09 August 2016
Brighton agreed to become the first major resort in the country to have a nudist beach on 9 August 1979
On this day in history, 1979: Brighton agrees to become the first major resort in the country to have a nudist beach.
Local councillor, landlady and grandmother Eileen Jakes had campaigned for a section of the seafront to be set aside for nude bathers, arguing that it would increase tourism. The Tory-led council was split by the decision, but it was agreed to set aside a 200-yard stretch as an experiment for a year.
At the time, the BBC reported Brighton’s deputy Mayor Alfred Feld as saying: ‘It is a bold move, but we feel we are just moving with the times.’
Cliff Bathing Beach opened on 1 April 1980 and, despite efforts to have it shut down in the 1980s, today it is still one of the best-known naturist beaches in the country.
The move followed a national campaign by the Central Council for British Naturism to encourage local seaside councils to allocate nudists sections of beaches.
Find more fascinating social history in every issue of Family Tree! Read up on our latest issue at www.family-tree.co.uk/store/latest-issue.