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.
On my days off I reverted to my
shy self, and was happy not to be noticed. Things changed slowly for me
the season, so much so that I was invited back for three more summers.
the rest of the years I was training to be a teacher and I found I was
lot of the skills I learned as a Redcoat in the classroom – patience,
and trying to see the best in everyone — skills I still use today with
university students – and ‘yes’ I am beyond retirement age but still
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!
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.
BUTLINS FILEY REDCOATS 1964