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Mark Remembers Skegness in the 1980's Back

As a child in the 80's me and my family spent many holidays at Skegness Butlins which was our favourite of all the Butlins camps. After many years I returned this year (2010) to the place I loved as a kid expecting things to have not changed much but what a suprise I was in for. In the 80's we always went self catering and I remember having to wait for what seemed a lifetime for us to get the keys to our chalet, which was basic but was more than what you needed for your time there as most of the time we were either on the beach or wandering around the camp making the most of what there was to offer - sometimes it was watching the Donkey Derby or going on the fair rides or crazy golf and I seem to remember they had small motorbikes which you could ride for 50p a time, I think it was, which was something I did a lot. At night times my parents and family would be in one of the show bars while I wandered around my favorite arcade playing my favorite arcade games, checking back in with my parents now and again for a quick drink of pop and if I was lucky a hot dog from one of the vendors on the way back to the chalet.

When getting there this year (2010) I started to wander around and see if things had changed much and to my shock they had, gone was the monorail and the cable cars, the fair is now at the opposite end of the camp. I didn't find where the Donkey Derby used to be and, as for my favorite arcades, they were gone also with the only one I could find being in the skyline which was full of fruit machines and 2p sliding machines. I then decided to check if the boating lake was there and found all that is left of it is now a duck pond and, walking further towards the beach entrance which is still where it always has been, I noticed the old indoor pool had gone also. Walking onto the beach I remember we used to go through the gates and to the right hand side just below the entrance and pitch there most days of the week. The beach seems different now somehow, it has beach grass growing where we used to sit and the sand seems higher up and then there is the lack of people - the beach always used to be packed. I guess the weather nowadays has a lot to do with that though. The only thing that really stuck out is the old blocks of chalets where the staff live, I'm sure at some point I spent a week in one of those. Even the old scalectrix place had gone.

Despite all the changes though I still had a great weeks holiday and I suppose it's geared up for the kids of today who wouldn't be content with sitting on the beach and going in the sea all day. I guess it's just how things change over time but you don't always notice it happening and maybe wish deep in your mind you could live these happy days of the 70's and 80's over again. Butlins Skegness will always have a special place in my heart.

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