Filey Butlins

Pictures from Remember Filey Butlins

Filey is a tiny little coastal town near Scarborough in North Yorkshire. The weather there can be both unforgiving and uncommonly clement. But the sea, being the of the ‘North’ variety, is always cold. It never had much going for it as a town, (perhaps it was never meant to), but for a short period in the last century, it made a lot of people happy. It had a Butlins holiday camp.

On a rather windy late August day some time ago, I passed the Filey Butlin’s in my car and pulled over to have a look at it. It had been left for some time and demolition had already started. I ambled briefly around the chalets and without a camera I was left with just the eeriness of of the place to fill my head. Strange echoes and the omnipresent recapture of land by mother nature.

The very idea of British holiday camps impresses me and I find that their rather brutal approach to ‘having fun’ is an interesting thing. The idea of staying in one place where everything you could possibly need to enjoy yourself is knocked together in plywood and corrugated metal with coloured lights on is strangely appealing.

In particular, I’m very fond of the themed bars and stylised areas of Butlins. The ‘Hawaiian bar’ or the ‘Pool Terrace’, decorated with LSD inspired carpets and plastic orange stools now seem rather splendid settings to smoke a woodbine or two and perhaps enjoy a tall glass of Martini Rosso.

I like the gallery section of ‘Remember Filey Butlins’ – genuinely quite nostalgic. There are also tons of pictures (old and new) of Butlins across Britain on Flickr. There is something heartaching about the old discoloured pictures of these places that tells a very profound tale of the British working class holiday of yesteryear.

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    1. Richard wrote:

      Used to cut through a Pontins in its last days on my way down to Plemont Bay in my youth. I mainly remember fry ups being the order of the day, any time of day, any severity of heat. What’s left of it can be seen here:

    2. pixelfibre wrote:

      Nice set of shots that is.
      Pontins…. Another world of holiday-making! Perhaps there is a post there in that, lad.

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