The history of the first RedcoatDuring the first week of business the guests didn’t seem to be using the camp as Billy had intended; many of them were only mixing with their families. It wasn’t enough to just provide facilities - the campers needed some encouragement. Billy approached Norman Bradford, the senior engineer. Norman was a lively and friendly character and Billy hoped he could help breathe a little life into the camp. That evening Norman got up on stage, told a few jokes and explained a little more about the facilities. Billy soon realised that ‘a few more people around like Norman would work wonders’, and, if these people were to be friendly focal points, they would need to be easily identifiable.
Billy instructed Norman to go and buy a distinctive blazer. Norman returned with a choice of blazers – one in blue, one in yellow and one in white to match the colour scheme - but Billy didn’t think these were quite right. Billy was searching for a colour that portrayed the cheerful holiday atmosphere that he wanted to create; he eventually settled on a bright red blazer inspired by the Mounties he'd seen during his childhood in Canada. By the end of the first week, the Redcoats were born.
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Explore the last eighty years of Butlin's history; from Billy opening his first resort to today's reinvented iconic chalets.
It started in 1938 and to this day our fundraising efforts continue to support the brilliant GOSH Children's Charity.