I am a great believer in naturists not being excluded from the sorts of activities that clothed people regularly do simply because of their choice of dress. As I regularly used to visit the ten-pin bowling facility at Tunbridge Wells when I lived there, I decided that this might be a “normal” activity that naturists could do. Of course looking up the website gives you all sorts of centralised telephone numbers, email addresses and so on which proved absolutely no good – “I will be passing on your request and you will hear within 72 hours…..” etc., etc. So, after several unsuccessful attempts at communicating with a real human I decided that a personal approach to the centre I would want to use was best. So I made a special trip to Tunbridge Wells and approached the under-manager there with some trepidation when the “special” nature of our group visit needed to be raised ! To my amazement the venue was delighted to have been asked – this would be a great “first” for us. From that point on negotiations went smoothly. A date was arranged, prices and other details discussed and so on. BN agreed to take on the ticketing and we were away out of the starting blocks.
On the night I have to say we were treated royally. Nothing was too much trouble. Drinks were brought to us, piles of food were placed within arm’s reach and the welcoming team of five couldn’t have been more accommodating. Over 40 naturists arrived for the bowling and, after some initial hesitation, understandable as relatively few people knew each other from previous meetings, within a few minutes people were chatting happily (as naturists of course do) as if they had known each other for years. They organised themselves into lanes and amidst all the chatter and food actually found it quite difficult to complete the two games allowed before the end of the evening ! One lovely touch was when it was announced that every so often a pink skittle would appear among the normally white skittles in each of the bowling lanes. If someone managed a “strike” (getting all the skittles down in one go) that lane would be awarded a bottle of Prosecco to share. Amazingly three teams achieved this and huge ear-splitting cheers went up as they did so!
It was a really fun evening on what had been a cold and wet June day. I was so very grateful to BN for taking on the publicity and ticketing arrangements and indeed to all who participated, often coming from many miles away to take part and who showed the staff at the centre that naturists truly are ordinary folk who just like to have a good time without the encumbrance of clothing. The staff seemed impressed by us and will be happy to host again and to act as “referees” to other venues within the company. That is just the sort of message we need to get out to the general public. Thank you to everyone !