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Radio Butlin Back

Extract from the unpublished book "Follow the rainbow to Butlin's" by Paul Wray and Rocky Mason
Used with permission

The now joked about "dreaded" tannoy system which covered the Butlin's camps was started in 1946. The camp radio station was often described as the nerve centre of the camp and it couldn't have had a more apt description. At the very least its use could be described as "active", and how active would depend on how "mic" happy the announcer was. Every manager and his grandmother seemed to have access to it.

The day would start at 7.30am with the "wakey" announcement which would be a gentle tune, the longest running tune being "singing piano" by Tolchard Evans. Halfway through, the record would be faded out and the announcer would inform the campers that it was 7.30am and that the first sitting for breakfast would be at 8.15am with the second sitting at 9.15am. The service was broadcast to the campers 7 days a week until 6pm.

A typical daily broadcast would include music, advertisements, jingles, and requests from the campers, the days events and general news items. Radio Butlin lasted until the end of the 1974 season when its only use from then on was for emergency broadcasts. The last broadcast at Ayr finished with Bobby Butlin breaking the "Wakey" record "live" on air!.  During its life Radio Butlin was regarded more as a service than a nuisance and although people now look back with humour, at the time it served its purpose, it blended in with what the holiday maker wanted. Below is the script from actual broadcasts, starting with the tune that would wake the campers followed by the Radio Butlin announcer, in this case Iris, making the early morning announcement.


Good morning, good morning, good morning
Another lovely day for when it's wet it's fine at Butlin's
We never let it spoil your holiday
Good morning, good morning, good morning
There's a good time on the way
For wet or fine the sun will always shine
On your Butlin holiday


Hello everyone, the time is almost half past seven and this is your Radio Butlin announcer, Iris wishing you a very good morning and just reminding all our first sitting campers that breakfast will be available at a quarter past eight

Tune (fade in)

Good morning, good morning, good morning
There's a good time on the way
For wet or fine the sun will always shine
On your Butlin, Butlin holiday

The following is a broadcast made just before first sitting for breakfast on a Saturday morning, the day of departure.

"This is Radio Butlin calling all first sitting campers The time is quarter past eight and your breakfast is now available. Would all campers who are leaving today who would like their luggage transported to the station by the Butlin lorries. Please leave it outside the Crazy Horse saloon before half past nine. Luggage must be collected from the station by four o'clock this afternoon after which time it will be returned to the camp. Also campers will you please check to see if you have any mail waiting for you in the campers mail office before leaving"

Another typical announcement was:-

This is radio Butlin calling, I'm so sorry to interrupt your game campers, but there is a baby crying in chalet ZH 10
A baby is crying in chalet Z H for Harry 10

Radio Butlin

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