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Did you go to a Butlins or Pontins holiday camp ?

(40 Posts)
Floradora9 Fri 01-Jul-22 15:54:46

I have been reading Mervyn Bragg's autobiography " Back in The Day " and he tells how he and his mum would go to Butlins in Ayr . When they visited he just loved it the whole bundle of competitions , mass singing the shows at night . We took our children to that camp plus Pontins in Blackpool and Southport and we all enjoyed it . I think my most abiding memories are of the cheer that went up when one of the servers dropped a plate. They carried things like big cake racks stacked with full plates. There was no choice of food but we ate it . On arriving at one chalet we discovered that a light bulb was blown . We told the office and when we returned to our chalet there was a large dirty footpring on a bed where someone had stood to replace the light bulb. We demanded a new sheet . We arranged swimming lessons for my DS and at the end of the week he still could not swim but his little sister could. Our next door neighbours took the competition to heart and took fancy dress costumes with them . They also took their little girl's music for the talent competition and someone stole it . We never left our children alone in the chalets despite there being patrols to keep an eye on them, " baby crying in challet 33 " would come over the tannoy in the theatre. The fact that we did not leave them meant that our evening's entertainment was curtailed because they wanted to go to bed. They were happy days .

H1954 Fri 01-Jul-22 15:59:18

No, there wasn't the money in our house for holiday camp vacations. We had to make do with camping holidays for which much of the equipment was sourced from the local army surplus store, even the khaki tents! Oh happy days!

tanith Fri 01-Jul-22 16:02:11

We went to Pontins once but weren’t really impressed it wasn’t very clean although the children loved it. We did a lot of self catering Haven holidays which we really enjoyed but now even those holidays are costing an arm and a leg sadly out of the reach of many.

kittylester Fri 01-Jul-22 16:05:21

We went to Butlins once but it was not quite my mother's thing. grin

A girlfriend and I went to Pontins in Jersey where I came 2nd in the 'bathing beauty' competition.

midgey Fri 01-Jul-22 16:06:43

I always wanted to go to Butlins. Our holidays were centred around sheepdog trials!

maddyone Fri 01-Jul-22 16:13:29

We never went to any of them.

Oldbat1 Fri 01-Jul-22 16:16:03

Went every year if there was a junior ballroom dancing competition- loved the competition but really enjoyed the swimming pool which had windows. Loved the amusements. Probably only lasted a long weekend but it was so enjoyable.

ayse Fri 01-Jul-22 16:16:41

We went camping although I wanted to try it. Camping was an inexpensive holiday and suited my parents. Looking back, I probably had many more interesting experiences than going to a holiday camp.

Kate1949 Fri 01-Jul-22 16:17:53

We never had a holiday as children but we took our daughter to Butlins, Pontins and another one. Warner's I think. This was in the '70s. She loved it as an only child and so did we. It was great fun.

Pantglas2 Fri 01-Jul-22 16:18:41

We went on Sunday school and Dad’s works day trips annually to Butlins Pwllheli which seemed to take all day to get there! Don’t remember it ever raining - surely it must have?

Also did the Sheep Dog Trials midgey as my mother was from a farming family and my uncle usually entered and later judged internationals!

AGAA4 Fri 01-Jul-22 16:52:36

We took our 18 month old son to Butlins. He caught measles there and was very ill. This was in the days before vaccination.

MissAdventure Fri 01-Jul-22 16:57:07

Oh no.
It wasn't "our sort of thing", although I don't remember being asked.

I went in my 40s, and loved it!

Zoejory Fri 01-Jul-22 17:00:47

No. My parents wouldn't have been keen. Lucky enough to go abroad for our holidays

IwasaMaidofKent Fri 01-Jul-22 17:01:47

We went to Butlins in north Wales and Pontins on the Isle of Wight and I can remember the huts were just like sheds and the dinner wasin this massive hall in two sittings. It was rather cheesy when I look back now but I loved it as a child.

MissAdventure Fri 01-Jul-22 17:01:51

We went in various camper vans to Cornwall, every year.
We loved it!

Cabbie21 Fri 01-Jul-22 17:03:06

We went to Butlins once when our first child was small. She loved it, and I loved having no meals to cook and an easy life for a week, even if much of it was not to my taste.
The second time was a few years later, and I just couldn’t stand it.

Liamsnana Fri 01-Jul-22 17:06:23

Went there in the early 80s with DH and to sons aged 10months and nearly 2 and a half years old , had lots of fun though remember constantly washing there cloths and nappies as disposables where to expensive , good old days lol

M0nica Fri 01-Jul-22 17:09:19

As a small child I desperately wanted to go to a holiday camp. They seemed such fun. But I had no success. Holidays were not a big feature in our family. DF was in the army, we were constantly on the move. Leave was usually spent heading south to see our family and being posted to places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, which were holidays in themselves.

Jaffacake2 Fri 01-Jul-22 17:13:12

My mum used to save up vouchers from the Eagle comics and always seemed to have enough to get us 5 all in free for a day trip to Butlins in Bognor. Once she had enough to give to the family behind us in the queue and their little boy was free too ! We all loved the place. Swimming in the indoor pool, boating on the lake and fairground rides .
When I was about 11 my mum took just me for a week's holiday to butlins. It was shortly after my gran died and my dad thought mum needed a break away.We had a lovely week in the sun. My lasting memory is of having baths every evening filled to the brim with warm water and bubble bath. At home we were only allowed a few inches of bath water as all of us bathed out of an hours immersion tank.
Funny what seemed luxury then !

Cressida Fri 01-Jul-22 17:14:07

Spent a summer as a student in the 60s working at Butlin's Filey initially as a barmaid and then a cashier.

grannyactivist Fri 01-Jul-22 17:16:15

On a school trip supervising one of the more troubled youngsters I mentioned to him that I would be going to Butlins the following week (an annual holiday to a big Christian Festival) and I shall never forget the shocked look on his face as he retorted; “Miss, I didn’t think you would go on a drunken holiday.” Apparently Butlins was his family’s holiday of choice and his response told me all I needed to know about his experience there.

Glorianny Fri 01-Jul-22 17:22:02

I went to a NALGO holiday camp run by the Union. Every adult had a nickname badge, surnames were not used so no one knew what level of local government any one was. I remember my mother only took skirts and had to rush to a local shop when she discovered most of the women wore shorts.
We went to Butlins with my mum and dad when my children were young. They loved it. They still talk about it.

Pittcity Fri 01-Jul-22 17:30:47

It wasn't my parent's thing when we were young but we took our kids when they were little and loved it. I remember winning a lovely Mum competition or similar at Pontins. We then progressed to similar things abroad. They were of their time and I wouldn't want that sort of holiday now.

Witzend Fri 01-Jul-22 17:34:27

No, but I’m sure I’d have loved either. Our seaside holidays were always at the quiet end of the beach, but a granny who sometimes came with us would take me to the pier and all the noisy colourful rowdiness my folks didn’t care for - she thoroughly enjoyed it too!

aonk Fri 01-Jul-22 17:36:14

Sadly I never went to a holiday camp although I think I would have loved it! My father would only go on holiday to somewhere really special with very comfortable accommodation and excellent food. This was, of course, very expensive so we didn’t go. He said he would rather stay at home in a clean comfortable house where he could trust the food.