RESORT by Anna Fox
Butlins Mosney was a significant part of my childhood. For a few years in the 1970s, we would pack up for two weeks and drive miles and miles from Dundalk. Well, it was 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 was wearing his baseball hat while my uncle in his C&C T-shirt waved his cowboy hat out the car window ahead shouting Yi Ha. Oh, the excitement. After the first year, we began sharing our chalet with more cousins, aunts and uncles. Some of us would pay in for a day pass then trot off to the chalet and stay for the fortnight. We always seemed to acquire the same spot each year, upstairs in the very front row facing the green and all the amusements. I don’t know how we managed that. Generally, we would get one beside the other and two or three families, and a few extras would pile in over the holiday.
Butlins Mosney was a magical place with a skating rink, 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 passers-by outside while swimming underwater. 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 two years photographing life at Butlin’s, Bognor Regis in Sussex one of the last three 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 stunning Butlins photographs of the ’60s and early ’70s.
You can also read a review of her book on ASX.