Film ID: NEFA 20457 Video of NEFA_20457 Butlins Holiday Camp BUTLINS HOLIDAY CAMP BOGNOR REGIS 1960s Visitor TabsDescription Amateur footage of family activities at Butlins holiday camp in Bognor Regis during the 1960s, which includes heats of the ‘Miss She’ competition, a fashion contest in ‘day wear’ sponsored by Nat Mags (short for National Magazine Company who published ‘She’); a Father and Son competition; a couple’s wheelbarrow race; a backwards three-legged race; a women’s tug o’ war; swimming competitions (breast stroke) and Daily Mirror bucket coracle pool contest. Close-up of a sign for the ‘Miss She’ glamour contest (one of the weekly ‘Miss She’ competitions for women takes place at a Butlins seaside holiday camp). A succession of individual contestants of different age groups enter through an archway on the set, all dressed in (mostly) conservative but elegant day wear, all carrying handbags, many with matching hats. The only real hint of swinging 60s fashion is a spotted Bakerboy hat worn by the second woman on stage, and a contestant with an elaborate high bun hairdo. Each woman poses for a photograph on stage. Footage of the beauty contest is intercut with shots of people watching: young girls (glaring at camera), two young women smiling when they are aware of being filmed, little girls with friends cross-legged on the lawn, and general views of the seated audience. Three judges are seated at small tripod tables; two women and a young male in a suit. A compere introduces the three winners back on stage. A bleached blond woman in a flowery dress comes third. The three winners are lined up on stage. The male judge places a sash on the winner and kisses her on the cheek. A group portrait of four young lads watching the contest ends this section of the film. Next, there’s a ‘Father and Son’ competition at the camp. The contestants stand in a long row in pairs, the sons of different ages. Judges are seated at the three tripod tables. A father and son in third place pose for photographs, the little boy clapping. The winners in second place pose on stage. Then a ‘joke’ winner poses carrying a large golliwog. The real winner is now on stage with the other two fathers and sons. A father with an incredibly tall teenage son who towers over the father takes first prize. They pose together for a photo call. General views follow of holiday campers enjoying the sunshine, eating ice creams, some seated in deck chairs, many with pushchairs. A couple’s fun wheelbarrow race takes place, the women holding the men’s legs. A man collapses on the grass after the race. Group portraits of some young women, fashionably dressed, then a large group of older men and women. A large number of holiday makers take part in a fun backwards three-legged race in the Games Garden in front of the West Camp chalets, some couples falling over, but two pairs with a fast technique. Two men and their young sons are seated on the grass watching the activities. Two men play catch outside the camp chalets. Next, it's back to the audience watching the contests. A women’s tug of war takes place. A young male Redcoat cheers them on. Swimming heats take place in the outside pool, with a large crowd of spectators, many also in swimwear. Overhead shot of a young girl and boy doing doggy paddle wearing float aid vests, then back floats, for the camera. Various boys have a go at paddling Sunday Mirror bucket coracles across an outdoor pool (advertising slogan ‘Have Fun with the Sunday Mirror’). The boys sink and tumble into the pool before reaching the side, or go round in circles. General view of another ‘Miss She’ fashion / glamour contest. The many smartly dressed contestants make their entrance through the stage set archway and pose for a photograph on stage. General view of the audience, the front row of seats taken up by women, one granny in a polka dot dress, seated with her legs wide apart. All the contestants line up on stage. The three winners then pose on stage. The woman in first place is a little embarrassed and bursts out giggling. She dabs her face with a hanky. The male judge places the sash on her and kisses her. She is delighted. Context Holidays with play at Butlins Bognor Regis Good morning campers! There’s ‘no leisure from pleasure’ at this Bognor Regis Butlins camp in the 1960s. Campers enjoy the wacky games and parade in ladylike Miss She fashion competitions at a new holiday camp, opened at Bognor Regis in 1960 by rags-to-riches millionaire Billy Butlin. His latest technicolor playground packs in the entertainment, for children and adults alike. Families compete in a backwards 3-legged race and frantically paddle their sinking Sunday Mirror coracles in the pool, jollied along by the ever-present Redcoats. Opened on 2nd July 1960 and boasting modern chalets on two stories, this first new post-war Butlins camp continued to provide faux luxury holidays on a budget. “Billy” Butlin, the holiday camp King, was firstly a showman, starting his career with the purchase of a hoop-la stall, but his keen business sense launched a multi-million-pound industry. Butlin was an active lobbyist for the Holidays with Pay Act (1938), his eye on the business potential rather than the social benefits for workers. As this rather wonderful amateur holiday film shows, the commercial spirit behind Butlins is alive and kicking in the 60s with cigarette advertisements on the wall and competitions sponsored by national newspapers.