A new photo book is launched, with photos from the early 80’ties from the Butlin’s holiday homes. I am not British so this concept was new to me, I have never heard of Butlin’s. Maybe someone here at the forum has tried it? It looks like it still exists today, though in a much more modest version. It had its hey-day in the post war years, up until the 90’ties, it seems.
Holiday camps were massive in their day with Butlins and Pontins easily the two biggest. Entertainers at Butlins were called redcoats and their Pontins equivalents Bluecoats - though they wore jackets and not coats. I'm sure I read that Jimmy Perry was a redcoat at Butlins which was the inspiration for Hi-Di-Hi. Many tv entertainers began their careers performing at Butlins including Jimmy Tarbuck, Cliff Richard, Des 'O' Connor and Dave Allen. Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt first met at the Butlins camp in Minehead when they were playing in separate bands. The rest as they say is history.
Most of the camps were located in England, possibly three in Wales. one in N.Ireland and one in Scotland which was in Ayr and less than a thirty minute drive from my home. The camp is still open but not as a Butlins concern. All holiday resorts were located on the coast which meant the kids could enjoy the beach on the one scorching day we get up here during summer.
The popularity of these places waned with the introduction of cheap package holidays to Spain in the mid to late 60's, but there's so much nostalgia attached to the whole concept of holiday camps that it really is fascinating to dip into the past. You've got me thinking of chairlifts!