I was a Redcoat at Clacton for the 1962, 63, 64, 65 and 1966 seasons.
These three pictures are from different years at Clacton. They were on sale in the
camp photographer’s photo shop, along with the other Redcoats’ souvenir portraits.

Butlins Skegness 1949 at Redcoats Reunited

This is where my love for Butlins began.
That’s me, number 39. I was five, and knew from that moment that,
when I grew up, I would be a Butlins’ Redcoat.

I went for an interview with Ron J. Hayter early 1962, to become a Redcoat, at Butlins’ head office in Oxford Street, London. I then phoned him every day for two weeks. He said OK, and sent me to Minehead, in May, as a Radio Butlin announcer. I did the first early morning call on the camp. I was there 2 weeks when I was told Radio Butlin was one short at Clacton, so was moved there — and loved it.

[I should add I was only in RB for my first season, 1962 — after that I was GD (General Duty Redcoat)].

Radio Butlin Clacton 1962 at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Clacton 1962 competiton winners at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Clacton 1962 champagne winners at Redcoats Reunited

Me and another Red looking after the contestants from one of
the many competitions we hosted.

Presenting a bottle of champagne to the winning table of the nightly
“Champagne Spin” in the dining room.
Pictured left is Terry Hawkins, who was the house Captain.
Right is Tom Williams – who was a very good singer.

Butlins Clacton 1963 at Redcoats Reunited

In the Viennese Ballroom with the Ball Games team.
(Must have been raining, or we would have been on the sports field).
A man called Cappie Bond started these ball games in the 50s to keep ladies fit.
He would turn up through the season to make sure we did it right.
The lucky boy at the back is Chief Redcoat, Alan Hunter.

[‘Cappie’ Bond was the Director of Physical Recreation for Butlin’s in the 50s and 60s.]

My speciality was Olde Tyme Dancing, so loved mixing with the people.

Larry Knight was a fantastic Ents. Manager. I didn't get winter work that year, but did work Ocean Hotel Easter 63,
and would take weekend guests/campers to Bognor or Brighton, from London, picking them up at the train station.

I returned to Clacton for the 63 summer season, and Larry Knight kept me on full-time after that.

Butlins Clacton Redcoat Show 1963 at Redcoats Reunited

Clacton 1963 Redcoat Show
We girls looking good in our gingham skirts.
Note the two boys (seated) though, who are in Minstrel make-up. Oh! dear.

We had winter social clubs for locals. They were great fun, plus we went off and did reunions around the country.
Fab week at Royal Albert Hall London in the winter of 1963-4.

One winter I was sent to head office, in London, to work in reception. Sir Billy came in every day, and was so nice to the girls on the desk.

Butlins Clacton 1964 Redcoat Show 1 at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Clacton 1964 Redcoat Show 2 at Redcoats Reunited

These costumes were borrowed from the set of “Every Day’s A Holiday.”
When the film company left they took them with them, so we took
the curtains down from a lounge and had to make costumes from them.

Dave ‘The Rave’ Butler (right) was the camp comic. He became quite
famous in the 1970s in the TV programme “The Comedians.”
The other chap is Bob Lees, from Glasgow; and ‘Aunty’ Pam is in the middle.

Butlins Clacton 1963 End-of-Season Party - at Redcoats Reunited

Clacton 1964 End-of-Season Redcoat Party
Bet you wish you'd been invited, don't you?

CLACTON REDCOAT SHOW 1964 at Redcoats Reunited

That's me, front left.

Butlins Clacton Bud Flanagan at Redcoats Reunited

Love this one with Bud Flanagan. He would tour the camps on a Sunday night to do a
 singalong, “Bud at Butlins.” Campers were given little books with all his songs in,
 everyone would join in. And, before you ask: Yes! I still have a copy of that little book!!

  In summary: I did summer seasons at Clacton, 1962, 63, 64, 65, 66. Then from 1964 I was at the Ocean Hotel Brighton for the winters — till January 1st 1967. Then I left, to move to Scotland and marry one of "The Highlanders" — from the Butlins Clacton 1966 Revue Company.

 Around 2001, I took part in a TV series about holiday camps. I was in episode 3 of 6. They took me back down to Clacton and interviewed me. I took two ex-Reds along, plus pic’s. I have a video of it.

 Being a Redcoat taught me so much for my life to come and, even now, I have worked the last 22 years at The Theatre Royal Glasgow as a dresser; and, when a new show comes in, I welcome the artistes the way I used to welcome campers/guests, as I want them to enjoy their stay.

Babs Palmer  (now Babs Morrison)




“Babs in Brighton”


BUTLINS CLACTON Redcoat team photos:



See also:

BUTLINS CLACTON 1962 indoors - Gay Brownley

BUTLINS CLACTON 1962 outdoors - Gay Brownley


We are sincerely grateful to the photographers who took these pictures,
and preserved them as windows to the past,
and to BABS MORRISON (nee PALMER) who sent them in.

If you have any photos or memories you wish to share,
please e-mail them to 'A.J' Marriot at Redcoats Reunited, by clicking on the envelope icon: