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UPDATE: Naked supporters rally in Hebden

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MORE than a dozen brave souls stripped down to their bare essentials in Hebden Bridge this morning (Sunday).

They wanted to show their support for the naked rambler who was arrested in the town last week.

Apart from a few bemused market stall holders and early morning shoppers, today’s mass unrobing on the historic packhorse bridge did little to raise eyebrows.

But according to the organisers it was hugely successful in drawing attention to the plight of rambler Stephen Gough, 53, who appeared before Calderdale Magistrates last week for a public order offence.

The former marine from Hampshire is understood to have walked 220 miles on his way from Scotland to Southampton.

His trial has been put off until February 5 and many of those on the bridge today felt he had been treated unfairly.

Heidi Bang Tidy, a burlesque dancer, who lives in Cragg Vale, said there was nothing wrong with people taking their clothes off.

“We wanted to show that Hebden Bridge is an accepting community rather than a place where people are arrested for doing something which is perfectly natural,” she said.

A part-time nudist, Augustus Jones, travelled all the way from Rugby to join the rally.

“I take my clothes off in the house and around the garden. People should realise that nudity is just another way of dressing,” he said.

Paul Maddock, on a visit from Todmorden, said he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

 

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