Denise Wilson

Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 1 at Redcoats Reunited

Hi A.J – Denise Hidle here, formerly DENISE WILSON.
I worked at Clacton from 1979, starting off originally as a waitress in the dining room, celebrating my 21st birthday on the 7th June whilst working in there, and the same year moving on to working in the Golden Grill as a waitress.
1980 – I worked on accommodation as a chalet maid, working my way up to Supervisor.
1981 – was offered the position as a Junior Guest Redcoat — working with Uncle Ted and Auntie Marg in the Junior Showplace, and again in 1982.

Butlins Claacton 1983 Ents Team at Redcoats Reunited


1983 – I took over Auntie Marg’s position as Junior Guest Leader.

Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 2 at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 3 at Redcoats Reunited
Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 4 at Redcoats Reunited
Working with the Juniors involved not only supervising the competitions,
but dressing up to entertain them. Don't laugh!

Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 5 at Redcoats Reunited

This photo of us ladies in our finery, is when we all had to enter the Staff Princess 1983 Competition. Redcoat John Wardale can just be seen in the middle at the back. Can't remember who won, but I don't think it was one of our girls.  The man in the white suit is Ents' Manager - Gerry Thatcher.

Have you spotted me yet? I'm second from left, wearing a full-length blue dress with gold waistband.

The 1983 season saw a familiar face join the Revue company: a lady singer known as Carol Lee Scott — better-known as ‘Grotbags’ from Emu's World. I was privileged to get to know her fairly well, while doing theatre duty, and enjoyed many a night out with her. Lovely lady with a fabulous singing voice.

Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 6 at Redcoats Reunited
Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 7 at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Clacton 1983 Denise 8 at Redcoats Reunited
This Redcoat photo from Clacton 1983 was the last year it was in operation, although we didn't know that at the time. We had a new Ents’ Manager that year –  Gerry Thatcher. (He's the one in the white suit). I'm on the next to last row at the back – 4th from the right. Back row, left hand side is Kelvin). 1st on the right and 4th on the left back row are the Glassett brothers Jimmy and Martin. Left hand side of Gerry 4th row is Una. Third row right hand side of Gerry is Tony Sweet. Right hand side of Tony is Uncle Ted, Children's entertainer (also in white) to the right of Ted is Christine (Chief hostess). 2nd row from front 3rd left is Glen Tolle, front row 1st left I think is Jan Fretwell. The other names escape my memory I’m afraid.

1984 – I was sent to work at Minehead taking on the role as a GD Red, as they already had a Junior Leader.

1985 – I was invited back to Minehead but I didn't accept– deciding to go and work in Spain instead, but, in hindsight I wish I had accepted and gone back.

My memories are precious and I wish I could relive it all again. Fabulous days, Happy times and I am extremely proud to have been one of the famous Butlin's Redcoats.
Denise Hidle

With thanks to DENISE (WILSON) HIDLE for sharing these unique photos.

See also:

CLACTON 1980-81 REDCOAT - Kenny Jones

Redcoats Reunited homepage