Tuesday, August 1, 2006

A lifetime of heaven in Somerset for £6,000

Butlin's are offering folk a holiday every year at their Minehead facility (I hesitate to use the old term 'camp') for the rest of their lives for £6,000.

You can't say fairer than that. Minehead is a most beautiful place and Butlin's everything you would want for a family holiday.

It all brings back some wonderful memories. We had a marvellous holiday there a few years ago. The standard of entertainment is always very high. You can understand why so many Red Coats go on to have show business careers - Butlin's gives them a superb grounding.

I also worked at Butlin's when it was a proper 'camp' before they brought in self-catering. I helped wash the dishes in the restaurant (canteen). The dish-washing machine was about 10 metres long. We had to wear white overalls and wellington boots because lots of smashed crockery ended up on the floor.

Wednesdays were a day we dishwashers dreaded. It was the day they served fried eggs. If the person putting the dishes into the machine didn’t wipe the egg off the plates properly, the machine, rather than washing the egg off, baked it on to the plate. I then had to stand at the end of the machine with a fork and sort of “grout off” the egg and put it back round the machine again. Happy Days. I had to do this about a hundred times on Wednesdays.

I really enjoyed the whole camp thing and had a little holiday romance into the bargain, which I enjoyed. I did evenings as a glass picker-up in the cabaret lounge. I saw Bob Monkhouse twice. The first time was brilliant. The second time was exactly the same as the first time!

The nightly disco was fun. You’d be dancing away to a loud disco record (eg. Donna Summer’s “I feel love” which was number one at the time – that dates me) and, all of a sudden, the record would be cut off and replaced by a very loud PA system with a voice shouting:


That was great!


  1. A lifetime of hell more like! Having lived over the way from Minehead Butlins for some years I can't think of a worse way to spend six thousand pounds.

    It would be much better to either:
    a) spend the money on one, two or three truly fantastic holidays in foreign countries, or in a beautiful cottage in the westcountry, Scotland, Ireland etc; or
    b) donate part or all of that £6,000 burning a hole in your pocket to charity.

    If you had £6,000 at your disposal right now to take Butlins up on this offer, surely you'd have to give it serious thought even if you LIKE the place. Would you really be prepared to go back *every* year? To me, part of the joy of a holiday is going to new places and seeing new things, not being condemned to Butlins Minehead for all eternity...

  2. Last time I stayed at Butlins - at Clacton - I cried all week.

    Mind you, I was two.