Chalet Lines
"After dark the management ask guests to be quiet in the accommodation lines and consider elderly guests and children"
Chalet Lines
Chalet Lines: It was always fun running along the upper walkways of the chalets as footsteps echoed loudly!

Upstairs accommodation was slightly quieter as you didn't get people walking through to other parts of the Camp.




Photo: On guard  with toy rifle in the Chalet Lines © LSA 1965.
| EXIT | Chalet Lines | James Bond |

Our accommodation was always in 'Red Camp' as it was closest to the arcade shops and theatres and away from the harsh sea breezes! Upstairs chalets gave good views of the rest of the Camp and were away from the splashes of the rain. It felt more secluded.

The chalets were very basic by today's standards. The roofs look like they were made of asbestos and most of the staircases were wooden. In some of the older chalet lines, new metal stairs had been fitted. Our later chalets were en suite with a bath and toilet and there was an electric wall heater for the colder months. A blue painted chest of drawers (and probably a wardrobe) was adequate for the few holiday clothes that you would need for sunny Clacton.

We each had a key to the chalet, so that we could come and go as we pleased. The keys were valuable in a sense that you surrendered them in exchange for skating hire and other activities and also had to show them to get a pass card if you left the camp gates.

Chalet Lines
Upstairs on the chalet line
It was quite private on the upstairs balconies, except for the daily chalet maid who made up the beds and cleaned.






Photo: Upstairs on the chalet line © LSA.
D 113
Underneath the chalet number, there was a label holder on every door so you could insert your name details, as you preferred.  The chalet 'at the top of the stairs' was actually M 113, although the door pictured above is D 113 which we occupied another year.





Photo: Chalet No. D 113 © LSA.
On the up!
The chalets were well-constructed, although some of the wooden staircases had been replaced by metal ones. 





Photo: On the up! © LSA.
Mum and I
My cardigan was covered in Butlin badges from earlier years. 






Photo: Mum and I © LSA.
Cheers!
The chalets were sparsley decorated with plastered and emulsioned walls, thin curtains and basic furnishings. The majority of the time was spent outside, so it was adequate for the era.  






Photo: Cheers! © LSA.
10:40 p.m.
We used to pop into Clacton town to buy a few drinks for in the chalet, as it was cheaper than spending in the bars. Notice the glass (instead of plastic) Coke bottle.




Photo: Smiling at 10:40 p.m. © LSA.
The clock on the chest of drawers has some significance. When at Clacton in 1964 or 1965, I hadn't yet learned how to tell the time and I remember mum sticking a plaster onto the clock to tell me when to leave the chalet to watch Noggin the Nog in the TV rooms. In the photo above I am wearing my Timex watch which was a present from mum while on holiday in 1967 or 1969.

Noggin the Nog  www.smallfilms.co.uk/noggin/ and The Northlands www.nogginthenog.co.uk

During the 1960s there were only two mainstream TV channels. The Camp provided TV rooms with black and white sets, one for BBC1 and another for ITV. It was a lifetime away from today's holidays where everyone has a TV in their apartment! The culture was entirely different as computers and mobile phones were many decades from becoming everyday gadgets.
 
Mum and Dad
The top of the stairs was a nice little sun trap for afternoon lounging for my Dad to read the newspaper. 





Photo: Mum and Dad © LSA.
In holiday dress
Posing for a photo. 





Photo: Mum in one of her holiday dresses © LSA.
Along the Chalet Lines
The chalet pathways had sections of garden at intervals.





Photo: Pausing to reflect © LSA 1964.
James Bond

James Bond has several associations with Butlins as the film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' was screened in the Playhouse Theatre in 1971. In 1973 a bedtime story was my Dad reading an extract from Roger Moore's book...
Live and Let Die
This paperback was published while we were on holiday in 1973, so a trip into Clacton to buy a copy was essential. The newspapers of the week were full of Bond stories as the film was due its UK release.





Paperback: Roger Moore as James Bond 007. Roger Moore's own account of filming Live and Let Die.
   

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