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Butlins Beachcomber, Various locations, United Kingdom (bar)

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Name:Butlins Beachcomber
Street:Various locations
City:Various locations
country:United Kingdom

Butlins Beachcombers were a string of Tiki Bars situated within the Butlins Holiday Camp complexes during the 1960's & 1970's. It's widely believed that the owner of Butlin's, Sir Billy Butlin took the idea for the bars after a visit to the Beachcomber Bar at the Mayfair Hotel in London.

The Beachcomber Bars were found in a number of different locations - the Beachcomber at Filey opened in 1965 and others were built at Minehead, Skegness, Bognor Regis, and Barry Island. These bars were probably not made with the highest craftmanship as the holiday camps themselves were built cheaply, catering for a British working class that were living in a time before cheap vacations to places like Spain and France. From what I understand, drinks were not served in Tiki mugs, though a small Tiki plate and a fierce-looking mug were sold as souvenirs.

The bars did't last long, in fact the Barry Island bar burnt down in 1968. As far as I know, little remains of these bars today as Butlins has gone through an almost continuous process of change and refurbishment, with an eye firmly on the trends of the current day.

Trader Woody

[ Edited by: Trader Woody on 2004-03-24 09:38 ]

Most of what is known about these bars comes from postcards such as the one above.

Trader Woody

Here are a few interiors from the Beachcomber Bar in the Mayfair (London).

There was also a Bechcomber bar at the Butlins in Ayr and if i remember the ballroom upstairs was know as the beachcomber ballroom. The Ayr Beachcomber was refurbished into sweeney todds in 1994.

Also info of note Butlin's Beachcomber Bar Barry Island at the time of its opening 1966 it claims to be the largest bar in europe but unfortunatly burns down in 1968.

Here's the swizzle from the London Beachcomber in the Mayfair Hotel:

Found a lovely site full of Butlin's pictures, from what I've read on it no Butlin's beachcomber bars exist anymore (sob) but if you troll around this site there are some nice pictures from Butlin's haydays..


Oh and this site has pictures of the ruined minehead beachcomber back in 2003, with tiki tat stil in it!!



On 2006-02-04 06:02, atomictonytiki wrote:
Oh and this site has pictures of the ruined minehead beachcomber back in 2003, with tiki tat stil in it!!


Amazing! Talk about an incredible discovery.

You UK guys have got to get over there and save that place. Or at least get your hands on those goodies before they hit the dumpsters.

We are too late they started demolition in january 26/01/06 but from other posts on the butlins forums it sounds like the building was gutted back last year..


Joker posted on Sun, Jun 25, 2006 6:25 AM

Just like to thank those who commented on my site.

It is a shame the Beachcomber has gone, yet another piece of Butlins history gone forever.

Have Fun !!!



[ Edited by: Joker 2006-06-25 06:27 ]

Butlin's on Lost

I was watching "Lost" the other day (June 16, episode name "Greatest Hits"). There is a scene in the show where the character Charlie flashes back to being a boy in the U.K. with his father teaching him to swim. Later, back in the present, Charlie is making a list of his fondest memories. He writes "#4 Dad teaching me to swim at Butlins." Sure enough, you can see a sign (if you step frame by frame on your PVR) in the background of the scene that reads "Butlin's Family Fun for Everyone" Too bad they didn't have a scene in one of the Beachcomber Bars.

I'm happy to have a Butlin's souvenir tiki mug in my collection.

  • SV
Thomas posted on Mon, Jul 2, 2007 2:10 PM

The Financial Times recently had an article entitled, "The Smart Money Heads for the Holiday Camps" which began:
Butlins holidaymakers pictured in postcards from the heyday of the resort chain are as culturally mysterious to the modern eye as peat bog mummies. Women with beehive hairstyles dance stiffly round their handbags in ballrooms decked with swags of purple fabric. Men in skinny ties sup pints in Polynesian-themed bars, served by waitresses whose grass skirts reveal legs a rugby player would envy...


There also a good butlins picture book called "our true intention is all for you delight" its got some good beachcomber pics and some other really cheesy ones with stuffy english people "enjoying" there holidy


Just found this link - a very sedate Hula contest at the Skegness Butlins Beachcomber bar.

Apologies if this is a duplication on site - have searched for it, but could have missedit.

Whoa! Nerdsville par excellence, this is what Polynesian (Mom &) Pop is a ll about!

Pages: 1 14 replies