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Sir Billy Butlin and Butlin's Timeline

Here is the timeline that I have designed based on the history and research that I have found. I go into a bit of depth but each part is very important part of the history of this amazing company.

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Here is the time line for Sir Billy Butlin and the Butlins company, which includes the most up to date information. There will be times when I will add new areas when information is found. 

Last update of this time is: 31/05/2021  Version: 4.0.0


William Colborne Butlin and Bertha Cassandra Hill

We start this time line in the year 1896 when two young people would meet. William Colborne Butlin, born in June 1867, and Bertha Cassandra Hill, born in March 1878, would meet to form a friendship. Mr. William Butlin was a clergyman as Miss Bertha Hill family is apart of traveling showman, which is a key moment in the history of Butlins. Miss Hill's parents are a part of a traveling showman, showing the strong connection to Billy Butlin's history. As the friendship grew, both Mr. Butlin and Miss Hills get married in December 1896. Bertha becomes Bertha Cassandra Butlin and the future of the name Butlins is born in this very key moment in history.


Issues about the marriage - The Butlin family move to South Africa - Cape Town

The marriage between William and Bertha was not very well accepted in the town of Leonard Stanley, based in Gloucestershire. Not wanting to cause many issues, they both decide it was time to move on and emigrate to South Africa, to Cape Town.

29th September 1899

Celebration as the Butlin Family increases 
29th September 1899

Living in Cape town for a couple of years. there is much joy as William and Bertha celebrate the birth of their first son. The official name given at this very important moment in history is "William Heygate Edmund Colborne Butlin". This is a day of extreme importance to the history of Butlins as this is the moment that a legend is born...they do do not know it at this time.


The Butlin Bicycle Shop

I am unaware of the year or dates, however, it should be noted that the first Butlin's shop to feature in the world was in Africa Cape Town. William Colborne Butlin and Bertha Cassandra Hill had started their own bicycle shop to help support their family. This was also important as it was a time for Billy to see how the shop works and develops. Billy is at a very young age at this time but it would not surprise me at a later stage that it helped start ideas follow.


Celebration as the Butlins Family increases - 1904

As William was growing up, he was overjoyed with the news that his mother, Bertha and his father, also William, would let him know that he was to have a brother or sister. In 1904, another important moment in the history of Butlins is the birth of Harry John Butlin is born. With two sons, William is known as Billy, and his brother Harry is known as Binkie.

1905 - 1910

Mr. and Mrs Butlins separate
Bertha, William and Harry move back to England

The relationship between William Colborne and Bertha Cassandra was not going very well. The marriage had come to an end as Bertha decides it would be best to move back to England. With both Billy and Harry, they arrive in England, meeting with their grandmother, Annie Eliza Hill. Billy and Harry grandmother was a part of a travelling funfair and showmen. They are greeted with much love as Bertha and her sons start selling gingerbread men, showing Billy the expectations of customers and demands for products. This moment is also extremely important as the showman business is exposed to Billy, strong family connections and how to sell items are all areas taught to him.

March 1907

A very sad day arrives

Rest in peace Mr. Harry John Butlin.

Devastating news arrives as the Butlin family never wanted to hear, Harry John Butlin has passed away. This sad moment in the history of Butlins recorded Harry's passing from contracting Polio. May you rest in peace Harry Butlin.

1910 - 1912

Bertha Butlin makes a hard decision

Bertha wanted to give more to her family and decided it was time to look for opportunities. With so very little available, Bertha emigrated to Canada in hope that she will be able to start a new life for her and Billy. It was a tough choice as Billy remained in England with his cousin Jimmy Hill and his two aunties.


Bertha and Charles Robotham invite William Butlin to Canada

Bertha returns back to England and is very happy to see Billy. When in England, Bertha marries Charles Robotham in Swindon. They both asked Billy to come with them to Canada, Toronto. Billy agreed and another life was awaiting for him and his family.

Working at Eatons and Summer Camps

Billy was really unhappy in Canada and left school at fourteen years old. As he is a person of great strength, he continued to find ways to develop. It was at this point that he worked for the large retail company called Eaton's. He learnt more about advertising and customer service from his time in Eaton's. He had also experienced their summer camps, giving him an insight to what breaks were all about. (image credit to Wikipedia)


William Butlin joins the Canadian army

Billy volunteered to join the army, the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was fighting on the western front after realizing he did not tell the recruiter that he originally joined to become a dispatch rider. His official post within the war, was in the 170th (Mississauga Horse) Battalion on 29 December 1915 (credit to Wiki).

Billy was then transferred to the 216th (Bantams) Battalion, which based him back in England in Sandgate near Folkestone . His division was then sent to France becoming a part of the 3rd Canadian Division. Billy was known for being the stretcher bearer.

Billy Butlin had in the fact told them the wrong year of his birth to help join the army. His papers show it as 1898, as a suitcase maker, allowing him to be at the age needed. (Image credit to Wikipedia)

The war is over and William Butlin had plans and the time to start them was now as he travelled back to the UK.

The war has finished and Billy Butlin is on a cattle ship on his way back to England. He has £5 with him and a destination in his mind. Billy Butlin was making his way to Bridgewater in Somerset to his uncle Marshall Hill. History recorded this as the time when Butlins had first started, on a stall that he got from his uncle. The hoopla stall has a strong and loving connection to the Butlin's story. Billy made this successful as he allowed his customer to win more often. This worked in the long term as more prizes would leave him however, there was an increase in how many customers played his game, giving him long term profit and more customers. The cost of the prizes and the number of customers allowed him to have a profit.

Butlin's starts to expand

Becoming a success, Billy had moved to London to open a stall at the Olympia. His profits were good and he now had enough to pay for his mothers return back to England. At this stage of Billy Butlin life, his mother. Bertha, was returning back to England as a widow as her husband had passed away. Billy has a very strong connection with his mother and is very pleased to see her back with him. With his mother's help to run the Olympia stall, Billy would start to open more stalls in Barry Island and within the Hills traveling funfair.

Billy had then started his own traveling fair and would visit many locations, including Barnstaple. This is a key moment in the story as we see the second stage of the development of Butlins. 


Dolly Mabel Cheriton (Dorris)

In the 1920's, Billy Butlin is in Tiverton, Devon and whilst there, he meets a lady named Dolly Mabel Cheriton. They get to know each another very well as Billy meets Dolly's parents, who were owners of a fish and chip shop. As the friendship grew, so did their feelings for each another as a relationship developed.


It's a joyful time as Dolly Mabel Cheriton and Billy Butlin Marry

In 1927, there was was a date in the diary of Butlins for celebration. Billy Butlin would ask for permission to marry Dolly. In this year, Dolly Mabel Cheriton and Billy Butlin get married. History noted down this date as the time Dolly Mabel Cheriton would now be known as Dolly Mabel Butlin, also known as Doris.


Butlin's Amusement Park - Skegness

Billy rents some land from the Earl of Scarborough to start is an amusement park. He had made sure that his trademark of the Hoopla stall was there with additional areas such as a tower slide and a haunted house. Billy was also a fan of trains and had a miniature railway in the park, an icon that appeared on the camps at a later stage.


The Dodgems

Billy had got the exclusive license to the dodgems cars, which is another icon to the name Butlins. Anything related to the dodgems would be from Billy Butlin. The United Kingdom would see the first-ever dodgems in Butlins in Skegness, however, this was not a camp but an amusement park. Still, Butlins, just not a camp just yet.

1928 - 1935

Butlin's Amusement Parks continue to grow

Billy opens new amusement parks in Mablethorpe in 1928, Hayling Island in 1931, Felixstowe in 1931, Southsea in 1931 and on the Isle of Man. Each park would also have a zoo added as an extension by 1935.


Butlin's in Bognor Regis

Butlins arrives in Bognor in the same format as you have read about in Skegness. It was known as the Recreation Shelter.Today a blue plaque is located at the place where it all started, in honour of Billy Butlin history and links to the town.


The birth of Shirley Butlin

Mr and Mrs Butlin are overjoyed as the news comes of the next generation of Butlins arrives. Shirley Butlin is born this year as Billy Butlin is smiling to see his daughter in his arms. It's a wonderful day in the timeline of Butlins.


Dolly and William Butlin seperate.

Billy Butlin is happy to see a new generation of his family, however, the relationship between him and Dolly is not going very well. It was at this moment that Billy and Dolly split up and a request for a divorce was requested. Awaiting news that the marriage was now over was going to be a long time for Billy as Dolly refused to divorce him.


Norah Faith Cheriton

In the early 1930's, Norah had been spending a lot of time with Billy and started to fall in love with each other. The relationship grew strong as Billy planned to marry his future wife. However, both Norah and Billy were unable to do this due to the marriage to Dolly. Dolly still refused any divorce from Billy and continued to be his wife, preventing Norah and Billy from marrying.


Butlin's Park is born in Littlehampton

Billy Butlin expanding his Butlins legacy into Littlehampton, where he opens an amusement park named "Butlins Park" based at the old east bank fort  


A very sad moment, a day William Butlin never wanted to hear

Rest in peace Bertha.

The year that Billy Butlin was dislike a great deal was this one as his mother, Bertha, passes away. A person of great strength, Billy would say one final goodbye to the lady he loved a great deal. She would of been so very proud of what Billy had achieved and created. "May you rest in peace Bertha".


The birth of Robert Butlin

The year was sad for Billy until the birth of his son, Robert Butlin. Billy would hold his son and was able to smile once again. Robert is the son of Norah Cheriton and Billy Butlin.

11th April 1936

Butlin's Holiday Camps is born in Skegness

The date recorded is the 11th April 1936 as we see the first Butlins camp open. Billy Butlin had asked Amy Johnson to help with the opening of his first-ever camp. Advertising in the Daily Express, Billy had offered a week's holiday with three meals included, which were breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was a success and the legacy had started.


The birth of the Butlin's Redcoats

Billy would see that his guest was not as happy as they should be and knew there more to be done. As a person who was ahead of his time, he asked Norman Bradford to get a jacket from his office and put it on. Coming out in a Redcoat, he entertained the guest and the Butlins atmosphere was born. The first of many Redcoats, the entertainment was a huge success. It was at this very moment that Billy created the Redcoats.

1937 - 1938

The importance of Dovercourt Holiday Camp

Billy had asked Harold Ridley Hooper to design and construct a second camp in Dovercourt. It was told that this camp was operated as a Butlins for 1937 - 1938. However, it was used by the government for the use of children from Germany under the name of the "Kindertransport programme". The camp was never officially known as the second camp and was advertised as associated with Butlins. This explains why there are many accommodation units here that look like the original gem in Skegness in today's Butlins. The camp was known to be under the name of the Warners, close friends to Billy Butlin. Major Frank Bonds story (click here to read more) shows the connection to this story and how its related.

Billy Butlin has his second location on his mind

Billy's camp is going very well and his plans for expanding the camp were on his mind. His vision was to have one in Clacton that represented his name. Arriving in 1936, he proposed the idea of building a Butlins in Clacton to receive a negative response from the councilors and residents. However, Billy is a clever man and sees this as a challenge. Inviting them to his Skegness camps, they would see that the camp had been beneficial for employment and for the local town with an increase of customers. Permission to build the second camp was given.


Butlins Holiday Camp - Clacton

Butlin's Clacton is born

Its another great day in the history of Butlins as Clacton opens his second camp. 1938 was the year that the world would see the second Butlins Holiday camp as Skegness is now one of two camps.

30th January 1937

Very important moment in Butlin's History

Billy Butlin was on top with the amusement parks and camps in full force, he continues to grow in strength. He decides that its a great time to change his company into a limited. The new name would become Butlins Ltd to help finance the camps. On the 30th of January 1937, the company changes in to the new name of Butlins Ltd. It was on the On 8 February 1937 that Butlins had shown what it had planned and what is currently within the company. When the shares became available. they would sellout within five minutes.


The first Butlins Hotel - Borehamwood

Butlins was to expand into the hotels as Billy purchases his first hotel in Thatched Barn in Borehamwood, This is based just outside London and was to be the first place his adventure would start for the hotel division. The hotel was never to see the future Billy had planned for it. The Special Operations Executive had taken it for the use of the war.


The Birth of Cherrie Butlin

Nora and Billy are extremely pleased to say that that Cherie is born in 1939. Cherie was also known as Cherry.


Butlin's Holiday Camp - Filey

Butlins Filey was being built for the third Butlins camp to open however, it was not open after construction as World War two had started. The ministry had financed its completion. Harry Warner was asked to help with the supervision of the build as Billy worked on a project.

Billy Butlin helping towards World War Two

Billy Butlin was asked to allow his camps to be transferred to the ministry for the war as a means of training the troops. He was also asked to build more camps to help support the war. Billy had agreed with the understanding that the camps are given back to him once the war is finished. The ministry had agreed to these terms and financed the builds with Billy supervising.

Butlin's Holiday Camp - Pwllheli

Supervising the builds, Pwllheli was built for the use of the ministry, with the agreement of them coming to Billy once completed. The builds were supervised by Billy Butlin to make sure they were done to how he liked them.

Butlin's Holiday Camp - AYR

Supervising the builds, AYR was built for the use of the ministry, with the agreement of them coming to Billy once completed. The builds were supervised by Billy Butlin to make sure they were done to how he liked them.

Butlin's is temporary closed and renamed

Billy had supported the war as Butlins Holiday Camps are closed until the war has comes to an end.  The two new camps are built and the current ones are renamed. Below is the names of the holiday camps. 

Butlin's Skegness is now called: HMS Royal Arthur,

Butlins Filey is called: RAF Hunmanby Moor

Butlins Clacton: Was going to be used as a prisoner of war camp, however, this was never was to happen. It was then used to train Pioneer Corps

Butlins new camp, Pwllheli was named: HMS Glendower,

Butlins second new camp, AYR was named: HMS Scotia


The birth of Sandra Butlin

Billy and Nora are extremely pleased to introduce their new family addition, Sandra Butlin. Sandra was born in 1941.

William Butlin works with the ministry

Billy is a person that has no time to sit around and do nothing as he continues to find ways to help others. Working for the ministry, Billy was asked to go around and see why the morale was low in the factories. It was at Royal Ordnance Factory in Chorley that Billy had seen the houses to be camouflaged with barbed wire around them. Billy could see and understand why the feeling was low and done what he did best, boost the morale of all people. He did this with his knowledge of the holiday camps and his experience from the fairs. Placing entertainment in place, his idea worked as his legacy continued to grow. Just like Butlin holiday camps, Billy had done something when it was needed the most.

William Butlin becomes the Director General of hostels

Billy was promoted to the role of Director-General of Hostels as his hard work helps so many people smile during a very hard time. Billy was all about the promotion of positive thinking as he introduces many people to the whist drives, amateur dramatics, theatrical productions, and cinema.

In 1943, he would insist that the staff members were to take their holiday entitlement whilst at home. Traveling fairs played a major role to help with boosting the morale and to give a person a chance to smile. 

The 21 Club

Billy was doing a great job as he was asked by Bernard Montgomery to set up the 21 clubs for the 21st army group. The club started in Brussels and spread though Europe very quickly as a place to go for rest for servicemen and women.


William Butlin receives a MBE

For his service to the ministry, Billy Butlin receives an MBE in 1944 for his wartime services and for he has done to support the war.

1945 - 1946

Butlin's Holiday Camps are reopened

The war has come to an end and life has changed a great deal. The camps have started to make their way back to Billy. Here is the details of what happened and in what year below;

Butlins Skegness: 11th May 1946 it reopens as a holiday camp

Butlins Filey: May 1945, half the camp was returned back to Billy. With the help of RAF troops, it was reopened in 1945. However, it wall handed back later on that year, allowing for nearly 11000 customers to come and stay.

Butlins Clacton: This camp was damaged a great deal from the use of the troops. However, Billy had continued to bring it back to a holiday camp. It was reopened April 1946

Butlins Pwllheli: This camp was sold to Billy and opened as a Butlins in March 1947.

Butlins AYR: As with Pwllheli, it was sold to Billy and opened in 1947 as a Butlins.


Butlin's Holiday Camp - Mosney

Billy had decided to expand his legacy away from the United Kingdom and open a camp in Ireland. Based in Mosney, it was looked as an idea that would not work well in Ireland. Billy was challenged to this, however he always liked a challenge. He continued to abide and respect the community and Ireland, with many additional items being added to the camp.Opened with the support from William Norton, the Minister for Social Welfare, the camp was added to the Butlins Holiday Camps legacy.


Butlin's Hotels - Bahamas

Billy and Butlins were on the top and his camps were proving to be a huge success. On a trip to the Bahamas, he had seen an opportunity to expand his empire away from the United Kingdom. In partnership with Sir Bede Edmund Hugh Clifford, they purchased land in Grand Bahama. Billy purchases the Princess Hotel in Bermuda and the Fort Montagu beach hotel in Nassau.


Butlin's Ingoldmells Hotel

After the closure of his first hotel in Borehamwood, Billy opened a new hotel next to the Skegness camp. The hotel shared all that was on offer on the camps and was an extension to the camps.


Butlin's Heads of AYR Hotel

After the closure of his first hotel in Borehamwood, Billy opened a new hotel next to the AYR holiday camp. The hotel shared all that was on offer on the camps and was an extension to the camps.


Butlin's Holiday Camps - Bahamas

Another camp is added to the Butlins name as we seen the opening of the Caribbean camp. Not completed, it was partially opened at the cost of $5 million dollars. The camp was working to be a hard one to finish as he needed to invest another $2.25 million dollars to complete it.

Butlins promotion for holidays abroad with a brand you trusted

Billy was determined to make the Butlins Caribbean work successfully. To help promote the new camp, he arranged for a mystery flight for guests at the cost of £129 each. They would arrive at the resort and see the new addition to Butlins and all that the camp offers.

Butlins in the Bahamas closes and sold.

It was never a failure when it comes to the Bahamas Butlins as Billy's idea was an excellent one but the timing was just out. Having to face the facts that the camp was not going to do well at this stage, he decided it was best to come back to the United Kingdom and Ireland to concentrate on the company. It was not soon after his departure that the interest had increased on the former Butlins camp, showing it was all about the timing. Billy was disappointed but was now more determined to get his company on the correct pathway. Billy Butlin is a clever man who knew what was needed to be done and when it was needed.


Butlin's Hotel - Brighton

Billy was expanding his company in the hotel division when he got the lease for the Ocean hotel in Brighton. Opening it's doors on the 2nd May 1953, Butlins hotels expanded to three.


William Colborne Butlin passes away

Rest in peace Mr. Colborne Butlin.

Another sad day in the Butlins story arrived in 1954, when news arrived that Billy Butlin father had passed away. Information had shown that there was very little known about Billy Butlins father, William Colborne Butlin however, it was known that he remained in Cape town until his death.


Butlin's Hotels - Blackpool

The Butlins hotel division grows by one with the purchase of a hotel, increasing the options available to customers for their entertainment and breaks with the great name Butlins.


Butlin's Hotels - Cliftonville Queens

The Butlins hotel division grows by one with the purchase of a hotel, increasing the options available to customers for their entertainment and breaks with the great name Butlins.


Butlin's Hotels - Cliftonville St Georges

The Butlins hotel division grows by one with the purchase of a hotel, increasing the options available to customers for their entertainment and breaks with the great name Butlins.


Butlin's Hotels - Cliftonville Norfolk Hotel

The Butlins hotel division grows by one with the purchase of a hotel, increasing the options available to customers for their entertainment and breaks with the great name Butlins.


Butin's Hotel - Cliftonville The Florence Hotel

The Butlins hotel division grows by one with the purchase of a hotel, increasing the options available to customers for their entertainment and breaks with the great name Butlins.


Doris "Dolly" Mabel Butlin

Rest in peace Mr.s Butlin (Cheriton)

In 1958, sad news arrive that Doris Butlin (Cheriton) has passed away. Dolly is Billy Butlin first wife.


The Variety Club

In 1959, William "Billy" Butlin becomes the Chief Barker of the Variety Club, a position that he proud to present.                                                                                                                                                                          


Norah Faith Cheriton and Billy Butlin get married

With the passing of Dorris, Billy and Norah are free to marry. After a long relationship, Billy Butlin and Noarah would become husband and wife.


William Butlin's "This is your life"

To the surprise of Billy Butlin, he was presented with the great Redbook from Eamonn Andrews. This happened on his wedding day, making it a complete surprise to Billy, in 1959.

Norah Faith Butlin and Billy Butlin are separated

The relationship was not going very well with Norah and Billy as they drifted apart from each other. Unfortunately, the marriage had failed after a long relationship. Billy and Norah were married for several months before they separated. With little hope of the relationship getting better, it decided that it was best to end the marriage, however, like Dolly, Norah refused a divorce.

Sheila Edwina Devine

With his relationship with Norah coming to an end, Billy would be Sheila Devine. They got to know each another very well and fell in love as they enjoyed each anothers company a great deal. Marriage was not going to be an option as Norah was still married to Billy however, their love was strong.


Butlin's Holiday Camps - Bognor Regis

The story of the camp that was always meant to be is in Bognor Regis. At first, like Clacton, he was refused permission to have a camp represent his name in the town. However, Billy was always one step ahead and knew that having the zoo and shops there was enough for his name to be shown. It was much later, in 1960 that we see the council require the properties he has for development.

The deal was simple "give me that land there for a camp and you can have these", well maybe not the exact words but that is how Billy got his camp in Bognor Regis. You can read more about this special event via this link, which has more information about this story.


The Birth of William Junior

Billy Butlin and Sheila are extremely pleased to introduce their son William Junior to the family. William is born in 1960 and known as Billy.

Unknown Year

The birth of Jacquie Butlin

Billy Butlin and Sheila are extremely pleased to introduce their daughter Jacquie Butlin.

** I am unable to find the year of when Jacquie was born, so placed it here as it's an important event in the timeline **


Carl Alan Awards

For his services to dance, Billy Butlin was awarded the Carl Alan Award.

William "Billy" Butlin is now
Sir William Butlin (Sir Billy Butlin)

For his service to charity, Billy Butlin was knighted and became Sir Billy Butlin. Sir Billy Butlin is one of two people to be given a knight hood in his family, with his great grand father Sir Henry Trentham Butlin.


Butlin's Holiday Camps - Minehead

Butlins had arrived in the Southwest of England in Somerset. Around a hour drive from Tauton, it was located near the West Somerset Railway. Butlins Minehead had cost £2 million pounds to build.

View the Butlins Minehead Time Line here or click on the photo.

28th January 1963

The Bill Butlin Charity Trust

Sir Billy and Lady Sheila Butlin open a new charity called "The Bill Butlin Charity Trust".  The charity helped children, young people, elderly people and people with disabilities by giving grants to organisations. 

1964 - 1965

The Butlin's Monorail Train

Getting the idea of Disney, Sir Billy Butlin had asked a local firm to construct and start the designing of the monorail system in 1964. This was to be the first commercial monorail system in the United Kingdom costing £50,000. The monorail train was opened in Skegness in 1965, an icon was born and the image of Butlins had changed a great deal.


Butlin's Holiday Camp - Barry Island

One very important camp is Barry Island as it was this location where Billy Butlin had the idea of starting his legacy. A landlady for a bed and breakfast had locked him out and he had waited for her to come back to gain access. It was at this point that Billy knew what he wanted and started his idea. At this stage, in 1966, Billy had hotels and camps representing his name. Barry Island was the last camp to open in Butlins and the last one where Sir Billy Butlin was leading the company.


Sir Billy Butlin donates towards charity

Sir Billy Butlin donated £100,000 into his Bill Butlin charity trust. This was in support of the police officers that were incapacitated or fatally injured while on active duty. This generous donation gained public support, which allowed the fund to grow to £250,000. This continued and went over £1 million pounds.


The Variety Club

Sir Billy Butlin is once again the Chief Barker of the Variety Club in 1966                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


The Monorail train arrives to Minehead

The second camp to receive the Monorail train is Minehead, The design of the track was different from the one in Skegness. This track was shaped in the number eight, with one track going above or under the other.


Sir Billy Butlin officially retires

With the changes in the method of how income tax is calculated, Sir Billy Butlin was told that his contribution would be extremely high. Reviewing his options, Sir Billy made the decision to retire and move to Jersey, where the income tax was lower.


Robert Butlin takes over - 1968/69

The start of Robert's time in Butlins had started with an attempted take over by the Phonographic Equipment. It was told that Sir Billy Butlin came out of retirement as a consultant to fight this takeover. This was successful with Sir Billy Butlin returning to retirement.

1970 - 1974

The Heads of AYR and Ingoldmess hotels closes

Changes are starting to be made and two areas that were to close was the ones in AYR and Skegness. 


Butlins Holiday Camps and Hotels 
has a new owner

In 1972, Sir Billy Butlin and Robert Butlin agree to a take over from the Rank organisation in 1972 for £43 million pounds Butlins has a bright future ahead of it as Rank is determined to keep Butlins going for many years as they start to invest into the sites to bring them up to date. 

Logo is copyright to the Rank organisation and can be removed at anytime.


An extremely sad day that no Butlins staff member wanted to hear was in 1980.

Sir Billy Butlin has passed away

Rest in peace Sir William (Billy) Butlin.

In 1980, the sad news had been told that Sir Billy Butlin had passed away. His legacy continues as Butlins says goodbye to its founder. Billy Butlin had done some amazing job creating a company that done so much for so many people. It was told that many members of staff and customers had raised their drink is respect to Sir Billy Butlin on this day.

Married to Lady Shelia, Billy was buried in Jersey with his grave in the shape of a double bed with the fairground image on his grave. May you rest in peace Sir Billy Butlin and thank you for all you have done and what a story.


Butlins Holiday Camp Mosney Closes

More bad news arrived as the current owners of Butlin's makes the hard decisions to close down their camp in Ireland. The only camp to represent the name Butlins in Ireland was to close it gates as a Butlins.


Butlin's Hotels - Scarborough

The Butlins hotel division grows by one with the purchase of a hotel, increasing the options available to customers for their entertainment and breaks with the great name Butlins.


New Hotel: Torremolinos

Torremolinos hotel is purchased and becomes the third hotel to be outside the United Kingdom, however its the only one to be operating as the other two were closed down in the Bahamas.


Butlins Clacton and Filey Closes down

Sad news arrived when the current owners, Rank organisation, had decided to close down both Filey and Clacton. The second and third eldest camps would close its gates as a Butlins forever in time. It was told that they were closed due to a lack of interest in customers booking at these locations and competition from people going on holiday aboard more.


Robert Butlins steps down as leader of Butlins

In 1984, Robert Butlin had made the decision to no longer run Butlins. This was a sad moment in Butlins as there was now no Butlin family member involved with the highest level decisions.


Butlins in Barry Island closes down

More sad news arrives as an important camp where the Butlins idea started from and where Sir Billy Butlin was still in control of the company had arrived. The owners at the time, Rank organisation, had made the decision to close down Barry Island Butlins. There were plans to keep it originally, however, this was to never happen. The camp closed its gates at the end of 1986 as a Butlins camp, with only one other camp now in Wales.


Rank makes a big investment

Butlin's Holiday Worlds era has started

Rank had made a large investment into the five remaining camps and started the new era, known as Butlin's Holiday Worlds. With the change on the camps, the uniforms would also change to match the new era.


The Butlin's Holiday hotels

As with the camps, the hotels are re-branded as "Butlins Holiday Hotels".

Butlin's Skegness is renamed for the second time

Welcome to Butlin's Funcoast World

Skegness has been renamed to Funcoast World during the Holiday Worlds era.

Butlin's Pwllheli is renamed for the second time

Welcome to butlin's Pwllheli Holiday World


Butlin's AYR is renamed for the second time 

Welcome to Butlin's AYR Holiday World


Butlin's Bognor Regis is renamed for the second time 

Welcome to Butlin's Southcoast World


Butlin's Minehead is renamed for the second time 

Welcome to butlin's Somerwest World


Butlin's Pwllheli is renamed for a third time.

The camp is now known as  Butlin's Starcoast World


Butlin's AYR is renamed for a third time.

The camp is now known as Butlin's Wonderwest World


Butlin's Celebrates their Diamond Jubilee

Rank transforms the camps to show many photos of Sir Billy Butlin and introduce the history back the camps. There is much that has been down to show this amazing moment in Butlins History.


The Rank organisation opens museums to show the archive products and introduce many to the history of Butlin's


A large investiment to change Butlins into a new era.
Welcome to Butlins Entertainment Resorts

In a big move, Rank had decided it was time to move Butlins into a new era and re-branded the name to "Butlins, Family Entertainment Resorts". The term camp was scrapped from the name and a new era had started with pavilions being added to the remaining resorts. 

Butlins Minehead

One of the remaining resorts to continue representing Sir Billy Butlins legacy is in Minehead. The resort has seen many changes as the clubs reduce down to two and the outside swimming pool is removed. The pavilion, as shown, is installed and a new era of Butlin's Minehead has started.  The monorail and cable cars are removed from the location. 

Butlin's Skegness

Butlin's Funcoast World has closed down and a new era of Butlins has started with the camp being renamed to Butlins Skegness. The term camp is scrapped as it is now known as resorts with the outdoor pool, cable cars and monorail train removed from the site. 

Butlin's Bognor Regis

The smallest of the three, Butlins in Bognor Regis has also seen a large transformation with the outdoor swimming pool being removed. The camp has also seen the introduction of the pavilions. 


All Butlins Hotels are closed down

Under the new transformation of Butlin's, Rank would close down all the Butlin's hotels and sell them. Butlins at this stage has no hotels in its profile. 


Butlins AYR Closes down
However, it's transferred to Haven, the sister company. 

Wonderwest World is the final name for the former location of Butlin's AYR as it closed its gates at the end of 1998 as a Butlin's. Still remaining in the same company, Rank organisation, this lovely location is transferred to Haven's. This is also the moment when Butlins is no longer represented in Scotland.


Butlins Pwllheli Closes down
However, it's transferred to Haven, the sister company. 

Starcoast World is the final name for the former location of Butlin's Pwllheli as it closed its gates at the end of 1998 as a Butlin's. Still remaining in the same company, Rank organisation, this lovely location is transferred to Haven's. This is also the same moment that there is no Butlins in Wales. 


Butlins Holiday Resorts
has a new owner

The Rank organisation strong connection to the Butlin's story finishes here as the last remain three Butlins are sold to Bourne Leisure Limited. Butlins was not alone as Haven and the Warners hotels was also a part of the sale. Butlins is under new management and a new era started for Butlins. Bourne has a lot of plans in mind for the resorts as they starting planning of the future. 


Butlins Hotels - The Shoreline Hotel

Bourne Leisure Limited have been investing a great deal into the resorts with a surprise of a return of the Butlins Hotels. The first one to arrive back into Butlins is the Shoreline Hotel in Bognor Regis. 


New build - Blueskies Apartments

In a new development in Butlins Minehead, the Beachcomber building is demolished, the lake is partly filled and a new build arrives to the resort. This is called the Blue Skies building, which was a time share idea. 


Sad news in the Butlins History

May you rest in peace Robert Butlin.

Robert Butlin passes away in 2008, may you rest in peace.


Butlins Hotels - Ocean Hotel

A second hotel is reintroduced back into Butlins in the Bognor Regis resort, named after the former hotels, The Ocean Hotel.

26 April 2011

The Bill Butlin Charity Trust Closes Down

The charity was run separated from the company and was under another ownership. Records show that this was the date the charity had been closed.


Butlin's Hotels - Wave Hotel

Hotel number three is back in Butlins, again in the Bognor Regis resort. 


New Build - New style chalets built in Butlin's Minehead

Bourne continue to invest a great deal of money into Butlins and its showing, these wonderful chalets are now in Butlins and are stunning to see.


Bourne Leisure Limited invest £40 million pounds into Bognor Regis Resort 

In a large investment plan, Bourne continue to show how much they are in the Butlins name as they continue to invest more money into the resorts. Still free to use within your package deal, this new swimming pool brings a lot of the original Butlins into its theme. 


Former staff accommodation is removed and replaced with new caravan type of design in Minehead

The staff accommendation unit at the rear have been demolished at Butlin's Minehead. The reason for this is unknown at this time, however, I would say its about the age of the units and the sea air not helping. In 2019, these were demolished and removed however, planning permission was already submitted to have replacements in this location.

Image above is copyright to Google Maps. 


New staff caravans at Minehead

Bourne and Butlins have submitted planning permission to build caravans at the rear of the resort for the use of staff and replace what has been removed. Planning permission has been granted. 


Bognor Regis Pavilion removal Proposal


Permission has been submitted for the removal of the old pavilion at Bognor Regis. Development of the area has been submitted to have this removed with a restoration of the area. At this moment, the pavilion remains in place. 


Ingoldmells building is to be removed with a new replacement arcade coming soon!

Ingoldmells hotel

Butlin's had announced that the former hotel building, known as the Ingoldmells building was to be removed. However, they also told us that the location is going to see a new arcade being built in it's place. 


Minehead Reds get's bigger!

Reds gets bigger!

Butlin's have announced that they are making their Reds entertainment bigger to help with the amount of guest on the resort. This means that short of 300 additional people can now see the shows in this wonderful venue. With much history, we also see the relocation of the stage for the first time in so many years. 


Hello Studio 36!

Welcome Studio 36!

The photo above is from Butlins.com, showing off their new buildings being introduced to the three resorts. This is to help with the restrictions that must be followed with the pandemic and offer more options of entertainment for all the Butlin's guest. Minehead: The former location of the Beachcomber will feature this new building. Bognor Regis: The former location of the old swimming pool. Skegness: I have been told its near the funfair but not yet confirmed, any chance any one looking this can let me know ;) 


Blackstone invest into Butlins, Havens and Warner Hotels


A large firm called Blackstone have purchased a majority share in Bourne Leisure limited, meaning there is going to be more investment into the name we all love. Bourne and Blackstone will work together to keep the names going longer and better options for us all. 

This is the end of the time line for now.