A reader has got in touch to tell us about his recent experience at Butlin’s. It was ruined by the company’s insistence that all members of staff, including the Redcoats, wear masks at all times.
As the summer holiday season draws to a close, I thought it was worth sharing my experience at Butlin’s – the classic U.K. resort. Unfortunately, it was anything but the post-Step 4 ‘freedom experience’ we expected.
I visited Butlin’s last year in August 2020 and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. Here was a business clearly struggling to squeeze whatever it could out of the ludicrous Government-mandated situation. Shows were outside and we were restricted to tables only – you’d see more dancing in present day Afghanistan. So I was keen to enjoy a fully unrestricted experience when we returned in 2021. But I was wrong.
Butlin’s has hit a new Low-de-Low and has mandated facemasks for all staff – seemingly forever. By all staff, I mean all staff – including Redcoats. For those unfamiliar with the holiday camp experience, the Redcoats are the entertainment team. Multi-talented, relentlessly joyous and an intrinsic part of the Butlin’s experience. Except in 2021 they wear grey rags across their faces – the mask has become an official part of the uniform. So there are no smiles, no laughter and little communication.
Butlin’s has just opened ‘Studio 36’ at their Bognor Regis resort. A huge aircraft-hangar sized entertainment space with a ceiling so high you could stack double-decker buses in it. What’s more, the building has more air conditioning units than a Dubai hotel – I counted over 20 inverters lining the walls. It’s better ventilated than the beach. Studio 36 is a massive and impressive area. But here’s the punch line: the loony mask edict leads to a ludicrous situation whereby you can have 1000 unmasked guests dancing, singing and laughing; a six-piece band playing and…wait for it…two Redcoats either side of the band swaying from side to side – all with masks on! What possible ‘safety’ is this? How does forcing two people (the key entertainers) to wear masks, ‘protect’ a room of over a thousand? It is a ridiculous scenario. I feel genuinely sorry for the Redcoats who are forced to facelessly bob along to the music like castrated fluffers.