Saturday, 8 October 2011

Its the same food... Only with sand in it...

So you've been wondering where the midweek blog was then? Oh, you haven't... Well, so... No, that's not the way to make friends or enemies. But I spent five days in Dorset on holiday, in October I hear you say. Well, that's how I roll. So apart from two lovely days it was cold and the 3G signal was more holey then a fishing net combined with a perforated teabag, meaning Twitter reading and doing anything vaguely internetty was out of the question.

With this opportunity, its time to go and annoy the blue, red, green and what other colour you can have coats, without infringing the copywrite of who owns it nowadays. So with no money following about, many people are taking the plunge and rediscovering the holiday camp after many years again now where they would take a break in the sun to remind everyone of how a holiday can be, might be and also experiencing through the lens and on the screen in Boggenstrovia's guide to knowing your holiday camps...

Everything you're wanting is at Pontin's!

Name: Pontins
Colour of Coat: Blue

Ah good ol' Fred himself, this was the choice for Jack and Stan in Holiday on the Buses. With camps throughout the land of course with at its height 30 in total with the first of them opening in 1946 which was an ex-US Army Base. So much was also made about Fred's idea to take the idea to Spain with 'Son of Pontins - Pontinental' the same shit food, only with sand in it as Victor Lewis-Smith put it in Ads Infinitum. An idea ahead of its time in which Benidorm would have just looked at and said that's what we want. The company was sold in Coral in 1978 for £56 million, a bookmakers buying a Holiday camp group? Hmm, I wonder where they got the idea for that from? Think that's weird? Coral's got taken over by Bass Breweries in 1980, so from betting to booze, maybe not the most obvious bedfellows but another world I suppose!

Trevor Hemmings led a management buy-out in 1987 but the booze was back as it was sold to Scottish and Newcastle in 1989. Newky Brown is now available in the bar! The naughties was a time where things were lean for Pontins going through administration and coming out the other side without loss of jobs or parks.

Bobby 'Nankers' Davro leads the names of famous bluecoats via Shane Ritchie, so like other camps the grounding for the these names was one of jollity entertaining people who are mostly there for a good time or either that a good booze up. Its reflective now that Pontins is trying to look towards to Disney for its ideas, taking that influence for its revamp of its parks, but having gone there in the past they may have to think again about a crocodile mascot or the surreal situation where they also had an in-camp television station which showed one story read by an old man which went through the night and was on the next morning much to my family's amazement. Who said that ITV had the monopoly on 24-hour television.

Hi-de-Hi set the benchmark for comedy in the 1980's with another smash for Jimmy Perry and the late David Croft, by using Perry's experiences of being a Redcoat for Butlins at Pwllheli they manage to create a holiday which people could recognise themselves, the frustrated turns, the bright and breezy staff and also the entertainments manager who seemed to be out of place in what he was dealing with. Though the 80's was the right time for the show to be broadcast in with the nostalgia in the 50's coming back into fashion and people seeing there own holiday experience at the camps. In terms of what it set out to do, the target was hit with the sense of the changing nature of what Britain was going through at that time with the last episode suggesting that major changes were needed with modernisation to be able to compete in the 1960's.

Want to bet there's a better holiday? Well, there is! How about this effort from Ladbrokes Holidays to tempt you to go to one of their camps, by using the stars of "Who Do You Do?" This effort

The atmosphere of camps changed over the years where people would look down on them for being cheap and cheerful, where as a knowing wink is appropriate to what it maybe seen as. It might not be the Ritz, but as with everything you pay your money and take your choice as such. Most people make do with this attitude or as it would have pleased Billy Butlin to see them take this attitude with the words "That's the spirit!" ringing in the ears of the campers or is that just Gladys Pugh's glockenspiel?

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