’s a rather controversial event, and then I guess some people are happy, and some maybe not so much. Such is the case of the nudists’ event that’s coming back to a water park called Waterworld.
Waterworld is in Stoke-on-Trent, in central England. It opened in 1989 and, with 30 rides and attractions, gets about 400,000 visitors per (non-COVID) year. It’s said to be the UK’s #1 indoor tropical aqua park. Since 2006 or so, it’s also been one of the most popular locations for a nudist group called British Naturism, and usually gets well over 300 participants at their annual private event.
British Naturism is a members organization for those who like the nudist lifestyle. Its roots go as far back as the late 1800s. In the mid-1960s, two separate nudist entities combined to become the Central Council for British Naturism, which eventually changed its name to just “British Naturism.” It’s estimated that about 3.7 million people in the UK describe themselves as nudists. British Naturism says they have over 9,000 members who are over 18.
However British Naturism is not just adults only – members include whole families, including minors. And that’s where the controversy begins, because people are concerned about those who might prey on, or take photos of the nude children at the event. There’s apparently some truth to that fear, as a convicted pedophile, Robert Enright, was a member of British Naturism for several years in the early 2000s. However, the courts determined there was no evidence he had associated with anyone under 16 during his activities there (he was banned from the same under the terms of a sexual offenses prevention order). Despite this, when BN had its annual event in 2019, there were about 20 protesters outside.
Said a spokesperson from the organization:
British Naturism is an organisation that has been in existence for over 50 years with many of our clubs being even older. We have a membership of 9,000 over 18s.
We take our safeguarding and health and safety responsibility seriously and review our practices in advance of every event we run.
We have a robust child and vulnerable adults safeguarding policy – it’s actually rather ignorant of the complainers to assume that we don’t.
We also have a strict ‘no cameras’ rule with any photographs to record the event only being taken by our official photographer, who follow certain guidelines about what can be taken.
Children at our events are always supervised by their parents and not allowed to attend unaccompanied – unlike schools, churches, scouts, play areas and other venues where parents opt to leave their children in the care of others.
Naturist swims are being successfully – and safely – run all around the country throughout the year.
So that’s cleared up.
Anyway, their annual event was supposed to happen in April but that thanks to coronavirus, it had to be postponed. It will now be on September 26th, and they say they’ve done lots to prevent any virus spread, including:
- Restricting the number of participants
- One-way systems
- Social distancing measurements
- Bookings limited to six guests per party
Frankly, I’m not sure how safe it will be to have this event, especially when COVID-19 cases are on an upward rise in England. I mean, it’s not as if you always have control of where you go when you’re on a water ride, And I don’t know how safe mask use would be at a water park, either.
Whatever the case, like it or lump it, the biggest nudist water park event of the year is indeed happening at Waterworld. You can get tickets here, if you are of the mindset and location.
Feature Photo: Water World
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary