Butlins Minehead opened in 1962, so we are delighted to have these photos from that first season.
What I loved
about being a Redcoat
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.
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.
"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 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.