History of Ridgewood Sun Club

The club was formed by a group of campers that met at the Angel Hotel in Bath to form a naturist club in March 1950.

A site was rented from a farmer near Emborough in the Mendip area of Somerset and the Mendip Sun Club came into being.

After the death of the farmer in the winter of 1953 the club lost the site and was forced to start searching for a new site to relocate the club. Following an advertisement in Farmers Weekly, an old, overgrown, garden nursery on a wooded hillside between Portishead and Clevedon near Bristol was bought by Bill the and his wife Mary, the club moved there in May 1954.

There followed years of work to clear the site of trees and undergrowth, work hampered by the presence of many snakes.

Splash pool circa 1959

Most weekends Bill would cycle from Bristol towing a trailer, not many people had cars then, with a tent to provide some shelter. Mary and the children would take the bus to the nearest bus stop at the bottom of the steep hillside and walk up to the site. Eventually a trench was dug by hand up the rocky hillside to provide a water supply, the old small wooden pavilion was recovered from the original site, games and sunbathing areas were levelled, a splash pool was dug.

In 2009 Ridgewood Sun Club became a limited company. This has helped secure our future, all land and assets are owned by the company for its members.

In memory of Bill

Bill sadly passed away in 2010. It was his family's wish for his ashes to be buried at Ridgewood.

We would like to add to this page. If you are a past member with any information or have any old photographs we can use then please get in touch.

Do You Recognise this Article?

Below, Ridgewood circa 1959, formerly known as Mendip Sun Club. If you can shed any light on the article below, like which publication it was or if you know or have an original copy or you are in one of the pictures, please contact the club secretary.