Description: The Butlin's Heritage Collection comprises: An extensive photographic and postcard collection; advertising brochures and entertainment programmes; press books and publicity; audio-visual material; financial records (e.g. account ledgers); National Dance Organiser's files; advertising; printed ephemera compilations (e.g. menus, tickets, stationery); staff information and instructions; development plans and design concepts; material relating to corporate activities; Bognor Archive correspondence files; signs and posters; awards; personnel record cards; portraits of Sir William E. Butlin; Butlin's Bognor Regis Football Club files. There are also 13 large panels drawn by members of the Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain (who held their annual convention at Butlin's from 1962-1989) and a substantial collection of 3D artefacts (e.g. Butlin's pin badges, uniforms, branded merchandise, trophies).
Level: Collection (Fonds)
Alt Ref No.: Butlins logo_Red
Extent: 40 cubic meters
Product Category: Travel
Admin History: William E. (Billy) Butlin (1899-1980), an established fairground and amusement park entrepreneur, opened his first holiday camp at Skegness in 1936 and Butlin's Limited became a public company in February of the following year. Further holiday camps were constructed in the following sequence: Clacton (1938), Filey (1945), Ayr (1947), Pwllheli (1947), Mosney (1948), Bognor Regis (1960), Minehead (1962) and Barry Island (1966). The camps (also known as holiday villages and later as resorts) were renowned for their good value 'all-in' package (billed as 'a week's holiday for a week's wage') and fun-filled live entertainment and activity programmes. During the Second World War the Services took over the existing Butlin's camps and, amongst other projects, Billy Butlin was commissioned to establish a number of rest clubs (known as the '21 Club') for the entertainment of troops stationed on the continent. In addition to holiday camps Butlin's also owned hotels in Blackpool, Cliftonville, Llandudno, London, Saltdean, Scarborough and Torremolinos (Spain). Butlin's also operated various smaller holiday parks in England and France in the 1970s which were known as 'Freshfields' holiday centres. The short-lived Butlin's (Bahamas) Ltd was formed in 1948 to build a vacation village on the island at Grand Bahamas but the project was wound up three years later.
Billy Butlin was knighted in 1964. In 1966 Butlin's took over the lease and management of the 'Top of the Tower'' revolving restaurant on the 36th Floor of the Post Office Tower which ran until 1980. In 1968 Sir Billy Butlin retired and his son Robert (Bobby) Butlin became Chairman and Managing Director. In 1972 the Butlin's business was sold to the Rank Organisation Ltd. In 1983 the camps at Clacton and Filey were closed as was Barry Island in 1986. In 1996 a new holiday company (ParkWorld Holidays Ltd) was established by Rank to manage Butlins and Haven. The camps at Ayr and Pwllheli were transferred to Haven Parks in 1998. In 2000 the Bourne Leisure company took over the remaining camps (i.e. Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead) and these are still in operation.