In 1938 Percy Wilford and Harold H. advertised for people interested in forming a Naturist Society in the Nottingham area.
In 1939 they found our 10 acres of paradise…. And that, so they say, was that…. The beginning of Notts Sun Club!
Over the years the members have funded and gifted various talents, funds and materials to make the site what it is today.
From its humble beginnings as a wooded/bracken covered area there is now a swimming pool, toilet blocks, pavilions, running water, electricity, wifi, tennis, basketball, play areas, miniten, petanque, shuffleboard, showers, sauna, manicured grounds, electric gate, camping fields, chalets.... the list literally goes on and on.
Below is a comprehensive account taken from members, and minutes of meetings over the years. It details the main points of interest for each decade from the 1930s to the 1980s.
Humans love being nude and once you get over the initial fear of stripping off, it is the most natural thing in the world.
Nottingham Sun Club’s 84 years of history proves that being nude is not a new fad, naturism will continue as long as there is sunshine and somewhere safe to be nude with like-minded souls.
In the later part of 1938 Percy Wilford and Harold H. advertised for persons interested in forming a Naturist Society in the Nottingham area.
A suitable site was found in 1939 when Percy Wilford rented 5 acres of bracken covered land including a chalet aptly named 'Wood Nook'. Adjoining this land another five acres were rented by the newly formed Society. The sites of these two pieces of land are on the right of our access road, between Wood Nook corner and the entrance to Crail House. Access was on the far side of Wood Nook and now forms the entrance to property on that side.
In the minutes of a Quarterly General Meeting dated 17thJanuary1960, there is mention of the Society's 21st Birthday due on the 19thApril of that year. The date sets the birth of the Society on their rented ground as 19thApril 1939.
A corrugated iron pavilion lined with stained match boarding was purchased second hand. This had previously stood in the yard of Shire Hall, Nottingham. The pavilion was a rather peculiar proportion - appearing to have been designed for the accommodation of giraffes rather than humans. In the middle stood a large cast iron stove and on winter evenings it would glow red hot from top to bottom.
A grass area was cleared in front of the 'new'pavilion where netball and cricket were played. Two sand courts were constructed where tenequoits were played. These surely were the beginnings that produced the National Miniten and Volleyball Championships of the present time.
Tents, the pavilion and the chalet at Wood Nook were used as sleeping accommodation. Some members built chalets. Water had to be carried from a stand pipe at Abbey Chalet until a water main was laid some time later.
During the first few years, from 1939, when war broke out, membership fluctuated. There was always a welcome for naturists serving in the Armed Forces who were stationed in the area and there were times when the pavilion floor was covered in sleeping bags.
Secretary of the Society throughout the war years was Bernard H.During this uncertain time only the great enthusiasm of Bernard and a few others kept the Society in being.
In 1946, the owner decided to sell 50 acres of land which included that rented by the Society. The owner offered the Society five acresof land for £500.
A meeting was called to discuss the raising of the money. This was at a time when the annual membership fee was 2 guineas (£2.10) per couple. Offers of loans varied. The largest amount was £50 from an enthusiastic new member who left before the money could be collected.
At this point it was doubtful whether the full amount could be raised by loans from members.
Ways were considered whereby security could be given to those contributing to the purchase price and by which additional monies could be raised On a summer Sunday in 1948 the membership foregathered in Bernard's chalet to vote on the formation of Tabramhill Estates Ltd, and present was a very embarrassed solicitor dressed in pinstripe trousers and a black jacket, among a throng of nude bodies. The decision to form the company, Tabramhill Estates Ltd. was taken.
For each one pound loaned the member received a one pound share. The company was able; to raise a loan from the bank for the balance of money required for the purchase of the land.
Various methods were used to raise the money to pay off the bank loan. It was now made a condition of membership that within one year of joining the Society each family unit should purchase fives hares. Chalet owners were to purchase ten shares. Entrance fees paid by new members were used to buyshares in the Club's name and so reduce the loan. At this time we were so desperately short of members that we advertised on the back of Corporation bus tickets without much response.
Later, the Club was able to buy back many of the shares which had not been previously donated by many of the shareholders. Thanks to their generosity the Club is now the majority shareholder.
Rhododendrons covered the site from the pinewood to the present toilet block and from the front of the present pavilion to the tennis court. A few large silver birch trees also shared this area. Grass covered the area where the swimming pool and miniten 2 and 3 courts stand today. In that same area were a few young silver birch, the oak tree which is still nearby, a few large silver birch and two more oaks amid the rhododendrons. The area of the other miniten court and the car park had been cleared of pinewood and young seedling silver birch were taking over but the houses on Mansfield Road were visible. A few chalets, brought up from the other site, were put in line along the site of the 3rd miniten court to afford some screening of our only open area. The remainder of the land was covered by shoulder high bracken, some young sycamore and silver birch.
Bernard, the secretary, had the grandest chalet which was a converted garage with a veranda and a real fire; something other members could only dream about. By today's standards it would not even pass muster as a tool shed.
The pavilion was moved from the previous club grounds and erected close to where the new part of the pavilion now stands. Tenequoit courts were constructed in the area of miniten 2 and 3 courts by removing the shallow top soil down to the sand which is themain sub-soil in the area, a deep trench was dug directly under the nets across the centre of the courts to form the 'dead area' and the sand spread over the playing area. The trench was then infilled using the top soil. When tenequoits was replaced by the game of miniten, the Club was able to make reasonable courts using the same method by regular raking and rolling. Miniten came to the Club via a single lady member who had been on holiday in the Isle of Wight at a club, and who came back full of enthusiasm for this new game. The sand courts lasted many years until the Club was able to afford asphalt and concrete courts. The present area of the swimming pool and beyond became an open, grassy area and used for cricket and other activities.
The toilet facilities consisted of two chemical toilets housed in small wooden huts and a gents urinal, made from a length of cast iron guttering supported on two wooden posts with a fall towards a four inch pipe sunk upright to form a soak away. These facilities were concealed in small clearings in the rhododendrons close to the site of the present toilet block.
There was a natural reluctance to be saddled with the job ofemptying the Elsans, with the result that, when the job could be left no longer, they were full to within half an inch of the rim, and presented a tricky problem to the duty toilet wallah!
The Club boundary was marked out by posts and wire. This was carried out with commendable enthusiasm in that the Club finished up with nearly five and a half acres. In the advent of closer neighbours, a screening had to be considered. A Planning Committee was formed and proposals to construct a perimeter road close to the boundary fence were put before the members. Silver birch saplings, a gift from one of our neighbours, were to be planted each side of the road and cut to form a quick growing hedge and rhododendrons re-planted to form a denser screen.
The screen is effective today but only part of the road was constructed, that between the gate and the car park. If the remainder had been completed to plan some of the more recent problems would have been avoided.
Mains water was piped to the gate of the Club and a pipe was laid between the gate and the camp-site shower. For some time that was the only supply available. Later the main was brought to the pavilion.
The committee, at their 31stAugust 1958 meeting, passed a resolution to build a second shower on the south side of the grounds.
More rhododendrons were planted to give shelter and screening in areas exposed to the weather and 'peeping-Toms'. The frequently used camping area shower could be seen from the five-bar gate at the Club entrance. Landscaping of the grounds continued. Slight breaks and pathways give an impression that the grounds are much larger than five acres.
A sunbathing area was cleared of rhododendrons behind the present pavilion and the roots were re-planted around the boundary.
In the early 1950s the tennis court project took shape. The land sloped and had a surface of bracken peat and covered with strong growing bracken. Clearing the site involved consider able labour with shovels and wheel barrows and it remained a sandy site for a time because the expense of constructing a tennis court was beyond the Club's financial resources.
The area then became the children's playground. Dens and tunnels appeared, no doubt inspired by the Colditz stories. There came a time when the tunnelling exploits had to cease when it was discovered that one such tunnel went under the road over which cars were being driven.
There was one occasion when, after a heavy fall of snow, snowballing and a nudist snowball battle took place on the cleared ground.
Being close to the only water tap, an inflatable paddling pool, loaned by a member, was set up on the site and used by the children.
During 1955 it was decided that playing volleyball on the new miniten court during the winter would ruin the surface. The decision was taken to finally level the tennis court area and use part of it for volleyball.
A paddling pool was being planned in October 1955 to be built on the site of the sand pit near the present swimming pool; the sand pit to be moved nearer to the swings.
At the Committee Meeting, 15th September 1957, it was decided to mark out a children's playground next to the volleyball court on the tennis court area. A play area already existed for children at a spot where the parallel bars stood till recently. Close to the bars were two swings and a see-saw.
Although mains water had been piped to the club the supply was inadequate and usually failed in times of high demand. During 1956, correspondence between the Club, our neighbours and Basford R.D.C. regarding a new water main, began. Some years later the new main was installed resulting in the improved water supply we have today.
It was during 1955 that Bernard Holmes was elected President of the Society, in appreciation of the many years of service he had given to the Society and for his part in founding it.
Percy Wilford was granted an Honorary Life Membership for his part of founding the Society at Wood Nook. When Percy found that cycling from his home in Newark was getting difficult, he founded another club closer to home which became the East Midland Sunfolk.
It was late in 1955 when the Planning Sub-committee began making enquiries and seeking advice with the view to building a new pavilion. Shortage of money led to plans being made to erect a structure using second hand material.
By 3rd January 1960, a nissen hut arrived at the Club and the job of de-rusting and painting began. The minutes of the committee meeting, 6th March 1960, stated that the firm of Vie Hallam now held a provisional order for the pavilion and were awaiting the planning permission change from the previous plans.
By 1st May 1960 the prefabricated building had been delivered and the shell erected by the members. The change was made at the last moment, from the original structure, to the more expensive but satisfying building. This was only made possible by a member making a generous donation plus an interest free loan to be paid back over 20 years. In fact, this loan was repaid in five years. Gifts and donations in the form of floor tiles, curtaining and, of course, members' time and skills made it possible to complete the construction and fitting out more quickly.
Only a week after final completion a member came up on his own and lit the coke stove, which was the sole means of heating at the time. He went out for a drink leaving the draught door open, and when he returned the roof lining around the chimney was nicely alight. Fortunately, with admirable foresight, the interior had been painted in fire resistant paint, and a fire extinguisher was at hand. The offending member left a note of apology and we never saw him again!
The committee discussed the building of swimming pool as early as 6th March 1960. Means of raising money was also discussed at this time but Basford R.D.C. refused to sanction a water supply for the pool until the Nottingham Corporation supplies were connected to the Newstead park area. The project was shelved for the time being.
In May 1960 the Club was told that the cost of bringing electricity to the Club would be £530. We remained in the dark for a little while longer.
During August 1960 a rally was held to celebrate the Society's 21st Anniversary. 156 members from other clubs were present and 92 members of the Society.
At the Annual General Meeting of that year it was recorded that there were only ten members and some of their children left who had come from the Wood Nook site, including Bernard H. who was President and the redoubted Percy Wilford who had been made an Honorary Life Member. In 1989 only one family and their son were still members.
The meeting also made Bernard H. an Honorary Life Member. At the Club's 50th Anniversary, Bernard's widow, Connie, was made an Honorary Life Member in recognition of her and Bernard's past work.
During 1960 the first hard surface miniten court was laid using asphalt donated by an anonymous member.
January 1961 saw the Club negotiating once more with Basford Council, this time for permission to build flush toilets in a toilet block and for the construction of a cesspit. This work was carried out in 1962, planned and built by members. Donations from supplemented the Club's expenditure on the block.
At the January 1961 count, there were 26 chalet sites. In the committee meeting, October 1961, the committee was informed that a member had offered to defray the cost of a Class 1, professionally constructed, hard tennis court. This wonderful offer was accepted with thanks.
There was also an anonymous offer of proper surround posts and nets when the court had been completed.
At the Annual General Meeting, 10th September 1961 subscriptions were increased from £3.10s.0d (£3.50) to £4.4s.0d (£4.20) for families, engaged couples and single men. The fee for a single woman was £1.10s.0d (£1.50).
The membership was made up of 80 paying units, comprising of 144 adults and 62 teenagers and children.
The swimming pool planning had reached its final stage but the Club was meeting difficulties with the Water Authority over adequate water supplies.
The minutes of the Committee Meeting, January 1962, records that the tea urn was not now required as a member had donated a gas copper (boiler) which had been converted to Calor gas.
The Treasurer reported that there was a surplus of £200 for development in 1962. The Social Calendar included;
æ May - Visit by Ribble Valley
æ July - Visit by Sunlanders
æ Whit - Bring and Buy Sale
æ August - Children's Party
æ September - Rally
The Annual General Meeting was moved to June and the financial year end moved to 31st December to facilitate a more prompt collection of subscriptions.
In 1963 it was resolved to meet the wishes of revellers and those who slept in the pavilion that entertainment should cease at 11.30pm and beds should be cleared by 9.30am. It was later decided that because not everyone wanted to dance, dances would be held on alternate Saturday nights.
Because camping was becoming more popular a decision was made to provide more sites.
The Club received a generator as a gift from the East Midlands Sunfolk and Jack T. was asked to build the first permanent building to house it.
At a General Meeting in March 1964 it was reported that work done included completion of the generator house and electric cabling to the toilet block and pavilion. The new workshop had been purchased and erected and a start had been made on the badminton court.
Camping fees, chalet agreements and chalet rules were introduced during this time.
A Silver Jubilee party was held on 4th July 1964. A marquee was hired, a charge of 5s.0d (25p) for members and special guests.
In December 1964 the generator was donated to the Ribble Valley Club as the Club now had a limited mains supply from E.M.E.B. because of the reduction in the cost. This was carried on telegraph poles round the pinewood boundary and enabled the Club to have a proper record player for dances for the first time.
Contravention of the removal of clothes rules was reported in April 1965 and at the Annual General Meeting on 6th June 1965 the Secretary's report mentioned that there could be a danger of the Club's objectives being lost sight of and the Society becoming a nude sports club.
The system in existence for booking courts was revised. The changed system is still in use today. The Sports Committee was also formed.
The Whit Sunday Bring and Buy raised £42 and was used to buy chairs for the pavilion. Peter S. was the auctioneer.
An extension was built along the front of the pavilion providing a dining area close to the kitchen, a porch and a solarium area.
The secretarial duties were divided, the Secretary, Peter L., concentrating on membership, external matters and H&E notes. Business matters, notices and duplicating were dealt with by David F.; Ken P. became camping warden.
In 1965 Jack T. built a low wall and tiled the floor of the original north shower. A new and better water supply was laid in by the Nottingham Corporation to replace the old Abbey Park supply. The pipe work throughout the Club had to be changed and set at a depth of 2' 6". A "T" depth board was made and the trenches dug to the exact depth before alkathene pipes were laid.
The Water Board insisted on a registered plumber being engaged to provide and fit the various connections and branches to the alkathene pipes,and so a plumber in Mansfield got the job on a cost plus basis. He enjoyed himself so much that he never tendered an account for what was a substantial amount of work!
At the Annual General Meeting dated 26th May 1966, the rateable value of the grounds had increased from £160 to £240. Part of the increase was absorbed by chalet owners who had been paying a rate of 32s 0d (£1.60) per 100 sq.ft. for some time. Laying in the new water system had proved expensive and this too was partly absorbed by the new chalet rates.
It was decided that a coin box, ex-directory telephone should be installed. This item of new technology was still being discussed in 1974, eight years later.
Subscriptions were raised to £5 5s 0d in time for the start of the 1967 season.
An appeal for donations towards a swimming pool raised £441. The Club found another £250 and the present swimming pool was purchased, the pool was in use in the second half of 1966 and has proved one of the Club's assets.
There is a story that we began filling the pool from a small bore water supply which just about trickled into the pool. During one of our summer days, three wet and bedraggled men appeared in the grounds searching for a mains leak that was depriving the Abbey Grounds of its water supply.
One of the men suddenly called out to his mates, "We've found it, Bill!":"It" being the tap filling the pool, albeit very slowly.
Because the Club's water supply, left to its own devices, greatly reduced the water pressure to our neighbours, their storage tanks were emptying and we had to stop taking water for the pool. The tap was used in the dead of night. As a consequence of this, the secretary, David F., was summoned to appear before the powers that be at Basford Council offices and got his knuckles severely rapped.
It was at this point that we approached the Fire Service, pointing out that they were very short of water supplies in the area and suggested that they could use our swimming pool as water storage for use in emergencies and so we had their help to fill our pool by bringing 400 gallons at a time in their water tenders.
Several firemen returned to the Club as guests to swim and play volleyball and the Club were invited to a recreational evening at the Mansfield Fire Station. One fireman and his family became members.
The 1967 Annual General Meeting thanked all those who had helped towards the purchase and construction of the pool, especially David F. and Jack T. Membership has reached 104 units during this time.
The 4th June 1967 committee was concerned that ladies were wearing panties around the club grounds. The decision was taken that, if ladies had to wear something, then, let it be shorts or bikini bottoms.
During 1967 a chalet site was moved closer to the road so that an area could be cleared for a badminton court to be built.
Barbara T. and Jenny won the Ladies A.M.A. Championships. Swimming sessions began at Southwell Baths on 21st October 1967. The Management Committee, through David F., wrote to the Provost of Southwell and the Superintendent of Southwell Baths expressing regret at the fuss caused by a press article on the swimming session. A letter from the reporter of the article absolved a member of the Club suspected of setting up the Press coverage.
During 1968 a paddling pool and sandpit were constructed at the south end of the swimming pool. The badminton court came into use with a sand surface and wooden boards making the lines. By 1969 plans were a foot to extend the two miniten courts and construct a third. The siting of the new court required the moving of Cyril's chalet, the last on its original site and of those moved from the old club site in 1946.
The lack of social activities was brought to the Management Committee's attention at the August meeting. Activities were organised for the Bank Holiday weekend and plans laid for an autumn party. Winter swimming sessions were again held at Southwell.
During October 1969 Percy Wilford died. Representatives from the Club attended the funeral and flowers were sent.
A decision was made at the December Management Committee Meeting to setup three sub-committees for Social, Sport and Development. The following members were asked to join the new committees:-
æ Social - Barbara, John B., Sheila C. and Peter S.
æ Sports - Barbara, Jennifer and Derek C.
æ Development - Jack T., David, Ian and Derek C.
Plans for building the shower block were being prepared in 1970. A climbing frame was assembled in the children's play area.
The E.M.E.B. approved of the plan to increase the supply and the necessary cable installed.
By the end of the year the new miniten court had been constructed using a shale base and a 'ready mix' concrete surface. The court surrounds were landscaped and posts and netting erected. All the work was carried out by Club members. The membership reached 125 units during the year and it was agreed that this was a maximum number the Club grounds could support. At an Extraordinary General Meeting, 18th October 1970, subscription rates were discussed and the adult subscription was raised to £4 per head along with increases to children's rates and the visitor's fees.
At the same meeting a proposal that the shower block should be constructed was passed. The building work began during March 1971.
The 4th July committee meeting discussed buying chairs for the pavilion. During the same meeting concern was raised that damage had been caused to facilities and that the pavilion was not being cared for as it should have been.
Throughout the years, there has been a constant effort to improve and maintain the Club's facilities. The work usually carried out by a small proportion of the members. Even so, there are a few members who are not respecters of property. We are fortunate that throughout the history of the Club there have always been enthusiastic members who have seen that the Club did not stagnate. To read through the Management Committee's minutes over the years is to realise that many members who have come and gone, who have constantly dealt with the many small details which go into the general running of the Club for the benefit and pleasure of the members and to the major projects which have so improved the facilities of the Club.
In 1972, the shower block, with heated showers and changing rooms came into use. Alterations and improvements to the pavilion kitchen were undertaken. Improvements to the teenage hut were being carried out; internal walls and ceiling were reclad.
Arrangements were in hand to use the swimming pool at Nottingham High School for Boys for Club sessions.
For many years, the Bonfire Night party has been an annual social occasion. The expenses were hopefully recovered by voluntary contributions of fireworks and latterly, cash. The food has always been welcome in the cold and sometimes wet weather. One year it was so wet the fire would not light. In 1972, however, instead of donations it was decided to make a charge. From small beginnings these displays have become quite spectacular.
It was also in 1972 that a work schedule was prepared which required all members to do some work towards the cleaning and maintenance of the Club grounds. The upkeep of facilities is of paramount importance and the job rotas were introduced to spread the workload.
During 1973 a slide for the children's area was bought for £20. Work on the teenagers' hut was completed and brought into use.
At the Committee Meeting, 8th July 1973, it was decided that the sound of music should be reduced after midnight and that all parties should cease at 1 am. A vote of thanks was passed to the Social Committee for organising such marvellous evenings and it was hoped that they would carry on the good work.
Panels between the pavilion and annexe were removed to make a larger area for social occasions. This led to problems of condensation which were dealt with by lining the ceiling with insulation boards.
A further change was the conversion of one of the changing rooms into a store room, to be fitted with shelves and locked. This room continued to be used as a store for the catering and later as a tuck shop. There were plans to build a secure store for Calor gas, for which the Club is now a distributor to the members. A washing machine and an electric floor scrubber were bought at £10 each. The washing machine was installed in the shower block.
A question was raised about the money held by the Social Committee. This amount had been raised through their activities and was being used to provide equipment and furniture for the pavilion. It was agreed that a separate bank account should be held by the Social Committee. It was about this time that the Club's name, considered to be cumbersome, was changed from the Nottingham Sun and Air Society to the Nottingham Sun Club.
In February 1974, Chalet No. 1 was moved from the site it had occupied since 1947 to a site close to the perimeter road so that a larger camp site could be developed. Some trees had to be removed and rhododendrons, which had been planted to shelter the area, cut back, but remained for the dividing and sheltering of the camping areas.
At the Annual General Meeting, 1974, a proposition by the Secretary for the amendments and additions to the rules concerning the election and duties of the Club President was put to the meeting. The Club's previous Presidents had been founder members of the Club and had been given the honour in appreciation of their past services. The proposition was to make clear the rules regarding the appointment and duties of the President and to allow the election of anyone who had done good work for the Club. The proposition was carried. It was then proposed that David F., who had done much towards the development and success of the Club, be made President, the motion was carried.
During 1974 the one-way system was introduced to the approach to the car park.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting, 1st December, subscriptions were increased by 25% because of the large increase in rates and other costs to the Club. The increase was approved.
In 1975 the camping charges were increased to £2.50 per annum. At the same time, the chalet rates were raised by 60%.
The six monthly Club rates were now £212.42.
In April 1975 the Chairman of the Management Committee resigned in protest at the large amount of money being spent on the miniten courts without reference to a General Meeting. £1177 had been paid to the contractor for resurfacing and extending the two miniten courts with asphalt. This had been the first time that work paid for by the Club had been done by an outside contractor. In the past, all materials had been purchased and the members had done the work.
At the Annual General Meeting, 25th May 1975, there was a ruling made regarding the appointment of Trustees for the Club shares in Tabramhill Estates Ltd. The Club now owned a great majority of the shares.
At the April 1976 Management Committee Meeting it was agreed that a member should arrange to have beer on sale for the party due to be held in August. This request and the notice placed in the teenager's hut prohibiting smoking and drinking of alcohol, highlight the gradual changes that have come about since the early years when alcohol was not allowed to be brought into the Club grounds.
At the Annual General Meeting, 30th May 1976, there was an appreciation of the late Jack Bolton, one of the original members of the Club. Recognition of Jack's efforts during his 32 years of membership during which he had been privileged to see the Club expand from its stark infancy to the present excellent facilities. Special mention was made of his service as Secretary for 10 years.
As a tribute to his memory it was intended to plant a flowering tree and also purchase a sporting trophy, from donations made by members. Any money remaining would go to Cancer Research. Jack had been able to enjoy his membership until shortly before his death.
The Treasurer's report drew attention to the deficit on the year's activities, money spent on the miniten courts having exceeded the income for the year. Part of the cost for the courts came out of the previous year's surplus.
The General Account therefore showed a deficit of £573. The Social Committee's account, after the previous year's profit, followed by heavy expenditure on the kitchen, was also a contributing factor.
The highlight of 1976 was that it was the third year out of four that we enjoyed wonderful summer weather, encouraging people to naturism. The result was that from July applications for membership had to be deferred.
By October 1976 all chalet owners who had applied had their chalets connected to the mains electricity.
The Social Committee was congratulated on their Medieval Evening and End of Season Concert.
At the Annual General Meeting, 6th May 1977, the subscription fees were increased by 25%. This brought family subscriptions to £15.50, couples £14.00 and single persons £7.50.
The Management Committee, 3rd July, after discussion on the sale of beer at the recent social evening, agreed that no alcohol would be sold in future. The minutes of the committee meetings show regular decisions on the maintenance of facilities, buildings and grounds which, in 1977 including building a solid roof on the pavilion annex and recovering the whole roof. The pool entrance was redesigned. Items listed in the accounts all showed an increase in costs.
A replacement pool liner cost £290. A regular item on the agenda was the consideration of applications for membership and the duty of interviewing applicants by Committee members.
There are also regular applications for visits to the Club by members of other Clubs, both from home and abroad. There are also regular entries in the minutes of granted full, individual, membership to those who had been children in family membership, who were of an age to become members in their own account.
In the reports at the Annual General Meetings there are regular mentions of sports activities. For many years there had been regular competitions within the Club like the annual miniten competition which later became the Jack Bolton Trophy. There were the inter-club tournaments, like the Percy Wilford Trophy, fought out between the Midland Region clubs. We also sent teams to the National Competitions, where we had successes for many years in the Ladies and Mixed Doubles and the Ladies Singles Miniten Championships.
Jennifer won the Ladies Single title so many times they presented her with the trophy and bought a new one.
The roll call of the Club in the National Miniten Championships is formidable:
* Jennifer and Barbara won the Ladies Doubles four times.
* Jennifer and Valerie won the Ladies Doubles.
* Jennifer and Derek won the Mixed Doubles six times.
* Kelly and Richard won the Junior Mixed.
* Jennifer won the Singles outright.
And Nottingham has been runners up in the Men's Doubles and the Men's Singles.
Volleyball has grown nationally in the last decade. Nottingham Sun Club entered their first tournament at Valley in 1973 and won the trophy in a final against South Hants. The following year, Nottingham organised its own tournament, the Sherwood Trophy.
Over a sixteen year period Nottingham played in every final, beating teams from North Kent, Aztecs, South Hants, Five Acres, Valley and Greenacres. The finals have been games to remember with Nottingham not always coming out winners, the standard of the game has improved over the years and the Club should be proud of its record:
* 1 England player
* 8 England Naturist players
* 6 National League players
* 3 Midland League players
* 5 County players
* 5 Club coaches
* 6 Referees
* 2 National League referees
Not bad for a Club of 130 units!
During 1977-8 the kitchen was again improved and a tumble drier installed in the shower block for use by members. This again was paid for by Social Club funds. At a Special General Meeting, 5th November 1978, the membership fees were increased by 50%. Negotiations for the purchase of land along our western boundary were making little progress and it was decided that the possibility of more chalet sites on our own ground would be investigated.
At the Annual General Meeting, 27th May 1979 the President referred to the retirement of Treasurer, Bill, and reiterated his remarks of the previous evening when, to mark his exceptional 30 years service as Club Treasurer, Bill had been presented with a set of travelling cases. He spoke of the meticulous way in which the accounts had been kept over the years and the occasions when funds had been made available out of 'Special Funds' thus save the Club many embarrassing moments. As a further tribute to his many years of service the Club decided to offer Bill an Honorary Life Membership. Also on 27th May 1979 there was a proposal that joint ownership of chalets would be permitted to alleviate problems arising from the fact that although the Club had obtained planning permission for twelve more chalets, numbered 31 to 42, it still left 20 members on the waiting list. This proposal was withdrawn for further discussion but was later approved at a Special General Meeting, 4th November 1979. This same meeting agreed to the further increase in membership fees by 15% dated from 1st January 1980.
This quote from the Secretary's Report for 1979 records the event of 1979. "The 40th Anniversary of the Club was celebrated at Spring Bank Holiday. Newer members were able to see and hear about the formation of the Club and the work carried out by its members to provide the facilities we enjoy today. Such a wonderful Club, acknowledged to be one of the best in the country, could only be achieved by everyone working together with only one purpose in mind - the maximum enjoyment of a naturist environment." Number 1 miniten court was resurfaced in 1979 when the concrete began breaking up.
At the Annual General Meeting a proposal that the camping rule, 'campers must move their tents at least every sixteen days to prevent fouling the grass' be deleted. The proposal was submitted because, in the view of the increased number of campers, it was not practical to move tents every sixteen days. The rule change was passed unanimously. This is evidence of how much camping has increased.
The camp site has become a very pleasant and active area of the Club's activities which increased the overnight capacity of the Club. The camping community includes many hard workers for the Club's welfare. Many of the present chalet owners served their time as campers.
During 1980 Annual General Meeting a proposal That Life Membership be afforded to those members who have reached National retirement age, men 65 years, ladies 60 years, and have completed 30 years membership' was passed unanimously as it was considered a tribute to older members who had worked hard in the past to create the present excellent facilities.
The membership fees were increased by 15% at this time to allow for inflation.
The summer 1980 was poor but the Club membership was still in excess of 100 units. Some enthusiastic members completed the new fencing on the eastern boundary. The tennis court was resurfaced by a professional contractor. At the end of the year the committee decided to go ahead with heating the swimming pool and a heat pump was purchased at a cost of £800.
Also in 1980 the new secure Calor gas compound was completed to use in conjunction with the Club's agency for Calor gas, another service maintained by volunteer members for the good of the Club as a whole.
At the Annual General Meeting, 30th May 1982, the rules relating to the number of members selected to the Management Committee and the length of time they serve, were changed. This is another example of how experience of managing the Club's affairs brings to notice the need to change or make additional rules to satisfy the wishes of the majority. A two-thirds majority is required to pass a change of rules. During the history of the Club, changes of rules have continued to be of benefit but there have been occasions when experience has led to a change back to the original rule.
Club fees were again increased by 10% at this meeting, to come into effect on 1st January. There was a proposal that two extra toilets should be provided. This was discussed and it was decided that the Management Committee should look into this. The provision of a sauna was also discussed but, on being put to the meeting, there was a large majority against this project.
In 1983 glorious weather followed a wet spring. Members almost queued to get into the pool. Well supported social events were held, with excellent meals at such reasonable prices, followed usually by dancing. Swimming sessions continued to be well supported during the winter months. Membership continued to flourish. We now had 135 family units with seven more on the waiting list. Our competitive sports teams were particularly successful during 1983 and five of our members were selected for the International Volleyball Competition, held at Duisburg in Germany.
At the Annual General Meeting, 27th May 1984, proposals were put forward by the Management Committee to provide increased indoor recreational facilities, the majority of members were in favour and after discussion it was agreed that the Management Committee would look into the various suggestions and report back at a later meeting. Subscriptions were increased by 5% at this meeting. Honorary Life Membership was granted to Jeff Fox, a member who had done a great deal of work towards the maintenance and improvement of the Club. A suggestion was put forward that outside contractors should not be used for any work involving extensions of indoor recreational activities.
In 1984, during the summer, we had many hot weekends. Even so, there were still members who visited the Club infrequently. This led the Management Committee, when considering the waiting list of applicants, to admit more people this year in addition to those who had been offered full membership from the beginning of 1985.
A General Meeting held on 31st March 1985 considered estimates of probable costs of a large building in place of the teenager's hut and costs of a further extension to the pavilion. After a discussion it was agreed that the two alternatives and a proposal put forward that both should be rejected should be voted on at the Annual General Meeting. The question of providing a sauna should be considered also.
At the Annual General Meeting, 26th May 1985, it was passed unanimously that the Club fees should be increased by 5%. The proposal that the teenager's hut be replaced by a large structure was also passed. A 'working party' for this proposal was requested and names of volunteers noted. A proposal that the Nottingham Sun Club should make official arrangements with Greenacres Club, whereby no charge would be made for mutual visits by members was withdrawn after a suggestion that arrangements be left as they were on condition that there would be no request for payment or donations from Greenacres visitors as Greenacres would not accept payment or donations from our members.
During 1985 our membership reached an all time high. Thirty provisional members were accepted during the year and the waiting list had to be closed in October. Also during the year the Club lost a long serving member, Ray Richards, who, during his 30 years membership had done so much for the wellbeing of the Club. During 1985 Life Membership was granted to several members who had reached national retirement age and who had been members of the Club for 30 years. Those included Jack and Barbara T. who had contributed so much to the Club's growth, (ignoring Bob, Rod, Steven, Richard, Keith, Lynne and Mark) and to the facilities we have today.
In the Financial Report it was pointed out as an example of our ever increasing expenses, our rates had increased from £2209 to £2414 in the year with a larger increase due in 1986. Five eighths are borne by the chalet owners in rates calculated on the chalet area.
At the Annual General Meeting, on 4th May 1986, after consideration of various proposals for extensions to the recreational facilities, a proposal for the provision of a sauna and related facilities, was passed. An outline of the project was presented by the 'working group' showing provision of a sauna, toilets, a room to house the pool table and a place where a large number of members could gather and relax all under one roof. In this connection, use would be made around the area of the shower block and a further extension on the pavilion would provide a tuck shop/social committee store room. In view of the major approval of this plan it was agreed that a subcommittee be called to investigate the feasibility of the project.
At this Annual General Meeting, Don H. was elected president of the Nottingham Sun Club in recognition of services he had rendered to the Club over many years, being Chairman many times and also efficiently chairing A.G.M.s during the recent years since David F. relinquished the office of President.
A General Meeting held on 15th June 1986 approved by a vast majority that the project put to the meeting, 4th May 1986. This provision of more very good facilities for the Club proceeded in a very commendable manner, much talent, enthusiasm and effort was provided by a proportion of our members. The result was that by 1988, we had a large room, carpeted, curtained, well lit and centrally heated, with tables and comfortable chairs, with room for a restored pool table and space for members to meet and relax.
We have a well equipped sauna room, the equipment donated by a member. Two new gas heated showers and a cold shower were installed and two new toilets built to relieve the long overloaded toilet block.
A header tank for an adequate supply of water, new plumbing for a hot water system and a central heating system has been installed. There is also a small room to house the washing facilities, tumble dryer and sink. The small extension at the rear of the pavilion provides a store for the tuck shop and catering store. This whole project, ably led by Michael P., is another fine example of the way Nottingham Sun Club has developed over the fifty years it has been in existence.
I hope that this history, much of which was gathered from the minutes of meetings and reports produced by our Club Secretaries, Treasurers and members of our Management Committees who have served the Club well over all the years, can record something to ensure the appreciation of the efforts of so many ways towards the enjoyment of what we have today.
So we have a long history of community spirit and a like minded ethos of being nude, naked, free, at one with nature, in the buff, getting our kit off…
But one thing that shines through from our humble beginnings, and is still true today, is our ability to get on, have fun, support and help each other.
We all do our bit for the club and it is a great place to be!! So let’s see what the next 80 years brings... We hope the club and grounds offer lots more smiles and happy memories to many more people in the coming years!