I've just returned from yet another surreal British Naturism event. I've been dancing naked till the early hours with a parrot on my shoulder surrounded by pirates. No, I didn't eat too much cheese before experiencing a weird nightmare. It was just another great Alton Towers night. For the 11th year Alton Towers Splash Landings Hotel has been the host to one of our flagship events. We had a record 397 members attending . The event goes from strength to strength with the quality of acts improving each year.
It's odd for someone who has lived in London for 40 years but everybody smiles at you as they walk past. I'm not used to that... and they even say 'hello' or ask 'how're you doing?' But that's a BN event for you. People are friendly, happy and out to have a good time. The surreal aspects just kept coming. Amy Housewine, a superb tribute act, took the place by storm. She came in looking the part, stealing drinks, demanding drugs ... aspirin, viagra ... anything. But even Amy was upstaged by the two big guys dressed as Winehouse with immaculate beehive hair styles and dancing with real attitude. The singing was great, the dance floor was busy and Alton Towers rocked.
It's not all drink and dance though. Like many BN events it's a chance to talk, to make friends and catch up with old friends. There are useful workshops and meetings where people get the chance to help shape the future of BN or to learn about our direction of travel. It's a great opportunity to meet the people who lead BN such as new President Nick Caunt. There's also a chance to learn about all the 11 BN group holidays announced for 2018.
The theme park might be closed but the water park is great fun where you can get totally wrinkled in the jacuzzi pool, scared on the flumes or involved in a mass fight in what they call 'water polo'. If that's not enough action there was also T'ai chi, yoga, nudercise, running and archery to choose from.
Saturday night was Pirate Night and for a bunch of people who love to go naked we sure love to dress up without getting dressed. Firstly with Captain Eddie King then the brilliant Totally Tropical Party Band whose management had forgotten to tell them it was a Naturist party. They were so disappointed as they said they would have booked rooms and joined in if they had known. I spoke to several of the acts during the weekend and asked them how it went ... totally fantastic is the general reaction.
There is a real side benefit to these events and that's our interaction with the non-Naturists. These are the bar staff, the cleaners, receptionists, lifeguards, security, kitchen staff and dining room assistants. They all recognise that we are a good bunch, never any trouble, always having fun and basically normal. It's all excellent PR for us that is replicated at Nudefest, Dunoon, Bournemouth Blackpool and every event we hold.
We're already planning for 2018 and the booking line will be open soon. Get in early ... I have a feeling it will sell out rather quickly.