It was bliss at But­lin's when the fam­ily took a hol­i­day

Were you one of those thou­sands of fam­i­lies in the mid 1960s or later, who spent their hol­i­day at one of the many But­lin’s camps scat­tered around the Bri­tish coast? Then The His­tory of Ad­ver­tis­ing Trust ( HAT), based in Nor­folk, may have a pho­to­graph of y

Let's Talk - - History -

Afas­ci­nat­ing part of the But­lin’s Her­itage Col­lec­tion, a se­ries of im­ages from the mid-1960s have been digi­tised and cat­a­logued by the His­tory of Ad­ver­tis­ing Trust (HAT), based in Raven­ing­ham in Nor­folk.

Taken by the rov­ing ‘walkie’ pho­tog­ra­phers at But­lin’s Bog­nor Regis, the im­ages give a spon­ta­neous and in­ti­mate win­dow into the ex­pe­ri­ences of hol­i­day­mak­ers at that time.

In the din­ing hall a fam­ily, joined by Red­coats, gather round hap­pily as el­dest daugh­ter cer­e­mo­ni­ally cuts the cake to mark her birth­day.

In the kitchen, staff mem­bers scram­ble to pre­pare teapots for thirsty hol­i­day­mak­ers and wash crock­ery ready for the next sit­ting.

At the swim­ming pool Dad shows his lad the way, div­ing in with ju­nior sec­onds be­hind. Pool­side, proud sib­lings re­ceive swim­ming cer­tifi­cates from a beam­ing Red­coat and in the box­ing gym, vic­to­ri­ous boys bran­dish tro­phies.

Next it’s nine holes on the putting green with Dad, drap­ing his arm af­fec­tion­ately around his son be­tween shots, snooker with a gig­gling Mum and ta­ble tennis with Grandad.

Then there’s just mess­ing about

on the boat­ing lake.

Other young­sters ride coin­op­er­ated space­ships, mo­tor­bikes and ze­bras at six­pence a time.

In the play­ground a girl bravely mounts a huge slide be­fore hav­ing sec­ond thoughts half­way down.

At the fair­ground the carousel re­mains pop­u­lar with young and old.

Young­sters seek big­ger thrills on the rollercoaster, dodgems, Fer­ris wheel and ‘Waltzer’.

Head­ing for the beach, three sib­lings show off their strik­ing sun­hats. Two brothers have con­trast­ing emo­tions about their Red In­dian fancy dress, younger brother beams as his older sib­ling pouts.

Grandma en­joys her bingo, while on the lawn Grandad snoozes in the sun obliv­i­ous, as the rest of the fam­ily pose. It’s ice cream time but youngest strug­gles to stop drips melt­ing down his arm.

That even­ing in the Blink­ing Owl bar a woman plants a big kiss on her hus­band’s cheek as he grins from ear to ear.

At the Beach­comber bar women in Hawai­ian grass-skirts serve drinks as four young men in suits pose on the imi­ta­tion rocks. In the Ge­orge IV Cock­tail bar an older man proudly ex­hibits the at­tributes he hopes will win him the Knob­bly Knees com­pe­ti­tion come the morn­ing.

Hol­i­day­mak­ers are thrilled to pose with their favourite Red­coats who in turn seem happy to oblige.

Even the pho­tog­ra­phers oc­ca­sion­ally ap­pear, amused by the nov­elty of be­ing on the other side of the lens.

In the ball­room Eric Win­stone’s big band de­lights the crowd. Every­one is en­ticed to dance, from slow-danc­ing ro­man­tic cou­ples to hol­i­day­mak­ers hav­ing a rumba with a Red­coat to whole fam­i­lies do­ing the Twist.

In the Pig and Whis­tle bar even Grandma gets car­ried away, scal­ing a ta­ble for a knees-up.

As the night draws to a tired but con­tented end, rev­ellers me­an­der mer­rily to­wards their chalets.

Just an­other happy day at But­lin’s but uniquely one cap­tured by the pho­to­graphic ser­vices, pre­served by But­lin’s and HAT and kept for pos­ter­ity.

Did you spend fam­ily hol­i­days at But­lin’s Bog­nor, or in­deed at any of the other But­lin’s camps at Mine­head, Skeg­ness, Ayr, Clac­ton, Fi­ley etc. If so share your mem­o­ries with our read­ers. Write to Let’s Talk at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Nor­wich, Nor­folk, NR1 1RE to email let­stalk@ archant.co.uk.

A young boy and girl rid­ing coin- op­er­ated ze­bra rides at But­lin’s Bog­nor, around 1965.

A fam­ily re­lax­ing in the sun on the lawn at But­lin’s Bog­nor, also about 1965.

Male staff be­hind the scenes in the kitchen pre­par­ing metal teapots at But­lin’s Bog­nor, in about 1965.

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