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Go back to your best time at Butlins

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:37 pm
by frank worrall
My best time was at Barry Island in 1969 when I was a Redcoat there for the season, I am sorry to say my only season as a Redcoat since I met my wife there who was a nursery nurse at the time, and she said she would never let me go back for some reason? nothing to do with the 7 girlfriends I had at the time of meeting her of course. She has been the only one for the past 38 years.I was happy there as a child, and also happy there taking our children over the past years to all the different camps, and we now look forward to taking our grandchildren, but it will never beat the feeling I had walking around the camp in my redcoat uniform talking to and entertaining the campers.What was your best time at Butlins, or is it stll to come?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:52 am
by Joker
I started going to Butlins in 1973 when we went to Pwllheli the week after the fire. I was only 7 and don't remember a lot about it. It was one of the few times my father went with us and I remember the pair of us climbing on the footplate of the old steam train (6023 Princess Margaret Rose) and the mass exodus after breakfast, us kids clearing the dining hall of every last crumb of bread to feed the ducks.
We went to one camp or another each year until 1980.
I think the most lasting memory for me is sitting in one of the ballroom at the end of the night and the band leader announcing the Last Waltz a tune that always reminds me of my childhood at Butlins.

Started taking my own kids in 1997 and have lost count of how many times, even done Pwllheli, Ayr and Primrose Valley to see whats left of the Butlins I remember. Don't suppose it will be long before I'm taking my grand-children.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:34 pm
by catmad
was there a fire there too?, was it as big as the one at skeggy in 74?
my happiest has to be my first season as a red at ayr in 79. the feeling of putting on the red and whites for the first time was something that will stay in my heart, forever.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:47 pm
by Joker
This is the only picture we took of the Gaiety Building or whats left of it !



the fire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:50 am
by catmad
thanks joker, i think i just recall hearing about it, somewhere in the dark reccesses of my memory, there is a glimmer. i remember the one at skeggy in 74 as i was there.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:32 pm
by frank worrall
Talking about fires, does anyone remember the one at Barry Island, I think it was around 1967/68, I went there as a Redcoat in 1969 looking forward to seeing those fabulous beach comber bars (all action sun, rain and storms) do you remember them. Had seen them at other camps in other years, but was told it had burnt down a year or so before I got there. There was a rumour, that after paying for 1 pint of beer, you could not afford another one (accidents do happen of course) and lightening did strike a few camps around that time (certainly more than once).

best time

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:50 am
by rustythestarlight
My best time was every time. I went every year in the 70's and early 80's
I stopped going after we visited Skeg in 1984 when as kids we were to young to do the older kids things and to old to do the younger kids things, still enjoyed it though, be we said enough, we've out grown it and that was the end ('till i worked at Pwlleli)

so all through the 70's for me! (the Toot and Ploot era!)

i did go in 2006 but i was looking at it through different eyes. I understood why it felt different, I had a great time but i was secretly longing to go back in time. Pappa Johns just wasn't the same as the perfectly formed scoops of instant mash!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:26 am
by pushbutton
I can't really pin it down to one specific time, but there were several in the mid 80s that would be amongst the best.

I think I can probably say 1984-85 were the best Butlins years for me, and I had several holidays during those years at Minehead and Skegness.

One in particular was at Minehead (my favourite camp for those who don't know!) and we were staying for a week as usual. It was the last day before leaving so I was starting to feel a bit sad, when my parents made the best decision of their lives and announced we would be staying for ANOTHER WEEK!

I could not believe my luck and I don't think I've ever felt quite so happy before or since then!


PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:43 pm
by jennyorganist
When I was young in the 1960's, we couldn't afford a holiday so only went on day trips. However, when I was about 7 or 8 my mum's uncle paid for our first 'proper' holiday, a week at Butlins Pwllheli. We had the time of our lives. Horse riding, the cable car, the outdoor pool. Swimming galas, fancy dress parade, the weekly talent contest, the fun fair etc. What a week! Butlins was the talk of the house for weeks afterwards. We went to Skegness and Ayr in later years too and had the same magical times. I took my own family for a week at Pwllheli in recent years and what a change. There was nothing left. The memories had all gone. No ' HI de hi ' atmosphere, no 'Good morning campers', no original buildings etc. I know things move on and perhaps I am being a teeny weeny bit nostalgic but nothing was the same. It was like a different place. Caravans everywhere. And what happened to the chairlift? What a fabulous time we used to have going from one end of the camp to the other on that.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:41 pm
by SkegRed
My best time at Butlins was in the 50's and 60's those never to be forgotten Hi-De-Hi days at Good old Skeggy

l cant describe the feeling the first time l put on my famous Redcoat,l was a different person from a little nobody to a little somebody(Till it was your day off and you came down to earth as none of the new Campers knew you of course,thats if your day off was a Saturday,as mine mostly was,unless l was asked to work)

Loved doing "Goodnight Campers" every night in the Ballrooms end of the night
Ah!! Memories ,Memories,

Skegred Andy King

Pwllheli fire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:25 pm
by rocky mason
catmad wrote:was there a fire there too?, was it as big as the one at skeggy in 74?
my happiest has to be my first season as a red at ayr in 79. the feeling of putting on the red and whites for the first time was something that will stay in my heart, forever.
Hiya Catmad, sadly the Pwllheli fire was the worst ever experienced at Butlins. It was actually two enormous-two storey buildings about 40 feet apart and the space between them was roofed to form an arcade-an enormous tunnel if you like, between the two buildings. Going into the 'tunnel'from South Camp, 1st building on the right,was a hairdressers shop, behind that was a large, typical games room, billiards, ping pong, darts. Next were offices and above was the hostess office and store room. Then the Entertainment offices, behind which was the 2,000 seater main theatre. Next was a big shopping centre. Opposite was an enormous coffee bar, grill room, where the fire started. Next door was the largest Blinking Owl bar on any camp, below that was another coffee bar, under the Playhouse theatre. Above all those venues and occupying the entire upper floor was the main ballroom. Five fire engines were at the fire, but nothing could save it. I was the Ents' Manager at the time and, with the Redcoats, responsible for clearing the campers cars off the theatre car park. I reported some screaming coming from inside the building to the Chief Fire Officer, who I knew, and he said it was the 12 ins iron girders that were twisting and bending and causing a screaming noise!!.. The fire was caused because a young student left a hamburger grill on. with a plastic container of oil, the plastic melted and Bingo!!! Some campers going home from Late Night Cabaret saw the flames and smashed a window, but when they got in they realised the fire was too fierce so they smashed another window to get out and created a 'through draught'. All the facilities were moved around and we carried on the next day, we didn't lose a customer!! Rocky.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:18 am
by Joker
That other site has a write up of the Pwllheli fire