RESORT by Anna Fox
Butlins Mosney was a very happy part of my childhood. For a few years in the 1970’s we would pack up for two weeks and drive miles and miles from Dundalk. Well it was actually only about an hour up the road but since we didn’t own a car being in one was always intensely long and exciting.
My Granda and uncle would generally be in charge of the road trip. Granda wearing his baseball hat while my uncle in his C&C soft drinks T-shirt waving his cowboy hat out the car window shouting Yi Ha. Oh the excitement. After the first year we coped onto the idea of sharing our chalet with other family members so it was 2 to a bed situation. I remember going in with my Aunty through the day pass gate and my little sister in the silver cross pram. My aunty kept saying, anyone asks you I’m your mother okay. So I held onto the pram handle tight and tried to stop myself from blurting it out that she wasn’t. We got a day pass ticket then off we trotted to the chalet to stay for 2 weeks happy in the knowledge that we tricked them all. We were always in the same upstairs chalets at the front of the green. I don’t know how we managed that. Generally we would get one beside the other and 3 families and a few extras would pile in.
Butlins Mosney was a magical place with a skating ring, amusement park, a lake with boats, a wee train you could sit on, cinema, theatre and an amazing sweet shop. The indoor pool had glass windows on its floor and around the walls so you could stick your tongue out at people in the gift shop below or on the loungestreet while swimming under water. Oh to be able to go back and photograph those memories.
One lucky lady Anna Fox got to do such a thing. Commissioned by Butlins Anna Fox got to spend 2 years photographing life at Butlin’s, Bognor Regis in Sussex one of the last 3 remaining camps in the UK. Her photographs use bold colours and give a slightly surreal and idealistic optimistic view of this family holiday camp. You could say a modern contemporary version of John Hinde’s wonderful Butlins photographs of the 60’s and early 70’s.
You can also read a review of her book on ASX.