By Jenny Wotherspoon - tyneandwear.sky.com
Naturists in Newcastle are saying a final farewell to the City Pool with one last naked swim before the venue closes.
For most people the last swim at the pool will be March 28, but the Nudeswims Newcastle group held their final session a few days earlier.
The group, which has been running for almost 30 years, hires out both the pool and the Edwardian Turkish baths once a month for its 40 members.
But the closure of the City Pool, part of a £100m programme of budget cuts by Newcastle City Council, means the group have now had to find a new venue.
Organiser Rod, who did not wish to give his full name, said: “We’ve managed to arrange our next swim at Outer West Pool in Newcastle, but nevertheless it is sad to be losing the City Pool which is such a beautiful venue.
"It is hard to find places to go, with most modern swimming pools having big glass windows and buildings like the City Pool all closing down.
"That can be sorted by using blinds though, and there’s probably more of an issue with some pools saying we don’t want to be involved, we don’t want naked people in our pool.
"I don’t understand it, we pay thousands every year for it, is our money a different colour to other people’s money?"
Rod, who is from County Durham, has been a naturist for 30 years after reading a book on naturist beaches which inspired him to visit one in France.
He added: “Everybody that knows me knows I’m a naturist, but I wouldn’t put my full name to it because there are still so many prejudices.
"I’d worry if I applied for a job and somebody googled my name, they may not hire me because of it.
"My children have been bullied because of it, my daughter has been told her father is a pervert, which just isn’t right.
"I try to be as open about it as I can though, otherwise unfortunately people think there’s something odd going on and there’s simply not.
"We just like to swim and use the sauna without having to wear clothes. In Germany everybody goes in the sauna naked, it’s just a cultural thing."
The group have swum at various pools including Jesmond pool, East End pool, Outer West pool and the former Byker pool.
Nudeswims Newcastle begin their new sessions at Outer West pool in Newcastle on April 2, 2013.
Source: tyneandwear.sky.com http://dlvr.it/37dMlz POSTED_VIA_inaked.info/blog