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.
This is where my love for Butlins began.
That’s me, number
I was five, and knew from that moment that,
I grew up, I would be a Butlins’
BABS — by BABS
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
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)].
Me and another Red looking
the contestants from one of
the many competitions we hosted.
Presenting a bottle of
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.
In the Viennese Ballroom with the Ball Games
(Must have been raining, or we would have been on the sports field).
called Cappie Bond started these ball games in the 50s to keep ladies
would turn up through the season to make sure we did it right.
The lucky boy at the back is Chief Redcoat, Alan Hunter.
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
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
I returned to Clacton
for the 63 summer season, and Larry Knight
kept me on full-time after that.
We girls looking
good in our gingham
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
REDCOAT SHOW 1964
These costumes were borrowed from
the set of “Every Day’s A Holiday.”
the film company left they took them with them, so we took
down from a lounge and had to make costumes from them.
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.
| Clacton 1964
End-of-Season Redcoat Party
Bet you wish you'd
been invited, don't you?
REDCOAT SHOW 1965
That's me, front left.
this one with Bud Flanagan. He would tour
the camps on a Sunday night to do
singalong, “Bud at Butlins.” Campers were
given little books with all his songs in, and
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,
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
and, when a new show comes in, I welcome the artistes the way I used to
campers/guests, as I want them to enjoy their stay.
Babs Palmer (now Babs Morrison)
CLACTON Redcoat team
CLACTON 1962 indoors - Gay Brownley
BUTLINS CLACTON 1962 outdoors - Gay