From the 1930s to the 1960s, millions of British people chose to spend their annual summer break at a holiday camp, taking advantage of the all-in package that included accommodation, food, and plentiful entertainment. The market leader was Billy Butlin whose camps operated on a vast scale, and offered a brightly coloured leisure land in contrast to the drabness of post-war rationing. The holiday camp story, however, goes back to the 1890s, and it continues into the present day with signs of a revival in camp fortunes.
Kathryn Ferry celebrates the communal and the kitsch, glamorous grandmother competitions, chalets, Redcoats and all the other well-known symbols of an incredibly popular form of twentieth-century holiday.
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