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Great British holidays - Memories of Butlin’s and Pontins in Days Gone By

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 September 2020

Disney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton in 1973  Picture: JOHN LOUGHTON/ARCHANT

Disney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton in 1973 Picture: JOHN LOUGHTON/ARCHANT

John Loughton

Have you enjoyed stays at Butlin’s and Pontins over the years - or did you entertain holidaymakers as a Redcoat or Bluecoat?

Disney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton in 1973 Picture: JOHN LOUGHTONDisney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton in 1973 Picture: JOHN LOUGHTON

With “staycations” currently enjoying new popularity, partly due to difficulties in travelling abroad, today we look back to the heyday of the great British holiday park.

Disney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton in 1973  Picture: JOHN LOUGHTONDisney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton in 1973 Picture: JOHN LOUGHTON

The Butlin’s resort in Clacton brought families to the Essex coast for nearly 50 years, between 1938 and 1983.

Disney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton  Picture: JOHN LOUGHTON/ARCHANTDisney characters at Butlin's holiday park in Clacton Picture: JOHN LOUGHTON/ARCHANT

Our photos show an exciting occasion in 1973, when several Disney characters visited, including Mickey Mouse along with Goofy and Pluto.

Clacton on Sea celebrated 70 years on from when the first Butlin's opened its doors in 2008, with an exhibition at the library and a special visit by Roy Hudd, a former Redcoat Picture: ALEX FAIRFULL/ARCHANTClacton on Sea celebrated 70 years on from when the first Butlin's opened its doors in 2008, with an exhibition at the library and a special visit by Roy Hudd, a former Redcoat Picture: ALEX FAIRFULL/ARCHANT

We also have photos from an event at Clacton Library in 2008, when the resort celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first Butlin’s opening with an exhibition of memorabilia and a visit by a famous former Redcoat, the late Roy Hudd.

Some of the Butlin's memorabilia on show at an exhibition in Clacton in 2008 Picture: ALEX FAIRFULL/ARCHANTSome of the Butlin's memorabilia on show at an exhibition in Clacton in 2008 Picture: ALEX FAIRFULL/ARCHANT

MORE: Memories of Pleasurewood Hills in 1970s and 80s

Pontins at Pakefield is another holiday park where many families have stayed over the years, and our photos show auditions for Bluecoats.

People watching Bluecoat auditions at Pontins Pakefield in 2004 Picture: BILL DARNELL/ARCHANTPeople watching Bluecoat auditions at Pontins Pakefield in 2004 Picture: BILL DARNELL/ARCHANT

Back in the 1980s, large numbers of people from Ipswich visited each year for the hugely popular “Ipswich Week” - did you take part in this event?

Would-be Bluecoats dancing at the auditions at Pontins, Pakefield in 2004 Picture: BILL DARNELL/ARCHANTWould-be Bluecoats dancing at the auditions at Pontins, Pakefield in 2004 Picture: BILL DARNELL/ARCHANT

Pontins Pakefield is now a holiday village for adults only, offering a range of activities and themed breaks.

Bluecoat auditions at Pontins Pakefield in 2004 Picture: BILL DARNELL/ARCHANTBluecoat auditions at Pontins Pakefield in 2004 Picture: BILL DARNELL/ARCHANT

Share your memories of Butlin’s and Pontins. Email judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk or write to Judy Rimmer, Newsroom, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1RS.

To order photos, visit archantsuffolk.newsprints.co.uk or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.


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