Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 1 at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 2 at Redcoats Reunited
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 3 at Redcoats Reunited
                     Anne, Jenny Finch, Marcia, Carol Massey
JENNY FINCH adds: Carol is not shown on the team photo. SKEGNESS 1962 REDCOAT TEAM. I think she had a couple of days leave. Brenda McGuire, who was in the team photo, was also RB, but was only visiting Skeggy when it was taken. Her main base was Bognor. She trained Carol and I at the beginning of the season at the Filey camp. RIGHT: Anne(e).

The Radio Butlin girls were trained by Brenda McGuire in Filey that year, 1962, a week before the start of season. We found the consul quite complicated at first, there were so many knobs and buttons to press. Apart from all the announcements we made during the day, we had to play interval music into the various ballrooms. I made my first big mistake on the first week and played rock music into the Empress Ballroom, and Viennese music into the Rock & Roll Ballroom. Unknowingly, until Frank Mansell (Entertainments Manager) was banging on the door saying the campers were complaining in both rooms. It didn’t happen again.

The music for the early morning calls we broadcast that year was Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, by Ray Conniff and his Orchestra and Chorus.

Every Saturday morning I rode around the camp on the RB bike to check all the loud speakers were working, and to send in a report to the engineer. I regularly found that the speakers were ripped down in the teenage chalet lines, they definitely didn’t want to hear the early morning calls.

One afternoon a week I broadcast a record request programme, in which campers posted requests in to a box outside RB. There was only a list of about 12 records for them to choose from. The reason being we only had 12 records on the camp.

The Campers were split into 'Houses' - the names of which depended on which part of the Camp their accommodation was, and/or which Dining Room they ate in.
There was always intense rivalry between the Redcoats, as we were allocated to one of the "Houses",
which we then had to mentor and cheer during all the sports, games, and competitions.
Below are some of the banners proclaiming which House you were in:

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 4 at Redcoats Reunited
Sunday morning march through the Camp to whip up the rivalry between houses.
That's Johnny Killick nearest to the camera. And that's me, Jenny, on the right, being given a piggy-back by Bob.
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 4b at Redcoats Reunited
Another Sunday morning march. Under the banner is Redcoat Andy King, who is thumbing his nose at Camp Tramp/Comic - Lou Grant. To the left of Lou is Olive.
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 5 at Redcoats Reunited
Redcoat "Prof" whipping up the supporters of Connaught House.
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 6 at Redcoats Reunited
Redcoat Ken Wood (in white shorts and shirt) whose way of whipping up the crowd is a little more leisurely

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 9 at Redcoats Reunited

The Redcoats taking on the winners of the Tug O' War competition.
Right to left: (first six only) Joe, Johnny, Andy King, not known, Ken Wood, Barrie,
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 10 at Redcoats Reunited

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 11 at Redcoats Reunited
Even for outdoor games, there was nearly always music. Here we see Redcoat Frankie, one of the bar entertainers, playing the accordion. Helping the lady to climb on the back of the man in the black suit is Joe. Back-up is Ken Wood and Carol Massey.
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 12 at Redcoats Reunited
Classical music being performed by this lady violinist. Note the two Redcoats girls, who were there to lead the applause.
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 13 at Redcoats Reunited
Just off camera on the right is the music podium, on which Frankie is playing music for the ladies to dance to.
Not sure what is was: Can-Can, Scottish Reel, Irish Jig, or the first ever performance of Riverdance?
Barrie and I can be spotted behind the lady second from right, and Carol between third and fourth.

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 25 at Redcoats Reunited
I don't know what this choir ensemble is, but all the Redcoats seem to be thoroughly enjoying it, which is what we did with most events. Some of the names are: Bob, Olive, Ken Wood, Carol Massey (with song-sheet), Andy King, Johnny Killick, and Joe (behind Johnny).

The RB girls were not allowed to appear in the Redcoat shows, which were held in the Gaiety Theatre every Wednesday, as we had to monitor the sound from up in the circle. This was a bit disappointing as Carol and I really wanted to be a part of it. But, in addition to our RB duties, we did sometimes fill in for other Reds in competitions etc.

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 14 at Redcoats Reunited
Jenny (me) assisting children's entertainer Uncle Boko, during the "Father & Son" competition.

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 24 at Redcoats Reunited
Camp Tramp Lou Grant, adding a bit of comedy to the "HOLIDAY PRINCESS" competition.

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 15 at Redcoats Reunited
Every Monday evening some of us Redcoats did a demonstration of ‘The Lancers,’ in the Empress Ballroom. Lou Grant (the 'Camp Tramp') was my partner. [That's us, with our backs to the stage]. We all had to be serious, except Lou, and we finished up in a heap on the floor. It was hilarious. The campers loved it.

It was unusual for TWO Redcoats to be allocated to the same table,
but I don't think these two gentlemen were complaining.

Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 16 at Redcoats Reunited

We worked very long hours, and gave it all our energy, so it was always good to top ourselves up with some added fuel.
Another welcome break was my chaletmate Carol and I snatching a little rest in our chalet.
Butlins Skegness 1962 Jenny 17 at Redcoats Reunited
Carol Massey, my chaletmate, and I became really good friends, and I would love to make contact again. She may have got married and changed her surname, as I have had no luck tracing her. If you have any information on her whereabouts, please email A.J Marriot, via the link below, and he will forward it me.
Thank you. Jenny

1962 was such a fun season, hard work but great fun. Ringo Starr was playing with 'Rory Storm and the Hurricanes' in the Rock & Roll Ballroom. He left three weeks before the end of season to join a group called The Beatles, back in Liverpool. The rest is history.
Colin Crompton was the camp comic for all the resident variety shows. He went on to be one of the regulars in the TV show ‘The Comedians’, and then cemented his fame as the Concert Chairman in ‘The Wheel Tappers and Shunters Club.
I so enjoyed being a Redcoat, and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Jenny Freebairn (nee Finch)





We are sincerely grateful to the photographers who took these pictures,

and preserved them as windows to the past,
and to JENNY FINCH (now Mrs. Freebairn) for sharing them.
To share your Butlins photos and memories, please email web host A.J Marriot
 by clicking on the envelope icon below. Thank you! A.J

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