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Close-Up: Divorce, holidays and unique music

The Story

Holidays are his life's work. Billy Butlin, who grew up in Canada, first got the idea for his holiday camps from the Eaton's staff camps he witnessed as a young man. And although some call it a bunch of "regimented hoop-de-doo," by 1960 Butlins Holiday Camps have become so popular in England that Butlin grosses $2.5 million every week of every summer. In this 1960 clip, Tom Hill interviews Butlin and offers glimpse of holiday camp fun -- from dances to bike-rides to calisthenics.

Medium: Television
Program: Close-Up
Broadcast Date: March 31, 1960
Guests: Billy Butlin, Arnold Peters, Marie Philippe-Gérard
Duration: 28:22

Did You know?

• Billy Butlin opened his first holiday camp in 1936 in Skegness, England. He opened eight more camps around the country over the next three decades. Many have since closed, but today there are still three Butlins Holiday Camps in operation. 

• The camps still feature a wide variety of family activities, including archery, soccer, arts and crafts and a wide variety of shows. Today, the camps also now feature some adult party weekends too, with themes like "Disco Inferno" and "80s Madness."

• For those who have holidayed there over the years, one of the more memorable features is the team of "Redcoats," the red jacket-clad entertainment crew that organizes and oversees all the activities and performs in the shows as well. A number of famous British entertainers got their start as Redcoats, including musician Sting and comedian Dave Allen.




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