Butlins: A Holiday Success Story

The Daily Mirror ran a feature on the success of Billy Butlins holiday camps. It’s an interesting read and spot those crazy holiday prices in 1926 !! Here’s a snippet …

Butlins Beauty Contest

To say the nation’s favourite holiday park has changed since it opened in 1936 is an understatement. Back then it was canteen dining and modest chalets… today it’s all about high-class hotels, soothing spas, fine wine and a celebrity chef restaurant.

It was in 1928 that William Heygate Edmund Colborne “Billy” Butlin became the first person to introduce dodgems to the UK at his fairground in Skegness, Lincolnshire.

As his funfair empire expanded he decided to attract more business by providing accommodation on the site. And Butlins was born.

Now, 75 years on, it has three modern coastal resorts and is owned by multi-million pound group Bourne Leisure. This is the story of Butlins…

1936: Butlins’ first holiday camp opens at Skegness on April 11 – it costs £100,000 to build. With a capacity of 1,000 guests, it is officially opened by aviator Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. Freda Monk, from Nottingham, is the first Butlins ‘camper’ and Norman Bradford is the first Redcoat.

A week’s holiday, between July and September, cost £2.12s.6d per adult and £1.6s.3d per child. That equates to around £133 and £66.50 respectively today.