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(Recovered from old forum #2608) - Inclement Weather

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  • (Recovered from old forum #2608) - Inclement Weather

    09-12-03, 10:00 AM

    (Originally posted by...TANNOY)
    We tended to holiday out of Summer season, and I learnt what 'inclement' weather meant at Butlins - it always closed the Chairlift and Skating rink!

    But what about the inclement weather indoors?

    As I remember it, no venue was complete at Butlins without a leak from the roof. Remember how there would always be a few snooker tables covered in plastic sheeting when it rained? Also how there was always a plastic bucket or two in the ballrooms, the Stuart at Ayr, the Viennese at Filey and Empress at Skegness? I remember one year at Skegness (early 70's) during a bingo session there was a loud bang and the Tannoy system fused for the whole venue when the flowing waters ran down one of the internal columns right into a loudspeaker. After a short time we heard an announcement from Radio Butlin (from the speakers outside in the camp) for the electrician to report to the venue. Of course there was quite a delay before he turned up and it was fixed.

    At Filey, the main road between Green camp and the indoor fair always seemed to flood when it rained, and the chalet lines down there were prone to flooding as well. Also, I remember the hand driers in the Golden Goose toilet block were popular amongst female Redcoats for drying their hair when it rained. Down to the lack of facilities for the staff I guess?

    Anyone got stories of flooding or memories of the dripping ceilings? And NO.....the stream in the Beachcomber doesn't count as a flood!

    (Originally posted by...Pushbutton)
    I remember the very last time my family went on a "proper" full week long butlins holiday, about 1987 I think. (We only had day trips after that, and moved to Australia in 1989)

    My parents found their chalet, which they shared with my 2 young sisters, and my brother and I shared one a few doors down. They were the 1980s single storey chalets, consisting of a bedroom with 2 single beds and a very small toilet room.

    It was raining when we arrived and it was immediately obvious that there was a leak in the bedroom of my parents chalet.

    My dad was absolutely furious and ready to demand a refund and drive back home!

    Of course us kids were not having our holiday ruined by such a trivial thing as a leaking roof, and persuaded him not to do that.

    He went to reception and complained, and was offered a new caravan instead of the leaking chalet, for a small extra charge.

    We all went along to look at the caravan and managed to persuade him that it would be better "for the whole family to stay closer together, in the 2 chalets, rather than some there and some in the caravan at the other end of the camp.

    (real reason, we just liked chalets!)

    So my brother and I gladly took the leaking chalet, complete with 4 buckets provided by reception, and my parents and sisters took the dry chalet.

    We all had a wonderful holiday of course (except my dad who would probably have been happier in spain or somewhere!).

    (Originally posted by...Pushbutton)
    The worst thing about inclement weather was when you were due to go home and just wanted to round off your holiday with one last chairlift ride, but you guessed it, they were "closed due to inclement weather"!

    (Originally posted by...CHR)
    John Tannoy, you must have gone there when we did, or did it flood at Filey every week! The early eighties seemed particularly bad. When I was a Redcoat we had all finished work one rainy night and waded down the green camp bottom road to get home to bed. We were woken by banging on our doors with instructions to be in the ballroom in 10 minutes only to see our white high heeled shoes (which we kept on the floor) floating past our eyeline beside our beds! There were mostly only Redcoat girls on the chalet line that night (haven't a clue where the boys might have been or what they might have been doing!).

    No time to deal with our own accom, the whole of green camp was flooded so we had to drag on our uniforms, find our smiles and go to the (dry) Princes Ballroom to help the coffee bar staff distribute soup and blankets while the water was drained. The guests were great, only the odd complaint but by and large the "Blitz Spirit" was greatly in evidence. By about 4am the Redcoat boys appeared to do their share and we girls were allowed to go back to our chalets. Very little could be done, swept out a bit of the water, lifted what we could up on top of the wardrobe and collapsed into bed (we had already worked a 15/16 hour day up until finishing at a quarter to midnight).BUT, we were up, smartly dressed and smiling the next morning at the dining room doors. By then most guests accom was free of water with bales of blankets laid on the floors to give a soft dry surface. The paths in the chalet lines were lined with duck boards and the shoe shop did a roaring trade in shoes! However, very few guests went home (it was early in the week) and very few moaned. It was just part of the British climate, Butlins had done everything it could and an act of God wasn't allowed to spoil the fun. Society had a very different attitude to a crisis in those days, it was simply a case of "nothing we can do, so get on and make the best of it" Nowadays people would be claiming compensation and looking for someone (anyone) to blame.

    I'm so glad I holidayed and subsequently worked at Butlins during those times when people were less desperate to shout and scream about their problems and more likely to help others.

    (Originally posted by...TANNOY)
    Hey <Pushbutton> - good decision I reckon to stay with the 4 buckets. Hate caravans, love chalets!

  • #2

    (Originally posted by...TANNOY)
    Hi CHR - we went to Filey several times during the 60's/70's and last time in 1982. Green camp road did seem to flood quite a lot, but your incident seems a particularly bad one. Sounds like those Redcoat boys were having a laugh that night, keeping a low profile. I do remember duck boards being out in Green camp and I have one particular memory of when I was walking along a chalet line and came upon several campers having to walk along planks placed on upturned waste bins (you know those aluminium ones with the hole drilled in the bottom) to reach their chalets. I'm told we were flooded out one year but I was too young to remember it.
    I loved your description of the 'Blitz spirit' during the flood - and of course the Redcoats answering the call and still being there to greet campers at the dining hall door next morning!
    You are right about the attitude back then (hey we're not that old). I can remember reading a newspaper article about a strike by waiters/waitresses at Butlins in the 70's when campers basically volunteered and served up and washed up themselves as part of their holiday!
    It was such a friendly atmosphere then, not just between the campers but the staff seemed to be caught up in it as well. I don't think I'm remembering the 'heyday' years through rose-tinted specs, but they just seemed to enjoy being Redcoats and had a genuine interest in people. Maybe there was just more interaction called for back then. The last time I went to Butlins in 1999 the staff seemed to be just going through the motions, not interested really. I recall in particular a greeter at the dining hall who was just chronic.
    Like you, I'm glad I experienced the atmosphere then. I would have loved to have worked there too, but the closest I got was in 1981 when a good friend of mine worked at Filey on Security and I got behind the scenes a little while on holiday. Happy days.

    (Originally posted by...Pushbutton)
    I have to agree that people now just can't seem to accept that some things are nobody's fault.

    I hear about things like drunken murderers being paid "compensation" because the mental health system failed to look after them, packaging which says "Warning. Product may be hot after heating", and people who get cancer from smoking and sue the tobacco companies, and I wander where the commonsense went to!

    I'm only 28 but I'm sure the attitude was very different in the 80s to what it is now.

    (Originally posted by...Goldengrill)
    Inclement weather in Bognor Regis !

    (Originally posted by...CHR)
    Love that picture Golden Grill, so Butlins!

    (Originally posted by...Dean)
    I remember the floods along the road infront of green camp very well.

    Minehead was always prone to flooding too and in Feb of 91 we had a bad flood along red camp, or redwood as they called it then. The grass inbetween the chalet lines was knee deep and for some reason the water in the tiolets was up to the top of the bowls. We were staying in red camp while they renovated (painted the walls) of the flatlets where we normaly stayed. The flood was so bad they moved us out and put us in the better green camp.

    I was told that apart of Minehead was on reclaimed land, anyone know if thats true?

    (Originally posted by...Redcoat_nicky)
    Talking of flooding...
    Just recently at Bognor, there was a pretty nasty storm. Nothing new there, but....
    It was neary time for the panto to go on, the Reds were just getting to the venue, centre stage, and...
    A load of celing tiles fall through, and water is pouring into the arcade, down the stares, onto the stage, everywhere!
    The worst part was trying to explain to the guests, without there being a panic!
    Half of the guests were cool, just smiled and watched the shows in the skyline instead. the other half....
    Oh well, we still managed to get it open for the evening shows!
    Respect to the techies!!

    15-12-03, 08:31 PM

    i like everythin under cover apart from the funfair which is outside and ur stuck if u wanna go on it and its raining

    18-03-06, 11:46 AM

    There always has been plenty to do indoors at Butlins when it rains, since before the skyline was even a slide in the funfair!

    18-03-06, 11:55 AM
    Darren P

    I was told that apart of Minehead was on reclaimed land, anyone know if thats true?

    Yes this is true. For those of you that have been to Minehead, when you drive in and past Dunster Castle all the land from there out to the sea is reclaimed land.

    If you take the vintage bus tour from the town you are actually told the full history of how it all happend.

    And how disapointed were we all when we went up to the chairlifts and skating rink and saw those signs up saying "inclement weather".

    ​18-03-06, 10:13 PM

    Anything that involves them blasted tents is no good. A bit of rain hurt no-one. Strange thing is everyone on this site are always saying how they want things back to the way they were in older times, yet are prepared to put up with the skyline. WHY

    18-03-06, 11:22 PM

    My mum's message when we went on Butlins Holidays as kids was that is doesn't matter what the weather was doing- we'd still have a fantastic time. And we always did!

    I remember the outdoor pool at Barry. It was FREEZING, but there was no way we wouldn't go in just because of a little thing like sub-zero temperatures! lol. We were turning blue when we climbed out, but that just made diving into the heated indoor pool afterwards all the more fun!

    I can't ever remember rain being allowed to spoil the holiday.

    19-03-06, 06:33 AM

    Quote Originally Posted by billybusdriver
    Anything that involves them blasted tents is no good. A bit of rain hurt no-one. Strange thing is everyone on this site are always saying how they want things back to the way they were in older times, yet are prepared to put up with the skyline. WHY
    What other choice do we have though billybusdriver, apart from never going to butlins again which is obviously out of the question?

    19-03-06, 07:31 AM

    Dont forget Campers ;-


    Quote by Billy Butlin in those Hi-De-Hi days

    20-03-06, 11:41 AM
    Red face
    bad weather never ruined my holidays at butlins, I was one of those kids, that as long as the outdoor rides were still running in the rain, I would still queue up to go on them. And even when the weather was really bad, there was the indoor rides, the indoor swimming pool, the games room etc...., so maybe there is less to do in the bad weather now, even though more of Butlins is undercover.

    20-03-06, 01:27 PM

    there is still plenty to do if the weather is bad,the problem is that they charge for it now.​