Butlins Holiday Memories

butlins, 1980, holiday, archive photographButlins holds so many fond memories for me.  My family went there when both my brother and I were very young, until perhaps we were 11 and 7.  I remember making great friends at the disco’s in the early evening. The kind of friends, that when you are young, you think are going to be life long.  We swapped addresses, fully intending to be pen-pals until we met up next year.  We would watch the shows together, and laugh until our sides hurt, the kind of infectious laughter where you could never remember why you were laughing in the first place.

I remember falling in love for the first time too at Butlins too.  At the ripe old age of 10, I declared my undying love to a boy, much older that myself, maybe 18 or 19.  I did this by my face burning brightly any time I went near him.  I think you will have guessed already that he was a red coat. His name was John, he had the darkest most glossiest hair in the world.   It was the early eighties, and he really had the hairstyle to match, a middle parting and hairsprayed flicks that wrapped themselves all the way around his head. He was tall, well that’s how I remember him now, but that maybe because I also remember that his trousers were too short for him. It’s funny the things that are left imprinted in your memory.

The Butlins Holiday Camps, then and now are fantastic for cheap UK breaks.  Either when you have children that are very small and you don’t want to travel for long periods, or if you don’t like the idea of flying. They really do offer breaks that offer great value for money, with very comfortable accommodation and family activities available all day long. Great also if you like holidays where you can be involved in group activities, and shows in the evening, lots of fun to be had!Butlins photograph, archive 1980 and 1970

I think when we were young one of the reasons we went to Butlins was that it was a little bit of a family tradition. My Grandparents, and my Dad and his brother and sisters had spent lots of summers there. Each year, my Grandma, would enter the Glamorous Granny competition. She always won too.  This doesn’t surprise me, as she is still very glamorous to this day. In fact, today is her birthday so it seems only right that I share a photograph of her in Butlins at the time that she would enter the competitions.

Butlins, photograph Archive, 1970's and 1980's

She was, and is known for her impeccable dress sense, and beautiful hair, which then was always in a beehive style.  She really doesn’t look old enough to be Grandma, in this photograph I think.

I don’t really remember entering into the, now famous Butlins talent competitions myself, though I’m sure we did. I’d win the knobbly knees competition hands down though!

I would love to hear your Butlins memories, please leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading


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  1. Tina Mansfield says

    Its strange that you have these memories of Butlins as mine are very different. When you live with a camp on your doorstep! I remember summers with my Mum spent swimming and playing, we were never allowed in in the evenings. Making friends in the swimming pools people you would never see again, and having fun with my brother. Then as a teenager sneaking onto camp for the Disco and being turfed out!! and now! as an adult it is an income for the area, if it wasn’t there town would be dead, and if you can get one of the rare passes to get in a bit of family fun!
    Tina Mansfield recently posted..Zumba my way fitMy Profile

  2. says

    Ah you can’t beat Butlins can you? Can’t wait to be able to take my Bean there to make some memories like I did as a kid :) And OMG your nan looks amazing!! No wonder she always won!! 😀
    MummyNeverSleeps recently posted..KitschenMy Profile

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