I’ve never been to a holiday camp. If fact, I’ve never been to any type of camp. My family didn’t have the disposable income. I’m sure that I would have had a uniquely negative experience at any kind of camp because I was a moody, miserable child. My summers consisted of hanging out, bored to tears, in the backyard, broken up by occasionally having to mow the grass.
But enough about me.
In Barry Lewis’s new book, Butlin’s Holiday Camp 1982, families seem to be not only enjoying their time at camp, but several families appear to be having an experience that borders on ecstasy. Barry’s color photographs present a heartfelt documentary of a place and a culture that is totally dedicated to giving working-class families an affordable, family-centric vacation experience.
From the book’s press release:
With its ‘glamorous grandmother’ competitions and endless entertainment, Butlin’s in the 80s was the ultimate British package holiday. Barry Lewis’ glorious photographs, taken during a particularly wet summer at Skegness, capture a defiant national spirit at a time when Billy Butlin’s original vision of ‘fun for all the family’ was under threat from cheap foreign travel and the faltering English weather.
Barry Lewis is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in many international publications including The Sunday Times and Life magazine. Barry worked at Butlin’s in the 60s after leaving school, returned to the Skegness camp in 1982 on a photography assignment to undertake this project. We published Barry's previous book, Miami Beach 1988-1995, in 2019.
More info on the book and where to purchase it is below.