Radio Butlin (Clacton)
Radio Butlin
To keep the guests informed about activities in the camp, Tannoy speakers were fitted in all main buildings and dotted about the chalet lines. Breakfast, lunch and evening meal times were announced by Radio Butlin. They played records too! You didn't have an excuse to miss anything; campers were encouraged to take part and have fun!

Postcard: Redcoat operating Radio Butlin.
| EXIT | Radio Butlin | Tannoy Speakers |
Radio Butlin wasn't actually a wireless station as it only broadcast over the wired Tannoy (speakers) within Butlin's Camp. The Tannoy system was extensively wired, no wonder the photo opposite has so many switch panels and amplifiers. Notice the famous chime bars, by the redcoat's right hand (photo above).

In 1973, cassette tape recorders were still relatively new and I didn't spend all of my holiday waiting to capture sounds, but here are a few announcements from Radio Butlin...

Campers in 1973 were awakened to the gentle sounds of "Sleepy Shores" by Johnny Pearson played over the Tannoy of Radio Butlin.
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"Sleepy Shores music" ...Hello everyone, this is Cathy wishing you a very good morning. The time is now 8 o'clock and breakfast for our first sitting guests will be available at 8.30.
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"This is Radio Butlin calling with a special announcement... It is possible that your chalet may not be finally cleaned or the beds made on your arrival. This is being done so as soon as possible and should be completed in a short while. If however, there is an unreasonable delay, please inform the Chalet Office."
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"... is Radio Butlin, may we remind all car owners to remove their cars to the official car park as soon as possible. We cannot accept any responsibility for damage to cars parked on the camp. Cars parked in the roads adjacent to self-catering chalets should be moved to the self-catering car park." 

"We should appreciate your assistance and co-operation as this will help avoid accidents to children."
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"...This is Radio Butlin calling with a special announcement. At 2.30 this afternoon on the sportsfield we present our Donkey Derby."

"There are 6 races with all the fun and excitement of a day at the races with full Tote facilities and a Tote jackpot. Last weeks prize was over £90.00 in cash which can be won for only 10 new pence. And the jackpot tickets are available from the Redcoats. Programmes with the lucky number on, which will be drawn for a free holiday as the prize, are also available."

"Please ensure that you have placed the correct half of your Donkey Derby jackpot in the box, which will be provided below the commentary box, before the start of the first race which is 3 o'clock. We can't accept responsibility for any ticket not placed in this box."

"Donkey rides for the children are available before and after the race meeting. And the Donkey Derby is sponsored by Benson's superb confectionery."
Tannoy Speakers

  • 1926-Guy R. Fountain founded the company.
  • 1936- Development of high-powered PA system for outdoor applications.
  • 1946-Tannoy appeared in the English Dictionary.
  • 1948-Ronald Rackham invents the Tannoy 15" Dual Concentric loudspeaker as a tool for measuring microphones. The loudspeaker is launched as the Monitor Black. Orders come from GPO.
  • 1956-Tannoy begins renting out PA equipment to all major holiday camps owned by Butlins and Pontins.
  •  2001-Tannoy celebrates its 75th Anniversary.
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