Thursday, January 28, 2010
We (and by we I mean myself, my sister, Nan & Grandad, and usually Mum. Dad didn't participate. Not sure why) all would pile into Grandad's car and head for Bognor.
Butlin's in the 70s was a fantastic place. There were two kinds of accommodation, or 'chalets' as they were called. Self-catering on one side of the camp had kitchenettes in each room, and 'full board', which we were, were just rooms with bunk beds or twin beds, some had doubles, and adjoining bathroom. I guess these days the conditions would be considered somewhat spartan, but to us kids, who'd never known any different, this was great fun. However primitive the facilities were, at least we weren't camping in the open air and peeing in latrines!
During the week we got a bunch of variety shows, sometimes with fairly big names. I remember seeing Gary Wilmot before he was popular, and we saw him up in the bar at the Princes Ballroom later and got his autograph. The first year we went, Tommy Trinder was the guest compere of all the variety shows. He was up there rattling off some old chestnut or another, my Grandad in the third row yelling "I heard that one in the Palladium in 1945!". At the end of the week was the Redcoat show. Redcoats was the name given to the entertainment staff. They wore red blazers and white pants or skirts. They were always around running all the competitions and helping people out, and at the end of the week they got to perform skits and songs of their own in the Redcoat Show. This was usually the best show of the week.
Across the road from the rear entrance of the camp was Hotham Park Zoo. A great place with some half decent animals and some amusements. You could buy a bag of peanuts a feed the llamas and zebras and occasionally a penguin would waddle close by. Good fun.
There are too many funny memories to write down here, so I will bid you adieu.