Also see our page on the early history of Billy Butlin
A tribute to Sir 'Billy' composed by the late Mrs Anne Hayter.
Mrs Hayter was something of a Butlin celebrity in her own right. She is the lady who first formed the Butlin Nursery Service and all the facilities they provided, ie Bottle Preparation Room; Nappy Washing Service; Infants Feeding Centre; Play & Sleeping Areas. The famous 'Butlin Beaver Club' for the 6 to under 9 years, was another of her 'inventions'.
This poem was read following the Memorial Service at St Martin's-in-the-Fields, just off Trafalgar Square, London on Thursday October 2nd 1980.
IT SO HAPPENED
Nelson from his column high
Called to the budgerigar flying by
"What's afoot in the square below?
Ne'er saw I more motley a crew.
`Red Coats' too
In passive dress".
" A tribute to Butlin", the love bird sang
As strains of `Jerusalem' from St Martin's rang.
"Surely of him you know -
He landed at Bristol half a century ago.
Warrior without a sword to this Isle he came,
To combat our weather, his only aim".
"Put gloom to flight -
`His True Intent was all for Our Delight'.
The common man should enjoy his leisure,
He bequeaths to all a legacy of pleasure.
His camps now scattered o'er this land,
His followers still gather without command".
"So much of this man has been written and said,
He once had a `Thin Line' - it was Red.
Now he is dead:
But the fame he did not seek lives on
And with the setting of each sun,
A `bugle boy' plays the trill of a bird
And in the stillness of the night is heard,
The heart-beat of a `Penny Drum'.
So life goes on".
Submitted by Ron Stanway.
Sir Billy Butlin's Grave in Jersey photographed in 2002. Photo © Martyn Ward