BUTLINS FILEY 1963 - 1964


Filey 1963 Redcoats Reunited Richard 1

Remember Saturday Reception duty?

I started at Filey in 1963 as a Redcoat, straight from an all-boys grammar school – you can imagine the cultural shock that happened to me!! George Fraser gave me 2 days out of ‘reds’ to find my way around and, on the 2nd day, checked up on my knowledge by questioning me – ‘Where’s the nearest toilets from here? How do you get to the chairlift? Where is the camp church? — and so on.

Filey 1963 Redcoats Reunited Richard 2

Dave Fish, me, Jane Powell and Frank Fleming who was known as 'Bruce'

Redcoats were supposed to know everything from where everything was; to what the weather was going to be; and who was starring in the Gaiety Theatre; as well as knowing what film was on in the Empire Theatre. The next day I was out there on full detail being a Redcoat! What a shock for me – I was a bit on the shy side, but as soon as I put on my Red and Whites I changed, and became someone that initially I found hard to recognise.

Filey 1963 Redcoats Reunited Richard 3

The slogan on the LUX stand reads: "Best Cared for Complexion,"
which is not something you could say about the stand itself.
Dizzy Mansell, Claire Wild, me on the floor, and Andrew

On my days off I reverted to my shy self, and was happy not to be noticed. Things changed slowly for me during the season, so much so that I was invited back for three more summers. During the rest of the years I was training to be a teacher and I found I was using a lot of the skills I learned as a Redcoat in the classroom – patience, listening and trying to see the best in everyone — skills I still use today with my university students – and ‘yes’ I am beyond retirement age but still working, part-time.

I met some fantastic people, and fell in love goodness knows how many times. I often had to hide the photo of my girl friend from school that was fastened on the wall – she and I survived and she is now Mrs. Parkin!

Each year I looked forward to returning to my life at Butlins – it was a real thrill for the son of a miner who had led a sheltered existence until 1963.

Filey 1963 Redcoats Reunited Richard 6

Back: Uncle Len, George Fraser (AEM), Cappy, Richard Parkin (me), Aubrey, Tracey Lovell, Alan Ridgway

Front: Maurice Fogel (Magician), Irene Timperley, Terri Tasker, Anne, Dave Fish, Val Livesey, Pam Dimano

Butlins changed my life in the most positive of ways, and I never really looked back. I have so much to be grateful for to Frank and Dizzy Mansell for giving me that initial break – they could obviously see something in me that no-one else could – me included! What wonderful people I met – too many to single out by name – apart from one – Ron Stanway, who taught me so much about people interaction: ‘Always leave them smiling’ was what he told me, and that advice still rings true. Such a lovely man, sadly missed.

See also:

BUTLINS FILEY 1965 and 66 - Richard Parkin





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