Butlin's is a rather contentious word in the British holiday-makers vocabulary, to some it's a good activity filled family get-away and to others its....well....not...there is one thing for sure however, Butlin's is a household name here in the UK and its popularity continues to grow to this day. Butlin's started its life in the mind of the amazingly alliteratively named Billy Butlin, from whom I think it's safe to say it gets it's namesake, it's a good job they didn't go off his full name Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne Butlin Resort...doesn't quite have the same ring.
The enigmatic 'Billy' Butlin was born in South Africa to the son of a clergyman!! No, not a preacher man sorry Dusty. His origins were rather turbulent as far as childhoods go, he moved from South Africa to England following his parents divorce at the age of 7. Whilst in England he began travelling the country with his Grandmothers fair, something we here at Gandey's Productions can relate to as our very own Phillip Gandey hails from a travelling circus family. The fair was where Billy began to hone his skills in business and also the entertainment industry, that he would put to use in later life.
After a brief jaunt in Canada, and serving within the Canadian army during WW1 Billy returned to England with just £5 to his name. A feeling we can all relate to when this close to pay day. He rather entrepreneurially invested £4 of his £5 riches hiring a stall at his uncles travelling fair, bringing Billy's story full circle and thus so ends the story of Billy Butlin....
Moving on from false endings like Meatloaf on a motorcycle, this is where the story becomes part of more modern history - with Billy Butlin's business flare he went on to make a fortune through his own fair, leading to him building the first Butlin's holiday park in Skegness in 1936. The rest is history with many Butlin's holiday camps opening up throughout the country, today of which only 3 remain, the original in Skegness, one in Bognor Regis and one in Minehead.
Butlins isn't just a holiday destinations for thousands of families up and down the UK each year however, it's also been the starting point for many a celebrity, kind of like the X Factor of holiday camps. Celebrities that once donned the iconic red coat include Des O'Conner, Jimmy Tarbuck, Michael Barrymore and even Mr Summer Holiday himself Sir Cliff Richard! Still not running out to buy his calender though? Can't say we blame you....
You may be asking yourself, 'this amble through the history of Butlin's and Cliff's clutches at youth has been great an all, but what has it got to do with Gandey's World Class Productions, besides the emphatically symmetrical lives or Phillip and Billy?' Weeeeell we are holding our very own circus show's in Butlins at the moment for all wonderful people there during the summer holidays! We are in Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis performing 3 shows a day everyday except Monday all the way through to August 31st!
So if you happen to be visiting one of the Butlins resorts this summer, be sure to check out our world class circus production! We promise not to disappoint!