Butlins Minehead opened in 1962, so we are delighted to have these photos from that first season.

Butlins Minehead 1962 Tony at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Minehead 1962 Lifeguard Tony at Redcoats Reunited

Here is Tony in his
Reds' evening wear.

And here in daytime uniform,
doing lifeguard duties.

What I loved about being a Redcoat
The enjoyment in the ability to learn my craft as an entertainer - from the ground up; the contact with people of all races and creeds; watching the smile develop and turn into outright laughter. You can't buy rewards like that.

Butlin Minehead pool 1962 at Redcoats Reunited

Tony in character for games in the pool.

Day to Day

The day started at breakfast with a general announcement of the day's programs, which became war between the dinning rooms as they were divided into houses forming a competitive reaction. Children's daytime would involve Treasure Hunts, talent shows, games, ping-pong, and varied games to tire them out, so mums and dads could have some fun on their own.

Daytime activities consisted of tub races in the pool; snooker comps; sing-songs in the Pig and Whistle; then afternoon rep in the rep' theatre.

Following the evening meal there would be, depending on the day, Redcoat shows or visiting stars as feature acts. Some Redcoats would support these star attractions.

BUTLINS MINEHEAD 1962 pool at Redcoats Reunited

Kids hey! Don't you love 'em.

Dancing would be in session in the main ballroom, where general duty Redcoats would dance with the campers from early to late evening, when all the Redcoats would line up in front of the stage and sing the 'Goodnight Campers' song, with campers joining in the spirit of the night.

Awake by 7.30 am for the call to breakfast 'Good morning campers!! breakfast will be served in the dining room at 7.30 am first sitting.' Bed about 11pm - never tired, just exhausted from enjoyment.

BUTLINS MINEHEAD 1962 at Redcoats Reunited

Tony compering the tub race (centre, in sun-glasses).

"The Human Cannonball"

The Human Cannonball at Redcoats Reunited

Tony Walker as Pierre du Pont
"The Human Cannonball"

This was comedy, Sunday night, in the Princess Ballroom, a grand parade of the Cannon Revue Girls, and Professor Matt von Hitreicht and, of course the HUMAN CANNON BALL - Pierre du Pont. Following the parade, an attempt would be made to fire the cannon with Pierre inside, a misfire, and he would be extracted in a cloud of smoke. This would be repeated each night until Friday when - success!! the head of the human cannonball would appear in the catching net and the cannon ball would stagger across the ballroom minus his head.

Yes, it was hairy. I used to get flash burns when the flash-powder backfired and, when I had to be pulled from the cannon on a miss-fire, my knees and belly could receive little burns - but it was fun.


The writing on the side says: 'Le Cannon du Mort'
which translates as: 'The Cannon of Death.'

The End is Nigh

End of the week; saying goodbye to the campers; and really did not like the fact that the season was ending and we would have to return to the real world.

Tony Walker

We are sincerely grateful to the photographers who took these pictures,
and preserved them as windows to the past, and to TONY WALKER for sharing them.

BUTLINS MINEHEAD 1962 - Penny Holmes



See also:

MARGATE 1963 - Tony Walker

Redcoats Reunited homepage