Another Butlin’s adventure took place in the spring of 1965. Andy, Big D and I had this bright idea to rough it in Scarborough for a few days and just crash out on the beach or somewhere, no real plan just a jolly good adventure. What could possibly go wrong?
We had seen, and been suitably impressed by, the film The Wild One starring Marlon Brando from 1953, and we were firmly in the mood of the time that just a few years later provided us with Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda and released in 1969, or at least we imagined ourselves in those sorts of characters.
Making ourselves at home
Soon after arriving in Scarborough, our hopes for friendship were immediately encouraged by three young ladies who seemed to show an interest in three easy-going, greasy bikers. A few hours of strolling along the sea front, fun fairs and toffee apples followed, after which they announced that they had to get back to their guest house to join the rest of their family for the afternoon meal. But not before we discovered where they were staying.
We agreed that we would return in the early evening and linger outside so they could let us in and we could then stay with them all night. It never seemed to cross our minds that this could never happen; no not in a million years, for so many reasons too numerous to count. But nothing ventured and all that. Outside the guest house we waited, all we got was a wave from an upstairs window quickly followed by dad coming out to move us on. Dads are like that.
As we continued to hone our tried and tested lingering techniques in the centre of the town, the peace was disturbed by a young chap on a Norton Atlas, a very capable (for the time) 750cc motorcycle. He had decided to impress everyone by blasting it through the narrow streets of Scarborough on a route he seemed familiar with. Round and round he went, he was not dressed for this sort of activity, jeans t-shirt and pumps (trainers), but we suspected that he had spent his money on other things and was having a reet good time.
Breaking into Butlins
I then suggested visiting Butlin’s. My experience of the previous year suggested all we had to do was buy a cowboy hat with ‘kiss me quick’ on the front and we would be fighting all the girls off with a stick and we would be guaranteed some hospitality for the night. That’s how it all seemed the year before in Skegness anyway.
Knowing some of the security systems from the previous year I knew that we couldn’t just go walking through the front gate. We walked around the parameter fencing and dismissed climbing or jumping from an adjacent power substation. Then we discovered a hastily repaired section of fencing where a previous inmate had managed to escape. We were in.
Wearing the kiss-me-quick hat and lips already puckered, we headed for the nearest bar. On our way, we very craftily memorised a chalet number that we passed, completely ignoring the fact that if there was any doubt, Herr Flick from security would equally craftily ask to see our door key. We soon entered the bar and even got our first pint, but it soon became obvious that there was a much better clientele in Scarborough.
A rum do
There were no kiss-me-quick hats, no biker scruffs, no Yorkshire/London banter and we were spotted within five minutes. It wasn’t even Herr Flick’s brother, it was a very tidy and disappointingly pleasant gentleman called Reginald, who even allowed us to drink down our pints before taking us to the gatehouse for consideration as regards involving the police or not. He asked for identification but quickly gave up that idea as it was obvious he was not going to get far. He then spoke to someone on the phone, he described the situation and told whoever was on the other end that we were “compliant now”.
We were marginally offended by this description, actually suggesting that a roughty-toughty, greasy, hairy-arsed biker could be compliant at any time, or that we had not been compliant the whole time (I know this seems contradictory but we were looking to be offended by something). Anyway, we were shown the door with a flea in our ear. I think he was lenient because we must have looked a little pathetic; he even had a smile that bordered on a laugh when he told us that the chalet number that we had carefully memorised was in a block reserved for staff.
The end of the big adventure
Crestfallen and tired, we headed back to the seafront and tried to bed down in a bus shelter but after a few minutes the sea mist came in followed by the hellish loud fog horns to alert shipping. Getting a bit desperate by then, we tried the nearby bus depot and just got settled into a very comfortable, warm bus when the local constabulary heard my snoring and kicked us out of there also. Can you imagine the police having resources to patrol buses now? I haven’t even seen a bobby patrolling our street for ten years or more. We spent the rest of the night in some public toilets and a very happy time was had by all.
We came home to dull, predictable Huddersfield first thing in the morning. I still bump into Andy and Big D from time to time. Like me they have their ailments and are getting on a bit but seem OK. These two Butlin’s adventures are about the limit of naughtiness I care to admit to from those foolish but happy days.