(This is the article in the Burton Mail that Stuart Haywood had today, to promote naturism, and the exhibition he is holding of my artwork of him in May. )
I became a naturist at 72 and ‘you’re never too old to be naked’
Stuart Haywood says no-one should be ashamed of their body
Naturist and retired accountant Stuart Haywood, who only got into taking his clothes off in front of others at the age of 72, says “you’re never too old to be naked and should never be ashamed of your body”. Stuart is now 85 and regularly goes on holidays to a naturist park.
He says he is never embarrassed to be naked in front of other like-minded people and spending his holiday without wearing any clothes lifts his spirits. He visits the naturist holiday park with his wife Rhonda, 91, who is not a naturist but fully supports her husband and is happy to be around others who like to walk around naked as she keeps her clothes on.
Stuart, who lives in Swadlincote, got into naturism by chance when he attended a life drawing art class with a naked model and knew there and then he could happily get naked in from of others. since then he has never looked back, although goes not walk around his home and garden in Midway naked as it is close to other homes and Stuart would never want to cause offence to others who not share his passion for naturism.
Now Stuart is preparing for his lifestyle take centre stage in an exhibition featuring pictures and drawings of him naked for the first time. He only entered the world of naturism in 2008 and before this, the only person he had been naked in front of for more than 50 years was Rhona.
The couple visit Lakeside Farm Naturist Holidays, near Skegness, in Lincolnshire two weeks a year. And that is where holidaymakers will be able to glimpse Stuart in all his glory in the exhibition which will be on a public display on May 14.
He said: “This will be my first time this year going to Lakeside so I will be making my debut. The exhibition came into my head after the owner of Lakeside often likes people to contribute [to events]. I thought it was an opportunity to do something for the Lakeside members.”
Stuart’s naked exhibition has more than 50 items in 27 plastic pockets. There are 10 nude studies of him in pencil sketches, drawings and watercolours; there are eight articles in newspapers or magazines; and seven pockets of photos, certificates and the service of the Haywoods’ renewal of marriage vows which Stuart took naked. He would also like to hold the exhibition locally, but in fairness he admits his locations are limited.
The retired accountant and greengrocer, he said: “We attended a life drawing class in Swadlincote in 2008 and I thought ‘I can do that’ and I was put in touch with artist Jackie Adshead.” Stuart remembers well the first time he got naked for the artist, event hat he sat down for her at 1pm on December 13, 2008, and this was the moment his life changed as he embraced naturism.
However, he never managed to persuade Rhona to follow in his footsteps. He said: “Rhona is not a naturist, but is perfectly comfortable around people with no clothes on.
“Rhona goes along with it but she’s not a naturist herself. She wouldn’t dream of taking her clothes off, but she’s quite happy surrounded by naked people. It doesn’t bother her.”
When asked how many hours a day does he think he is naked for, he surprisingly answers that he is never naked at home. He said: “Where we live we live in a bungalow with houses all around us and a pathway right near our window. Our garden is also surrounded by houses so I think when I go to Lakeside it just enhances my enjoyment. I have a lift in spirits when I take my clothes off. It is a sense of freedom. You’re never too old to be naked and should never be ashamed of your body.”
Lakeside Farm includes a swimming pool, hot tub and a communal room for people to meet as many people turn up in their caravans. The Haywoods even renewed his wedding vows there – and the vicar turned up naked. Stuart was also naked, of course, but Rhona decided to remain fully kitted.
In 2020, despite the world lockdown in the pandemic, the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary and planted some roses near the entrance to Rosliston Forestry Centre. Stuart admitted he would like to attend naked but said, understandably, it is not feasible.