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Sir William E. Butlin M.B.E. Back

1899 to 1980

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.


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".
Anne Hayter

Submitted by Ron Stanway.

Sir Billy Butlin's Grave in Jersey photographed in 2002. Photo © Martyn Ward
Sir Billy Butlin's Grave

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