BUTLINS FILEY 1963 - 1964


Filey 1963 Redcoats Reunited Richard 1

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.

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.

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.

Uncle Len, George Fraser, Cappie, Richard Parkin (me), Aubrey, Tracey Lovell, Alan Ridgway
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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