The History of Diogenes
Established in the late 1930’s, Diogenes has been at its present location since 1964. It is a members club which means that all the members jointly own the club and share the running of it and the maintenance of the house, grounds and facilities. We have been lucky to have a good mix of skills over the years and very little that you see has been done by paid contractors. This brings a very close community spirit to what we do and everyone is keen to see that the club thrives.
The club was founded in 1936 by a group of enthusiastic naturists after varied experiences at the Welsh Harp Open space and was at first based at Spielplatz. This was a proprietary club and seeking a little more freedom, a number of members left to form their own clubs. Diogenes was first based in the grounds of a property of one of the members, at Bricket Wood Common. Facilities included a pavilion, swimming pool and camping area. The club existed happily for many years and during the war provided a welcome escape from the bombing in London.
In 1949, the pavilion burnt down at the same time as the owner of the land was considering retirement and so a new home was sought. A plot of just 2 acres was discovered nearby and purchased. Much work was carried out to this area of overgrown scrub land, including installation of a water supply and pavilion. In 1956, the M1 was built and the land became valuable as development land. In 1963, the club members could no longer refuse the attractive offers that were being made for the land, and it was sold.
The club’s current premises (Georgian in origin) were up for auction, following the death of the last remaining member of the family that had owned it for years, and the club was fortunate to secure it. Hard work (in making the 12 acre site useful – 6 acres is currently let to a neighbouring farmer) was once again at the top of the agenda and, with the exception of some fencing, repair work on the house and construction of the swimming pool, all work was done by club members.
Today, our members welcome the opportunity to be able to contribute to the future of our club and be part of its history, in the making.