Sunny Clacton - Beauty Contest & Keep Fit

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


This colour film is a record of the fun and games holiday makers enjoyed at one of the famous Butlin Holiday camps. The timing of the film is particularly significant as this was the summer of 1939 and by the autumn the world would be at war and the camp requisitioned as a prisoner of war camp!
This was the second camp opened by entrepreneur Billy Butlin. His success was partly due to the new Holiday with Pay Act. For the first time workers could take a paid holiday, a sum of £3.10 which matched the price of a week at Butlin’s.

Another big attraction was the continuous activities and entertainments included in the price. Visitors at Butlin’s were put into teams called houses which encouraged competition and participation in all the events. The film shows a number of Beauty and Figure Competitions which were common at this time. With an early awareness of the value of celebrity names , the charity beauty contest on 20th August is judged by film and radio star Terence de Marney and light music composer Michael Carr.
Compere’s, known as “Redcoats” encouraged holiday makers to join in all the entertaining activities and competitions like exercises and games on the beach.


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  • Great Film really evocative of the time.By: Geoff King - 2351 days ago
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