Reunion to mark Redcoat history

Butlins 1
Butlins 1

A FORMER Filey Butlins Redcoat has called on fellow entertainers to unite in a grand celebration of the historic holiday resort.

Rocky Mason, who joined the Filey camp as a boxing instructor in 1957, is appealing for ex-colleagues and Butlins devotees to come together and remember the camp’s hi-de-hi years.

The reunion, which takes place in Scarborough later this year, will mark the famous holiday company’s 75th anniversary of its first camp opening.

Mr Mason, 79, who moved up to Chief Redcoat at Filey in 1959, has been instrumental in setting up the event alongside fellow Redcoat Dave Colwill, and said he was looking forward to regaling in various performances, including a special version of the favourite, The Old Time Music Hall.

He said: “I was delighted to be asked to play Mr Chairman in the Old Time Music Hall, and am looking forward to it enormously.

“Frankie Bull, an old friend and colleague, is travelling from Australia to play Billy Bouncer and we haven’t performed together since 1964.

“Dave and I haven’t produced a show together since the early 1970’s but have planned a Butlin theme for the entire weekend with an old style redcoat cabaret, Butlin quiz shows and much more.

“Just short of 100 guests have booked already and our calculated guess is that over 150 will be attending - it will be a weekend to remember.”

After leaving the North Yorkshire coast in 1962 for stints as deputy entertainments manager for the Minehead camp, in Somerset, Mr Mason then took up managerial roles in Margate and Brighton, before spending a number of seasons in Skegness and Pwllheli, in north west Wales.

He returned to Filey in 1975 as leisure and amenities controller.

Mr Colwill, who was deputy to Mr Mason during the period, added: “Rocky and I are intent on putting together a package of old Butlin fun that all our members and guests will be familiar with in the way of tradition.

“We shall be reviving the past for the whole weekend, perhaps at a slower pace but, with true enthusiasm.

“Not a day has gone by for the last six months where we have been in contact with each other and our members to discuss various ideas for this truly memorable reunion which will be the first of many.”

The grand reunion will take place at the Grand Hotel, in Scarborough, from October 7 and 10.

Anyone interested in attending the event can find more information by logging on to the Forever Butlins Facebook page.