NUDISTS from far and wide gathered in Fareham – their invitation read “Come and meet our members.”

Much to her credit, the mayor of Fareham, Dorothy Ekins, accepted. She spent one of the most unlikely afternoons of her tenure shaking hands with naked men and ladies at the South Hants Sun Club.

Mrs Elkins didn’t want to answer too many questions afterwards, but told the Echo: “Everyone has a right to his or her own way of life.”

A press conference was arranged that day, September 16, 1978, in which journalists were seated in the centre of a marquee with a U-shaped arrangement of tables at which sat a mixture of clothed and naked people.

Speeches were made emphasising that naturism was a rapidly growing pastime with more and more venues becoming nudist friendly.

These pictures weren’t printed in the Daily Echo report at the time.That was likely due to it being more difficult to obscure sensitive body parts back then

Now though, it’s much easier – so here they are – published for the very first time.