Starting collecting your Butlin's Skegness Memorabilia with eBay, have a look at these items below
The story of Norman"Bunny" Brooks is extremely important to the Butlin's timeline. The news was told about a new holiday camp opening in Ingoldmells Skegness that is a part of Butlin's, an idea of inspiration and a different way for people to have a break. Mr Brooks had applied for the role and joined the team in 1935 in the first and eldest Butlin's camp. Working with his colleagues, Mr Brooks would contribute towards the preparation of the camp to the standards of William (Billy) Butlin. With much work to do, the camp was developing into a masterpiece and Bunny Brooks was one of the people who helped in this development.
In 1936, Billy Butlin would do his checks on his camp and prepare himself for the opening of his first-holiday camp. Standing with him would have been Norman Bunny Brooks. Then the moment came as Mr Brooks was one of many standing in the camp to witness the gates open for the first time as a Butlin's. The campers would walk in to see the new holiday camp as they were greeted by the staff that helped get the camp ready. The Butlin's magic had just started with Mr Brooks welcoming all the new campers to a location that would become an inspiration to so many.
The camp was open and all was going to plan as the team with Billy Butlin would show why Butlin's is the best place for that important break. As nighttime arrived, entertainment was the next task for the team to master. As Billy Butlin notice that his campers did not look like they were having fun, he would ask Norman Bradford to help out. It was a complete success as the birth of the Redcoats was written into the history books of Butlins.
As Billy was so very pleased with the idea of the Redcoats, he would ask for a much larger team. Mr Brooks joined that team immediately as he loves to entertain others to see that smile. Bunny Brooks is one of the very first people to wear the Redcoat uniform for the first time as he helped entertain the campers who came to Butlin's Skegness. Bunny was loving every moment to give another person a chance to smile during the day and night. The Butlin's magic was truly strong with Mr Brooks as he helped towards that memory creation.
The Butlin's Holiday camp was doing extremely well as the team of Redcoats would be representing Butlin's to a high standard. Behind the scenes was another important person that was also contributing very hard towards the Butlin's magic. These are the people who are doing maintenance, chalet cleaning, bar staff, and of course, those in the catering department.
In this photo, you can see Mr Brook's father, Isaac Brooks (in the white coat), working as a part of the team that was contributing towards the memory creation for so many campers. The hard work in the background that many did not see was in good hands. The catering department was responsible for all the campers on the site as there were no self-catering options in the early days of Butlin's. This means that the gentleman shown in this photo had to prepare meals...three times a day for all the campers.
The Butlin's experience had come with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, giving Isaac Brooks and his team a large task to do. With his son working hard in entertaining the campers, Isaac was hard working behind the scenes to feed the campers on time and with quality food. It's a team that was perfectly matched to help deliver the Butlin's magic to all.
Bunny Brooks continued his career in Butlin's Skegness as he climbed the ranks to become a stage manager. With Butlin's Skegness in good hands, Billy Butlin would leave the camp to help the Warner's with their new project. Working alongside the Warner's, he would help develop and open Dovercourt Bay with much pride. With the new Warner's camp now open to all, Billy Butlin would travel to Clacton to start the next stage in the Butlin's timeline.
Billy Butlin would purchase an estate in the west of Clacton and sought permission from the local council to start building his second camp. The plans were objected to as the idea was seen by many as bringing the value of their properties down and taking trade away from others. However, Billy also had those who supported the idea and knew it was a case of convincing the other half. As Billy Butlin was a problem solver, he would invite the councillors to his camp in Skegness to see the advantages that the camps bring to local areas.
Mr Brooks and his father would have been one of the members of staff that had helped with this extremely important part of the Butlin timeline. The Clacton councillors had arrived to see the benefits of employment to the local area as Billy Butlin would explain how the camp uses local produce for the camp, local traders to service the camp, and the increase in tourism affects Skegness town. With the help of all the staff including Mr Brooks, the plan was a complete success as approval was granted. This is an extremely important moment in the timeline of Butlins.
Continuing to entertain the campers in Butlin's Skegness, Mr Brooks would be invited to the new Butlin's Clacton camp. Bunny made his way to the camp to see it all new as he looked around at the birth of the second eldest camp. Helping where he could, the day would arrive when Mr Brooks would witness, for the second time, the opening of another Butlin's camp. In 1938, he would be one of many staff members to see the gates open to welcome the new campers and some from Skegness coming into Butlin's Clacton.
Working to entertain the guest, Bunny Brooks would continue to help towards the Butlin's magic and represent the name extremely well. Mr Brooks continued to work in Butlin's Clacton until it closed down to help and support World War Two. When the war had come to an end, Mr Brooks would join the entertainment staff in a holiday camp at Prestatyn North Wales.
In 1962 he and his wife Alice bought a guest house in Blackpool however when opportunities for entertaining guests in a camp had arisen, he would venture out. In the 1970s, Mr Brooks was offered a chance to run a holiday camp in Somerset in St. Audrie's Bay. Taking up the offer, he would organise the entertainment and take guests to rambles and Quantock Hills, teach swimming and continue to entertain on the stage including competitions. Mr Brooks would return back home in the winter and then back to what he loves to do in the summer.
During the out-of-season holiday, Mr and Mrs Brooks would love to take their breaks at the Butlins hotels in Brighton.
Sadly Norman Bunny Brooks passed away in 1974 at the age of 62.
Mr and Mrs Brook's wedding day was at St Marys RC Church in Alnwick Northumberland
18th September 1943
Found in Gillian's Butlin's viewer is this smashing photo of Mr Brooks sitting down with a Redcoat.
Fancy dress. He is on the right.
Paper mache outfits and he won!
Mr Brook's son is on the left, and Alice (Mrs Brooks) is on the far right in the red dress.
In 2022, Babs receives a message from Gillian from our social media group. In that message were photos of a moment in time when Babs had met the family during her time as a Redcoat. In excitement, Babs got chatting with Gillian, and from that very day been friends. The Butlin's magic has worked once again. Babs had this to say about Mr Brooks as she tells the story of an amazing man;
I do hope you have enjoyed this story, as l have loved telling it. I have come to the conclusion Bunny never stopped being a Redcoat, and l love the fact even after the war Sir Billy stayed in touch with him. Just showed how much he was thought of.
As you will see, Dad joined Butlins in 1935, prior to the opening of Skegness and was also at Clacton for the opening of that camp. His father Isaac also worked at Skegness in the catering area and the whole family lived in Ingoldmells for a period of time.
To give you an idea of the man, and here's your starter for ten, on our trip to Brighton when the photo was taken. He used to volunteer to sing a few songs with the organist in the bar and mixed the songs up so that they were different each night.
Our dad was a wonderful man, a great father and a consummate professional entertainer who would take centre stage at any fathering and most of my memories are from his time at Prestatyn Holiday cam after world war two. But, he often reminisced about his time at Butlin's and every Christmas send Billy Bulin a Christmas card, always receiving one back.
Permission was given to Mark and Butlins Memorabilia website from Gillian, to show his wonderful Butlin's story. Any stories and photos shown on this page are not owned by me and are owned by those who shared them. Please do not ask for their details as I will not share anything with you as I do not hold their details and it's not my place to give them away if I did.
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