A Conversation for Butlin's Holiday Camps - a British Institution

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Post 1


Not being able to get the overseas booking we wanted and having fond memories of childhood day visits to Butlins Bognor Regis. Lead me to decide to book up for Butlins for a week this summer so as the kids would have a lot to keep them busy.
Far from being the cheap and cheerful, all inclusive break we expected, we found it to be geared to have the kids nagging and pestering for this or that expensive item all day long.
We arrived to find our booking all screwed up room not yet cleaned (4hours after check in time)- wrong type of room - not enough beds - top floor (when ground had been specified). There are no childcare facilities to allow parents a bit of time off, no evening babysitting service, a main entertainment/theatre so hot that you could barely breathe in order to force you to buy drinks all night long (despite having aircon fitted and the weather being drab), not enough seating for the amount of residents. The evening entertainment was second rate drivel and the camp was absoluteley innundated with downs syndrome sufferers which scared the crap out of my kids when they would come over and drool over them.
Worst holiday week of my life

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Post 2


The downs syndrome sufferers are probably glad you wont be going back
as well,with an attitude like that.....whilst you obviously had cause for complaint to Butlins about the inadequacy of your accommodation;etc,it wasnt the fault of the downs syndrome sufferers;who obviously (one might think) chose the same week as you just to annoy you.Why dont you just stop and think "there but for the grace of God...."

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Post 3


I have nothing against Downs Syndrome sufferers and am not prejudiced against them, it was just that on the week I went approximately 40% of the residents fell into this category. My 3 children who are all under 6yrs old were terrified of their attention (which was very frequent) and didn't understand our explanations as to why or how these people differed from them.
My gripe was...If I go book a hotel, I would expect to be told if a convention is to be going on during my stay. The same applies here, I should have been informed when booking that there was a national Downs Association gathering going on.
As for the accomodations issue, Butlins have since refunded half of our money by way of apology for all their screwups.
I'm still not going again and am still making sure that I let everyone know why.

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Post 4

Mol - on the new tablet

We think Butlins is fantastic and return to Skegness annually! It is full of people who smile sympathetically if your exhausted child is throwing a tantrum (normally something which produces much tutting from onlookers); it is completely safe (no dog turds or fast cars); there is free stuff going on from morning to night to keep the little darlings occupied ... where else in the world could you be wandering from the swimming pool to the funfair, eating an ice cream, and suddenly get to wave at Noddy driving past in his car?! - We noticed a high percentage of holidaymakers with special needs on our first visit and thought how brilliant to be on holiday somewhere where facilities are suitable for everybody, not just the fit and able. It's also good value although we have always been too busy there doing things together as a family to make proper use of the childcare facilities.

Just to add about the article itself, I suspect that in the 1950s postcards travelled much faster than today. It's certainly not unusual to read about people sending postcards with travel arrangements for later the same day or requesting an answer "by return" which would have been received the same or the next day. Oh those were the days ...

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Post 5

Jagged Jack

I agree with you completely. We spent two weeks at Butlins Skegness during the summer and we had a wonderfull time. Having three kids and a six month old baby in tow, i can't think of a better place to go for a holiday. The kids went swimming all day or to one of the many kids club events. We could relax knowing they were safe and couldn't get lost. It's the first time in years me and the wife have been able to sit around and worry about absolutely nothing. I even got to have a good drink (Several in fact!) and saw Keith Harris and Orville too! Okay, so the entertainments a bit cheesy but that's all part of the fun. You can have a good laugh at how bad some of it actually is! And if you get sick of the camp just go into skeggy on the bus for some top notch fish and chips or a serious fry up. Beer, lard and entertainment with a big slice of cheddar, What more can you ask for?

Like you, we were also impressed by the number of people with special needs. In fact the make up of people who go to Butlins is clearly far more representative of Britain today than anywhere else i've been in the last couple of years. Black, white, asian, gay, straight, young, old, people with downes etc. It's ironic really when you consider most middle class lefties view Butlins as a white, British dinosaur.

Butlins Skegness was one of the best hollidays i've had in years and i would happily recommend it to anyone.

All the best.


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Post 6

EINMOTO - Bliss is better - N = R* fp ne fl fi fc L

I recently found a metal button (badge) from Butlins from 1967. I remember going there on a family holiday as a child with my sister and parents. I also remember vaguely the blue coats and a big water fountain at Brighton.

However, my sister went there a few years back, with her children and she said it was "a tip" (she used other words).

Sometimes it is better to remember the childhood memories!!smiley - wah

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Post 7


I don't know about the place being safe, you might feel different about dear old Butlins if you knew what was going on behind the scenes (and sometimes in front of them). Check this link out for more information.


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