Clacton: Naked bike ride organisers asked to cancel event

Police cycling crackdown. Police cycling crackdown.

Friday, June 6, 2014
1:12 PM

Organisers of a Naked Bike Ride planned through the centre of Clacton during the school summer holidays have been asked to re-consider.

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A strong request to cancel the event has been made by Tendring District Council (TDC) and Essex Police.

There were a number of objections from residents when the event was held in the town for the first time last year.

Initially organisers said they would not be going ahead in 2014 but have now planned an event on July 26, the first weekend of the school holidays, with backing from British Naturism.

Mick Page, leader of TDC, said: “Last year the ride was billed as a peaceful environmental protest but there was no evidence of environmental issues, banners or a message, and it appeared to be a promotion of naturism.

“It has now been timed, and the route chosen, to cause maximum impact on a day when the town will be extremely busy with both residents and visitors.

“We have made a very reasonable request by letter, setting out all the objections, and stating why we do not believe that such an event is welcome or suitable for a family seaside resort like Clacton.

“The reaction last time from the community has led us to oppose the ride this year on their behalf and that stance is fully backed by the police, who last time had the unenviable job of escorting the riders.

“There was one particular incident which gave both the council and police very serious concern and we do not want any repeat of that type of behaviour.

“I hope the organisers will react favourably to our appeal for all the right reasons and not inflict the event on the people of Clacton.”

Chief Inspector Cat Barrie, police commander for the Clacton district, said officers had worked very closely with TDC to come up with an appropriate response to the plans to stage the ride again this year.

Ch Insp Barrie said: “A number of meetings have been held with the council and taking into account the views of the public, which were expressed to us following last year’s event, it was agreed we would ask the organisers to re-consider whether to go ahead next month.”

According to the British Naturism website the event is now listed for July 19, suggesting organisers may have listened to concerns about the timing of the ride coinciding with the school holidays.

The listing describes the event as “mostly a protest against oil dependency, the World Naked Bike Rides in cities across the country are great fun and ideal for anyone who wants to try social nudity”.

5 comments

  • This is a world wide protest movement - and is relevant in all areas - I was on the ride last year and there were a lot of happy smiling people in the crowd who were clearly supportive of the ride. ANY protest will raise some complaints - In a free society peaceful protest should not be blocked because of a minority. Clacton is as valid a location as any other in the UK All communities could do more to curb excessive oil and car usage. And as for cyclists being knocked off their bikes - that happens as much in Clacton as any where else - The most common excuse made by car drivers is that they did not see the cyclist - well what we are saying is - if you see us naked then see us when we are wearing clothes.

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    Roger N

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

  • Firstly I have to say that whilst British Naturism supports this and all the other events in the World Naked Bike Ride series, we do not organise them nor do we have any influence over the organisers. I note that the "not suitable for families" card is being played according to the article above. This is a myth; of the many studies into childhood exposure to nudity, not one has ever proved any harm and most actually find benefits to children in the form of greater self-confidence thanks to a more realistic view of our bodies than that presented in the media and advertising. It is prudish attitudes that have been shown to harm children. When surveyed (in both 2001 & 2011), 90% of the UK population consider Naturism "Harmless" or even "Sensible" and there is no difference between the responses of parents compared with those without children. The experience of other rides, such as the one that has attracted well over 1,000 riders to London for several years now, is that members of the public lining the streets - many of whom were probably not expecting 1,200 naked riders to pass by - all cheer and applaud with children being brought to the front of the crowd for a better view. Far too often when articles such as the above appear we find that the "number of complaints" amount to 1 or 2 at the most and there is only a similar number of people behind the call to cancel the event (possibly the same as made the complaints?). Again, surveys have shown that more people object to dogs than this kind of event, but we do not ban dogs, do we? The World Naked Bike Ride is a protest against our excessive use of the world's limited oil resources as well as being a promotion of cycling as one way of reducing that. It is also a protest about the vulnerability of cycles on our modern roads - this is where the nudity comes in; it emphasises that vulnerability. The organisers of these rides also acknowledge the issue they call body freedom, that is the freedom to be ourselves without the camouflage of clothing, which is often used to present a false version of ourselves This is where British Naturism comes in... We can only thank the prudes for providing this extra publicity for the event.

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    BritishNaturism

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

  • The article says that the date has been changed from 26 July to 19 July.Not true; Tendring DC could not even get the date right. It was always planned for 19 July so the objection about the date being in the school holidays is just wrong.

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    Ian

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

  • World Naked Bike Ride is a peaceful protest against oil dependency and car culture, while at the same time demanding real rights for cyclists and promoting body freedom. Events are family-friendly and suitable for all. Unfortunately, we seem to have a number of people in our society who see nudity as rude, crude or distasteful. Personally I find being knocked off my bike - rude, having my naked body vilified - crude, and breathing polluted town and city air - distasteful. It appears that the Tendring District Council are siding up with the highly vocal minority who don't like cyclists, don't like nudity and don't like environmental protests.

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    Andy Crawford

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

  • What are the chances of pouring rain and cold temperatures on 19 July ? That would surely test the riders enthusiasm to nudity.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, June 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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