Sunny Clacton - Games, Knobbly Knees, Beauty Competition

  • Theme - Leisure
  • Year - 1939
  • Location - Clacton-On-Sea
  • Filmmaker - W & K O King


This is the Butlin's holiday camp at Clacton - the second of the camps (the first was at Skegness) developed by holiday entrepreneur Billy Butlin. Holiday makers were offered 'round the clock' entertainment - much of it home made. The ethos of the camp was about joining in - everyone was encouraged to take part in silly activities by staff known as "Redcoats". 'Comic Cricket' ends with the umpire (certainly a Redcoat) being thrown into the swimming pool!

Billy Butlin knew the value of celebrities and Arsenal footballers Eddie Hapgood and Cliff Bastin judge a 'Costume & Figure' competition, on August 20th. The winners pose with their prizes and the footballers.

For the men, a 'knobbly knees' competition is a chance to win points for the "houses" - the term for the teams into which the holidaymakers were allocated on arrival. The camp comic sells tickets to a charity event at the Century Cinema.

This film is particularly significant as the year was 1939 and this was the last summer before war was declared and the camp would be requisitioned by the army as a prisoner of war camp.

Parnell's Encyclopaedia Of Association Football carries these entries about Eddie Hapgood and Cliff Bastin:

Cliff Bastin - Had won every honour in English soccer by the time he was 21. Arsenal took him from Exeter as a 17 year old and put him on the left wing where he struck up a fine understanding with Alec James. A remarkable left foot shot and his penchant for dashing into scoring positions brought him 157 league goals for Arsenal, 33 of them in 1932 - 33. This 157 goals was the all time scoring record for Arsenal until it was broken by Ian Wright during the 1997- 98 season.

Eddie Hapgood - Captain in the notorious 'Battle of Highbury' and England's football ambassador during the troubled 1930s, was a vital factor in Arsenal's League and Cup success in that decade. Slight for a full back, he relied successfully on skills, interceptions and anticipation. He was a firm believer in fair play and true sportsmanship, refusing to be provoked even when an Italian broke his nose in that 1934 international at Highbury. Both Cliff Bastin and Eddie Hapgood were named in The Hundred Club, a list of 100 players to have graced the football league, published to make the League's centenary on 4th August, 1998.


Member Comments (4)

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  • Hi Geoff. Completely unrelated but do you know a Linda Ferrar? Someone on Facebook is keen to find a Geoff King. Wondered if you?By: Jaime Kent - 2277 days ago
  • Geoff King, how great to read your comments - and thank you to your grandad and father for such fabulous films - they are the most amazing record and such early colour too!By: jane jarvis - 2482 days ago
  • Fantastic film I have similar ones at home. As William King the filmaker was my grandad. And K O King was my father.By: Geoff King - 2629 days ago
  • Fantastic film I have similar ones at home. As William King the filmaker was my grandad.By: Geoff King - 2629 days ago
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