The ‘inside’ story of iconic Butlin’s brand

Looking at the history of Butlins, The Nations Host. Picture: Penguin  Random House
Looking at the history of Butlins, The Nations Host. Picture: Penguin Random House

The name Butlin’s has long been famous when it comes to seaside holidays and now a new book delves into the fascinating history of the company as it celebrates its 80th year.

Accomplished historian Kathryn Ferry has produced a remarkable and unique look into the background of the popular brand.

“The Nation’s Host charts the incredible inside story of Butlin’s, from its origins in a British society still reeling from the economic downturn of the 1920s, to its heyday in the mid-twentieth century and the challenges posed by the arrival of overseas package holidays.”

Publisher Penguin

With more and more Brits opting for ‘staycations’ post-Brexit as the cost of holidaying abroad rises, Butlin’s is continuing to attract visitors year round.

The book, called ‘The Nation’s Host: Butlin’s and the Story of the British Seaside’, has been illustrated with never before seen images from the Butlin’s archive, including Skegness.

Publisher Penguin said: “In 1936, with the opening of his first holiday camp in Skegness, Billy Butlin laid the foundations for a new era in the history of the British seaside.

“Today, his legacy still lives on as Butlin’s celebrates its 80th year as an iconic British holiday retreat.

“The Nation’s Host charts the incredible inside story of Butlin’s, from its origins in a British society still reeling from the economic downturn of the 1920s, to its heyday in the mid-twentieth century and the challenges posed by the arrival of overseas package holidays.

“From travelling showman to entrepreneur, Billy Butlin’s remarkable success lay in offering affordable luxury wrapped in a package of all-inclusive accommodation, meals and high quality entertainment.”

In the book, the author writes: “Asked about the secret of his success in a 1947 interview, Billy Butlin said the key was to ‘strike a lucky idea, sell the people something they need and wrap it in cellophane. The cellophane is important - don’t take this literally - but it’s the way you serve people that really matters; those little touches, the paper you wrap the parcel in and the ribbon you tie it with’.”

The book is released on November 3, with Butlin’s donating a percentage of each book sold to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.