After locals were concerned about the distraction it might cause drivers, a private dinner was cancelled for naturists in a pub.

In his four decades as a naturist, Keith Hillier-Palmer has been no stranger to prudishness and prejudices about his lifestyle.

But when he hosted a dinner party for like-minded men and women in a village pub, an objection arose in the totally unexpected form of… road safety fears.

Retired teacher Hillier-Palmer, 72, said managers at The Swan Inn in Sandhurst, Kent, seemed “thrilled” about hosting the private event.

But then they canceled it three days before the scheduled date, suddenly leaving the 22 naturists who had bought tickets with nothing for the night.

Locals made complaints to the pub and parish council over dinner, including that the sight of naked people through the windows could be distracting to passing motorists.

Naturist Keith Hillier-Palmer, 72, (right) and his partner Peter Hillier-Palmer, 65, (left) are part of the East Sussex Naturists group. The couple had planned to host a pub dinner with 22 other naturists, but it was canceled after complaints were received by the local Parish Council that it might distract the driver.

Dining With A Difference: Naturists On A Past Pub Night

Dining With A Difference: Naturists On A Past Pub Night

A parish council source said: ‘The Swan has huge windows with no curtains at the front and is on a busy street. There were concerns that he could be a hazard and possibly cause an accident.

The pub was prepared to put black tablecloths on the windows to cover the head-high glass for the event.

But by then word of the naturists’ visit had spread in the small community and in the face of what one local described as a “general uproar” the pub canceled the event.

Hillier-Palmer, a committee member for the East Sussex Naturist Group, who lives in Rye, a 20-minute drive from the pub, said: “We’ve held similar events in other pubs and road safety has never been an issue.”

I also belong to a club of naturist hikers called the Stark Trekkers. Some of our rides are close to roads and people pass by without hitting their vehicles.

The Couple Posed For Photos In Their Garden When The Mail Spoke To Them This Week.

The couple posed for photos in their garden when the Mail spoke to them this week.

It’s disappointing. The pub would only have been open to naturists with tickets that night, they would not have been among the clothed diners, and they would have been clothed when entering and exiting.

‘Many more people are accepting naturism nowadays. Textiles, as we call clothed people, often wave and smile when we meet them on walks.

But sadly, there are still some who hold Victorian views and are prudish about it.

He and his partner Peter Hillier-Palmer, 65, a retired employee of the Royal Mail sorting office, have thrown parties with naturist and textile guests in their back garden.

Peter, who is chairman of East Sussex Naturists, said: ‘Naturists have been mislabeled as ‘kinky’ in the past. But there’s nothing sexual about it.

‘Naturists are clean, tidy and our behavior is exemplary. We just want to be able to do the same things as textiles, but without clothes.”

The Dinner For 22 Naturists Was Supposed To Take Place At The Swan Inn (Pictured) In Sandhurst, Kent, But Was Canceled Due To Opposition From Locals.

The dinner for 22 naturists was supposed to take place at The Swan Inn (pictured) in Sandhurst, Kent, but was canceled due to opposition from locals.

The couple posed for photos in their garden, with a strategically placed flower pot and watering can, when the Mail spoke to them this week.

The pub night, scheduled for November 12, was advertised on Nothing On Events, a website that advertises activities for naturists.

Most of those who booked were of retirement age or older.

Tickets are £17 to £30 depending on how many courses the guests wanted and if they wanted a glass of prosecco to start. Other drinks would have had to be paid for separately.

The pub’s regular menu includes bangers and mash, pumpkin ravioli and a “fully loaded dirty burger”.

The pub said on its Facebook page on November 9 that “after hearing the concerns of many people within our local community” about the event, it “will NO LONGER take place and IS CANCELED.”

He added: “We apologize for any inconvenience or inconvenience this has caused.”

One woman commented online: ‘Thank God!… and well done for listening to people’s concerns.’

But another local said: ‘Well I hope all the people who complained come now that night and support their local pub.’

Pub owner Steve Tindall told the Mail: “We’re trying to get past all the Covid stuff hitting the industry and we like to encourage different things.”

The Pub Night At The Swan Inn, Scheduled For November 12, Was Announced On Nothing On Events, A Website That Advertises Activities For Naturists.

The pub night at The Swan Inn, scheduled for November 12, was announced on Nothing On Events, a website that advertises activities for naturists.

“It would have been a decent evening business-wise, but after discussions with the pub manager it was deemed better not to proceed rather than upset the locals. It is a difficult decision.’

Keith Hillier-Palmer said he did not “blame the pub for being cautious if they thought it might affect their business” and urged any other owners “eager to take advantage of the ‘bare pound’ to get in touch.”

Naturists who purchased tickets have been fully refunded. Among them was Sue Piper, 74, from Lydd, Kent, a former nurse and now editor of Naturist Life magazine, who once sat nude on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for an art project.

She said: ‘I’m really upset that the pub night got cancelled. It would have been a nice evening. But people don’t understand about naturism: there’s a freedom in taking off your kit and it’s about accepting people for who they are, not what they look like.’

British Naturism, the umbrella group for British naturists, reported a surge of new members during the lockdown.

Other events previously organized by East Sussex Naturists include strip bowling, a vineyard tour and art gallery tours.

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