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We are keeping a diary of the project as we go along so you can get a flavour of what we are up to.


February 2024 - Hello Campers on the telly!

The documentary film made as part of this project will be shown a number of times on Together TV including Saturday 3rd February at 7pm. You can find Together TV at: Freeview 83, Sky 170, Virgin 136, and freesat 164 .


October 13th 2023 - Film Screening at The Furzedown Project, Streatham, South London

This afternoon we showed the film at the Furzedown Project in South London. We had two of the people interviewed for the project present and a wonderful audience who really enjoyed the film with a lovely and lively discussion afterwards. Thanks to everyone who came along. We have another screening planned for the Isle of Dogs in November.

Film screening at The Furzedown Project

September 15th 2023 - Film Premiere at the British Film Institute, Southbank

We had a wonderful premiere for the film to a packed audience that included people interviewed for the project and their families and friends, our team of volunteers, and lots more. We presented the film which was followed by a really interesting and moving Q&A. Thanks to everyone who came along. More screenings are planned and will be announced here. You can now watch the film online. Thanks to the BFI for all of their support throughout the project and to everyone else involved. Thanks also to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting this project.

Holiday Camps film premiere at the British Film Institute

Holiday Camps documentary film premiere at the British Film Institute

June 5th to June 16th 2023 - Interviews

We had a wonderful couple of weeks interviewing at the BFI, recording 24 very interesting oral histories with people who had been to all sorts of holiday camps. There were early tales of hop picking, parents avoiding the searchlights at Caister in the 1930s, and day trips to Margate. Our earliest first hand memory goes back to 1947 to a Butlins and we come right up to date with one of our interviewees about to go to a Warners. In between there are stories about the NALGO (now Unison) holiday camps at Cayton Bay and Croyde Bay. Nobbly knee and glamourous granny contests seem to be a feature of holiday camps over several decades all over the country from Pontins to the Savoy Holiday camps, from Cornwall to the Northeast. A common theme is that this was really the first generation for whom holidays became a regular part of the year thanks to rising wages and the "Holidays with Pay Act" of 1938.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to come and share their stories and to our team of researchers who did a brilliant job interviewing and recording. Below are Cathy Welch, Anita Carlton and George Warren during their interviews.

Cathy Welch


George Warren

June 25th to June 26th 2023 - Training

We had a busy couple of days training our team of reserachers. We covered the ethical and practical side of oral history projects looking at audio recording and interview skills. We also worked as a team to work out what themes to explore through the project, building on what we had learned through research, the reminscent group, the visit to Butlins and the talk from the project historian.


audio training

June 23rd June - Day Trip to Butlins

We went on a day trip to Butlins Bognor for research and fun. Most of the team had not been to Butlins before so it was good to see the set-up and explore how it all worked. We wandered around the site, looking at the chalets as well as trying out the bumper cars. It was not as busy as it will be in school holiday times but still good to get a feel of the atmosphere. We even saw a couple of redcoats putting on a show for the children. Below are a few of the team.

June 22rd June - Talk from Historian and Reminiscence Session

We started the project and met the team today. An interesting group with wide and varied experience and interests. After discussing the project in more detail we had a talk from a historian who himself has a history of going to holiday camps. In the afternoon eight of our interviewees came along to take part in a Reminiscence Group, talking about their experiences, sharing photographs and ephemera with eachother and with our team in a relaxed atmosphere. The whole day gave us a really good understanding of the history of the camps and people's varied experiences. Below is Linda Hufford showing some photographs of her holidays.

Reniscence Group