I worked as a Redcoat at Minehead from 1965 to 1968 during the Summer Season as in those days the camps were closed during the Winter months except during Christmas and Easter. I then worked at the Cliftonville hotels as a Chief Hostess Redcoat from 1970 to 1971. I still look back on those days with a great fondness. What a wonderful time we had. Yes we worked really long hours but nobody minded as we had such fun.
I was childrens Auntie at Minehead and our work was very varied from chasing the pirate and throwing him in the pool to dressing up as the excaped lion with no teeth!!! I loved doing the Redcoat show and you certainly had to be a jack of all trades. I remember I had to sing, dance, juggle and do excapology among many other things. In those days Butlins was "the holiday" and I felt so proud to tell people that I was a Butlin Redcoat.
Many many years later when I worked in a school the headteacher still loved telling the parents that I had been a Butlin Redcoat and my photo (dressed in my Redcoat uniform) still adorned the school corridor right up until I retired 18 months ago. In fact the theme at my retirement party was that everything had to be in Red and White - a blast from the past.
Gill Oakley (nee Wooderson)
Submitted June 2008