Earlier Days
Butlin's Clacton circa 1950
The functional buildings of Butlin's Clacton were built in the 1930s style of Art Deco. However, in later years, these simply weren't suited to the rapidly changing needs of the Camp infrastructure...

Postcard: Butlin's Luxury Holiday Camp, Clacton-on-Sea.
| EXIT | Early Butlin's | The Viennese Building |
Art Deco

The 1930s were a time of evolving Art Deco buildings, the development of Metroland (London's Tube) and the establishment of paid holidays for the workers. It was against this background in 1938 that Butlin's Clacton came into being. Advertised as a 'Luxury Holiday Camp', at the time it really was! However, this was short-lived as it was handed over to War Office in 1939.

By the end of World War 2, the Camp was in need of repairs and reopened in 1946. By 1955 it had expanded to cater for 6000 Campers. 1955 to 1965 was probably the heyday of full-board catering holidays in the UK, and Butlin's was the place at which to be seen.

The 1960s saw the beginning of the 'White Heat of Technology' as times were changing rapidly and people's expectations and attitudes were markedly different from the pre-war era. The early 1960s saw the boom in car ownership and this put pressure on the Camp to make way for the motor car and to create modern reception, lounge and ballroom facilities.

Circa 1963, the original Reception and Viennese Buildings were replaced by modern steel-framed two storey structures (big sheds) with a-frame sheeted asbestos roofing. These were industrial type buildings as this was still basically a Camp with a weekly throughput of thousands of people. At this time also, a two storey extension to the dining hall/staff area was constructed along the side of the existing single storey building.

The Viennese Building
The Viennese Building
View of the original Viennese Building, the Sportfield and Children's Playground, circa 1963.

Postcard: Children's Playground, Butlin's, Clacton.

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