Friday, 28 January 2011

Butlins 1963: Hi-de-hi

Pauline said that she would like pictures of her Dad, so I went through my collection to see what I could upload to web Picassa for her and came across the following two pictures, which she might also like to see (but might not like the world to see).

They come from our holiday in Butlins in Clacton in 1963. You should have no problem guessing that Pauline is the sweet young girl in the middle of the picture. Sitting beside her is her brother Martin, with her Mum, Olive next to him. I share the embarrassment, by being in the front.

From John

My Mum is second from the left below.

From John

Click on the links at the bottom of the pictures for more pictures of John through the years.

This was all well before going abroad for sunny beach resort holidays became standard and, although later subject to ridicule, was quite an acceptable way of spending one's holiday. The lady on the left of the picture and her two children on the right were from a rugby playing family from Twickenham, who in those more class dominated days - John would understand that statement - seemed very classy to me.

The TV series Hi-de-Hi! showed little of the life of the campers, but I do recall feeling a degree of familiarity with bits that they did show. My memory is extremely vague, but the chalets shown in the following clip seem similar to the little I remember.

I assume I had a great time, but other things stick in my memory: terrible food in a horrible canteen restaurant (a memory brought back in Polish spa hotels) and the camp being surrounded by huge wire fences with guards at the gates (a memory brought back by ...). They were intended to keep non-paying visitors out from the camp's facilities and entertainment, but it still looked like a prison camp from the outside. "Do not climb on the fences!"

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