Butlins – trying to forget

Butlins in Skegness celebrated its 75th Birthday last week. Billy Butlin had set up the camp so that families could spend some time together – and the ‘it’s so bracing’ Skegness was his first venture.

The happy camp spawned the famous Redcoats. Happy people with smiley faces to make your stay a joy.

I almost daren’t tell you this, but a few years ago (10 perhaps) we were so disorganised in sorting a holiday we decided to give the place a try. We had seen on the Holiday Programme that they had invested ‘millions’ in upgrading the place – the huts were now like proper houses (New England style as I recall). There was an indoor pool and a spa. And entertainment till you drop.

It was truly awful. I think we managed three days. The house was ok, but the rest of the place was stuck in some sort of time warp. I swear that men walked around with knotted handkerchiefs on their heads. Women swam in the bra’s. 24 hour non-stop karaoke was the form of entertainment. The pool was just appalling.

In fact it is the second worse place I have ever stayed. My good mate Richard was left in charge of booking our golf hotel in Scotland last September – I think he may have chosen it on ‘VFM’ – at £24 each it promised ‘a must for a lovers of things Scottish’. It was truly awful – modelled mostly on Fawlty Towers – certainly last upgraded in the mid 70′s when Basil stormed onto our screens. The Landlord even ‘did’ Snuff. Richard has been demoted from Hotel monitor to Milk monitor for the rest of his life.

So congratulations to Butlins for lasting this long. 75 not out is pretty good…

I drove past the place two weeks ago – and that reminded me: Thats what you should always do – drive past it.

As this blog goes to post I am on my way to Scarborough for the weekend – more of that later perhaps! I must be in some sort of holiday-camp-retro-status….