NALGO Croyde Bay Holiday Camp

Croyde Bay

On April 11th 1936 Billy Butlin opened his first Holiday Camp at Skegness in Lincolnshire and although I worked there one summer season in 1973 I have never stayed at Butlins as a holiday maker I have, on family holidays, stayed several times at the NALGO Holiday Camp at Croyde Bay in Devon.

NALGO stood for National Association of Local Government Officers, a white collar Trade Union that along with Cayton Bay in Scarborough owned and operated Croyde Bay Holiday Camp for its members.  Dad was branch secretary of the Rugby Rural District Branch so I suppose it was inevitable that we would holiday there and we went for the first time after he had learned to drive and had his first car in 1964.

It was a long drive from Rugby to Devon and without motorways this meant an early start.  Dad didn’t like stopping much once he had got going but I am fairly certain at some point he would have been required to pull up by the side of the road so that we could have the obligatory picnic.  Mum had prepared the spam sandwiches the night before and we were going to eat them whether anyone wanted them or not!

The old Austin couldn’t go very fast and this combined with dad’s steady driving meant a journey that today would take no more than three hours would take five or six squashed in the back seat with my brother and sister and grandparents, because they generally came along on family holidays as well.  Naturally therefore we were all thoroughly relieved when shortly after passing through Barnstable we could see the signs for Croyde Bay and we were really glad when we pulled into the camp off Croyde Road and dad went to the office to register our arrival and be allocated our holiday chalets, which would be home for the next week.

There were approximately one hundred and fifty semi-detached chalets, all pebble-dashed and painted green and white, each having its own tidy front garden full of rose bushes and standing in neat regimented rows around the various open green spaces.  Inside they were sparsely furnished with none of the facilities that today would be regarded as basic essentials.  Floral curtains at the windows and two single beds, a wardrobe and a bedside table was just about it but they did have a separate bathroom so at least it wasn’t like caravanning with communal washrooms and toilets.

The camp was nicely laid out with a big central green area where all the events were carried out – sports day, Miss Croyde Bay competition (my sister won the competition in 1972), knobbly knees and so on.  Later on they built an outdoor swimming poll in one corner but it wasn’t there the first time that we stayed.  In other parts of the grounds there were grass tennis courts (later converted to clay), mini clock golf and a bowling green exclusively for adults.

The main communal areas were basically a series of wooden huts and here was the dining room, a camp shop where we spent any prize money and the concert hall where there was a full programme of events, a couple of dances, a camp concert and a cinema evening.  In the early days there was no bar so if adults wanted a drink they had to walk to the village which is where my granddad disappeared to most days but later there was a bar.

The Camp of course had its own Ted Bovis (Hi-de-Hi) who had the nickname ‘Sporty’ and his job was to provide all of the non-stop entertainment for the week.  This must have been a tedious ‘groundhog day’ sort of job going through the same routine week after week after week.  Everyone was obliged to have a camp nickname which had to be written on a cardboard badge and pinned on our shirts and blouses.  Half of the badges were red and the others were blue because the guests were divided into two teams and there were competitions all week to see which one would win.  I can remember being bitterly disappointed if at the end of the week I wasn’t on the winning team.

Breakfast and evening meal was served in the dining room where everyone sat on crude metal framed chairs in regimental rows at wooden formica topped tables and selected from the menu (take it or leave it) and I don’t remember it being very thrilling!

Croyde Bay Dining Room

The events started soon after parents had put the children to bed and this was a bizarre thing that I couldn’t imagine happening now but people volunteered to do baby listening patrols and parents were entirely comfortable with this arrangement.  I mean these people hadn’t had CRB checks or anything to confirm their suitability for such responsibility.  They would walk around the camp with a wooden baton as a symbol of their responsibility and if they heard a baby cry or came across a distressed child they would run back to the concert hall and chalk a message on a blackboard to alert the party going parents.


The best thing about Croyde Bay was the location squeezed in between a pretty Devonshire village and a magnificent crescent shaped sandy beach.  In the village there were quaint houses and cream tea shops and on the beach the sea rolled in and crashed onto the sand in big Atlantic breakers.  A path from the camp led down past the tennis courts and through sand dunes, across permanently soft dry sand above the high tide line and then an endless stretch of hard wet sand that was just perfect for beach cricket and football, flying kites and making sand castles.

Crode Bay Nalgo Holiday Camp

There wasn’t really any need to leave the camp so the car stayed locked up resting in the car park while we spent sunny days on the beach or wet ones being entertained in the concert hall.  Most people joined in on sports day and there was a prize giving night sometime towards the end of the  week.

I liked going to Croyde Bay Holiday Camp and it was a good job I did because we returned several times over the next few years in 1967, 1972 when I met and fell in love with a girl from Edinburgh, Jackie Grieg, and finally in 1974 when I was really too old to be hanging about with my parents on a holiday camp vacation.  In between we went to Cayton Bay in 1970 but I didn’t like it there quite so much.

Croyde Bay Holiday Camp is still there but it has been reinvented as Croyde Bay Holiday Village, my Mum went there a couple of years ago and she said that it hadn’t changed very much at all.  I thanked her for the tip off and went to the Ryanair site to look for a cheap air flight to somewhere exciting in Europe.

If you like this post then you might like to check out the NALGO Croyde Bay Facebook Page:



58 responses to “NALGO Croyde Bay Holiday Camp

  1. Great!! Didn’t know about the NALGO one at Cayton Bay though. That must be the one that is caravans now?? Or at least part caravans.

    I went to Croyde Bay as a kid too. But it was a caravan site. As you say, beautiful beach. I don’t remember doing anything, apart from … going to the beach. It was great weather too.

  2. katharine Hailes

    I went to Croyde from 1970 till 1980 same two weeks every year. My ‘camp’ name was Scallywag!! Caton Bay was sold and bungalows built on it as they said the cliff was falling into the sea…………well it did! only a couple of years ago, some of the bungalows were demolished as the cliff collapsed. I spent many happy summers at Croyde and Cayton. On of my fondest memories was waking everyone up with the bell you had to take around the chalets, and spending your winnings voucher from sports day in Reg’s shop!! happy memories

  3. Yes, we went as a family every May half term and we would recognise the same crowd of people every year too. Never had bad weather, it was always hot! We went every year from 1969-1976. They were very happy holidays. Every year my brother and I used to wave our parents off on the camp- organised marathon run, to Baggy Point and back, with Sporty at the lead.I remember rehearsing through the week, for the end of week Thursday night concert. The excitement on the grand night, with the costumes and make up, was such fun. I also loved the childrens session early evening, making firework noises under the rotating, coloured ceiling light, above the ballroom dancefloor and thumping the dancefloor with our hands, to make as much noise as possible, with Sporty of course. After singing “good night campers”, with Sporty leading us to the exit, I used to sneak back in, for the grown ups ballroom dancing. We were never late for dinner, but laughed at those that entered the canteen late as everyone shouted “Box” at them, for a reminder of the late fine! (Box hung on the door). I also remember everyone singing out loud the song “always eat when you are hungry” every meal time. Not sure who started it off each day! Just knew 1976 would be the last year to go ( just too old) and rumours were that Sporty was leaving ( he was there for years) and he would have been impossible to replace!

  4. my father worked he in camp entertainment must have been late 50s early 60s , he used to cycle back and forward to work from Braunton where we lived at the time.

  5. I’ve just had a great nostalgia trip reading this. I was holidaying there around the same time as you. I was generally pretty hopeless at sports, but I think I won the children’s fancy dress competition once. Apart from Sporty, there was also a lady there called Nurse or maybe Nursey (sounds a bit Black Adderish!) who looked after the younger children. I remember being hugely disappointed when I was thirteen and too old for the children’s activities. We also met the same families there every year we went. One large family must have been music lovers as all the children were given musical names: the daughter nearest my age was called “Allegro” and the youngest, appropriately, “Finale”!
    Our family album has several fading snaps of all the holidaymakers for each year we went, as we were all corralled into a group photo.
    Thank you for posting your memories.
    Sadly, I can still remember ALL the words to “Goodnight, Campers”!

  6. Hi Marion.
    Thanks for adding your memories to the post. Every time someone responds it triggers another memory. I had forgotten about the nurse. Well done on winning the fancy dress competition – what did you go as?

    • I’d taken horse-riding kit with me (the jodphurs used to be my aunt’s and were enormous corduroy ones, and old-fashioned, even for those times) and my dad borrowed 2 vinyl singles from somewhere and tied on to my front and one to my back, so I went as a disc jockey! I think that was the winning outfit. I entered every year but usually won nothing:(

  7. Thoroughly enjoyed reading these posts. My family went to croyde every year from the late 60s to late 70s. Our family camp names were petrol stations, my dad “jet”, mum “shell” and me “esso”. Me and my two brothers all had our first “experiences” with girls at croyde, normally behind the chalets during breaks in the ballroom dancing! Does anyone remember the chalet parties in the single chalets, drinking from “party 7’s” tins, playing postmans knock. Won the fancy dress many a year with my “baggy point” costume wearing my dad’s baggy swimming shorts and a pointed hat! Remember the late nights and parties in the TV room and the snooker room. Made some really good friends who i met every year and still remember now. Isn’t nostalgia brilliant!

    • Good names, we always struggled with coming up with something original!
      Baggy Point – brilliant – took me few minutes to get that one.
      Who could forget Party 7’s, red for bitter and blue for mild (I think).
      Thanks for adding your memories to the post.

  8. I am James Hudson’s (above) brother nick. I loved this place – went there with my parents aged 3 in 1959 and almost every year till about 1975 then took my own kids there and they have taken their kids there till about 10 years ago when sadly it was so expensive and none of the atmosphere and fun was to be had. The present management who have been there past 15 yrs or so have (against the wishes of all the old visitors) turned the camp into a lifeless dead hole – they have built a travelodge looking thing in the middle of the camp. The main green (what’s left of it) has a kids playground in it. The ballroom has been converted to a conference room and (stage gone) the dining room is now an eatery with a entertainment stage built in. The shop is crap and the tennis courts unused – so sad – they were so popular in my day. We visited a couple if months ago for old times sake and stayed in a B and B opposite the car park ( this being a new car park which was the putting green) the old car park is still there but pretty empty. The B and B was run by the lady that used to run the camp shop in my day. She says the camp is hardly full any time of year now – all they seem to survive on is the pensioner coach parties. The few remaining nostalgic chalets have been painted horrible colours and no doubt won’t be there much longer. It’s very very sad. I loved going there as a kid and teen and dad and would of loved to keep going as a grandad but unfortunately it will not happen. Those lovely days on August every year in the early 70’s when we would meet all the same families. I remember Andy from Newcastle . Owen. The Crocker family nick sue and Joanne . The ginger brothers Ewan and the other one. Eric Lloyd Titch – Tessa from Norwich sue Doyle from Crawley – The big Scottish contingent who were such a laugh and loads of others. The camp concerts were such a laugh. Everyone could do something – the 2 big spotlights were a sought after job for the lads. The best ‘sporty’ was Bryan giffney – he was loved by everyone – mums.and dad’s kids staff teens ( especially the girls!) he had an ex camper as his running mate called Wally. He organised absolutely everything. I remember night manoeuvres and night time beach bbqs. I could bore for England about this place but my wife says I must stop living in the past but even though we have lovely cruising holidays now – they are not a patch on the thrill I got those special 2 weeks of the year at good old nalgo.

    • More great memories. It is a real shame what has happened to the place. My mum went back about five years ago and hated it because she remembered it when it was a wonderful place to go. Thanks for adding your memories.

  9. Wonderful nostalgia trip, Andrew. I was 8 years old when we went there in1964 – got there by steam train (thank you Mr Beeching!). The abiding memory is the AWFUL weather, was mid June and it was cold & wet most of the time. My dad did bingo calling one night and got a big cheer when he interrupted proceedings to light his roll-up mid card. The weather never spoiled a great holiday with the whole family.. the next one we had was in 2002 & there were 30 of us by then!

  10. Catherine Davies

    I loved going to ‘the camp’ at Croyde during the 1960s.I remember the ‘baby patrol’ referred to earlier. Parents would hang a white hanky in their chalet window to alert the volunteer baby patrollers to the fact that there was a baby in the chalet. You had to sign up on a rota to do a 20 minute baby patrol and all the teenagers loved doing it as it meant a quick snog with their newly acquired boy/girlfriend on their way round. When I was a very small child I remember being visited by one of these patrollers because I was frightened of moths and started crying. My parents were summoned from the ballroom and peace was restored. But as you said,the chalets weren’t locked (or the baby patrol wouldn’t have been able to get in to offer comfort to all those crying babies) and there was no such thing as CRB checks. I never heard of any problems with the system though.
    And do you remember the tournaments? The men’s singles tennis final was the highlight of the week attracting a sizeable crowd to gather around the court.The winner was awarded such status – it was a mini Wimbledon!
    I made so many friends there and we wrote to each other all year round, impatiently waiting for our next meeting the following August. In those days you had to get your booking for August in by January 1st because the dates we always had (last 2 weeks of August) were full by January 2nd.My parents met the same friends every year and they loved it too. In fact, it was great fun for just about every age group which is why people kept on returning.
    Funnily enough, I am going back there (for the first time in 30 years) in 2 weeks time and I’ve booked a hotel room for 3 nights ……so will it be as good???? I doubt it.

    • I hope you are not disappointed. I think there is an indoor swimming pool now? Those baby patrols were crazy, hard to believe now that people would leave their children in unlocked chalets. I remember the tennis. I used to like the clock golf.

    • Hi Catherine – my brother james and I have already put comments on this site already but I have to write as it appears you may have been there in the tomes we were there. I went initially went aged 3 in 1959. We went by train to Barnstable then got a coach to the camp. My family went every year till I was about 19 in 1975. It was August we went too but I think it was the 1st two weeks. When I got married in 1977 I took my own family and kids there too but mainly in the 1st couple of weeks in July. Luckily my kids had nearly the same excellent experiences at croyde as I did as there were still proper tournaments – camp names – sporty and nurse – evening entertainment – camp split into two teams reds and blues or angels and devils. (Depending on whether you had an odd or even table number) there was singing of grace and fines for latecomers at mealtimes. ( everyone shouting ‘BOX’ to indicate the charity box that you had to slip your pennies into). I remember getting so excited as a kid when I saw the red light come on in the restaurant to indicate that someone was coming onto the microphone to speak during meals. Mainly it was sporty ( do you remember Brian giffney? He was the best) or the elected chairman or the
      Nurse or the lost property men who dished out punishments to anyone claiming stuff they had found abandoned ( or pinched!) the campers concerts were brilliant and I remember the baby patrol so well – from crying and my parents being summoned to doing the round myself and getting the occasional snog! The beach parties were excellent and so were the chalet parties. Did you play the game of seeing ‘how many people can you get into a single chalet’ I remember drinking the cider from flagons and the beer from
      Big party cans and pretending I liked it! (Like most of us I expect) the big tv room was a great place for a smooch too! It was idyllic place for a family holiday. I remember my dad posting the application form as early as allowed and it was a tradition that we listened at the pillar box to make sure it had dropped in ok – we were petrified we would not get our booking. Luckily we always got in. Unfortunately the place has gone downhill ( in our eyes) and has been knocked about to resemble a travelodge site built in the middle and only a few of the old nostalgic chalets are left. Apparently it’s what new holidaymakers want but it’s not my cup of tea. I tend to wallow in self pity and memories when I visit now. Such a shame. We really had the best times there. I’m convinced Kids don’t have as much fun now on holiday as we did. I wonder if we knew each other or had other joint friends over the years. What was your camp name ? I could go on about this subject for ages so I had better stop now – my wife says I can bore for England going on about the good old days at nalgo! ( I had numerous camp names – Wilfred when I was little then various petrol station names !) do you remember the ‘bean’ family – baked runner broad etc etc ( big tennis family) by the way the tennis court area is still the same and you can sit there on the benches and remeniss. Hope you enjoy your revisit. All the best Nick Hudson

      • Catherine Davies

        It was good to read your reminisces about the NALGO camp at Croyde. No doubt I shall be wallowing in the same nostalgia when I re visit the place on August 17th for 3 nights. My brother (camp name Stu) is now 69 and he has been to the camp almost every year since he was born. He says a lot of the ‘old timers ‘ have been very resistant to a lot of the changes. The camp concert was superb when it was put on by the campers themselves but is nothing like as entertaining with the professionals who replaced them. I still remember the format: olde time dancing on Monday night, film show on Tuesday, Ladies Night on Wednesday (remember Teddy Bears’ Picnic?),camp concert on Thurs, farewell Dance on Fri and Welcome Dance on Sat!!!

        Sent from my iPhone


      • Brilliant memories, thanks for taking the time to add them to my post!

      • We are thinking of organising a weekend at Croyde reunion for anyone interested? What do people think…

      • What a really excellent idea!

      • Catherine Davies

        I have just returned from ‘the camp’. They now call it a holiday ‘resort’ as I suppose holiday camp brings back memories of ‘Hi de Hi’!! It is different but I did enjoy myself and met several old friends. By the way, I remember Cathy and her family mentioned above! I think her sisters were Clare and Ruth. They were a bit younger than me. The youngest sister had the camp name Finale!
        The hotel at the camp is actually very nice. It consists of two rooms partially separated by a wall. It feels very spacious and has all the mod cons with a large flat screen TV and a fridge available for hire (we paid £3.50 for 3 days’ hire).I would definitely say the hotel rooms are a cut above any Travelodge I have ever stayed in. Here are my thoughts on Croyde Nalgo (now Unison) today:
        1. The clientele is very middle class. There are no yobs (do they all go to Ibiza nowadays?)
        2. That site is worth millions and I’m told that Unison who own it don’t care about making money from the camp as long as it doesn’t start to lose them money.
        3. The management needs a complete overhaul. This year there were no tournaments available until my brother complained and entry sheets were hastily put together. In the old days you had to give your table number and were easily found. Now you put your room/chalet number and since most people are out all day, it is difficult to track down your opponents.
        4. Read some of the reviews of the place on Trip Advisor. They are spot on, especially the one that mentions no reward for loyalty. It is much cheaper to wait until the last minute and book a cheap deal than to book in advance at inflated prices.I booked a week before I went and it was obvious that there was lots of availability. My room (sleeping 4) cost £99 per night including breakfast. Booking it in advance would have cost £350 – how mad is that?1!!
        5.The food is buffet style and just OK in standard. I would rate it as marginally better than school dinners, but it probably suits hungry teenagers who are not looking for haute cuisine!
        6. There are far fewer staff employed now than in the old days. No nurse on site, no Sporty and nobody to supervise the children’s games room for the kids. There was a lot of expensive equipment in there which was just thrown around by older kids as there was no one to keep an eye on what was going on.Nearly all of the waiting staff in the dining room and the cleaning staff were foreign with only a basic command of English. They were stretched to the limit job – wise and you had to practically grab one of them if you wanted any service.
        7. The kiddies loved their entertainment which started at 7.30pm each night but why was it held in the dining room while a lot of people were still eating dinner and probably didn’t appreciate all the accompanying noise etc. Meanwhile the ballroom (which has been refurbished and looked very nice)
        stayed empty.I’m told it is used off season for Unison conferences.
        With the right management, this place could be a gold mine.It needs the Hotel Inspector to sort them out! Anyone fancy the job?

      • I would love a reunion -better to leave it till the Facebook group grown a bit more and then see what everyone thinks ?

  11. The ballroom had a large collide-scope and a de walko spotlight each side , the records were Thr teddybears picnic and French
    Record The famers wife.

  12. Well I am sitting in the new hotel at NALGO as I write this…what a lot of memories. No – it’s not the same here but we still meet old friends every year and have given up fighting the management to keep the old traditions.

    Stu is here this week as are old friends 2p 3p etc. Top Cat, Brenda & Graeme, the ‘Nuts’ were here earlier in the week, South and her mum, Hugh & Sue – I could go on.

    I was one of the musical family – the one with the unpronounceable name ‘Scherzo’ and I hated it! We were actually the flopsy bunnies until my youngest surprise sister arrived and we were then too many! Mum and Dad were Jimi & Marji (and still are) and we were very involved in the concerts for many years.

    First visit was 1961 and I have been most years since – the week before August bank holiday – and the nostalgia hits me every time…it’s like a drug. Nick Hudson I have photos of you & Tessa and Sue Doyles sister Theresa lives near me.

    Brian Giffney was one of a kind but who remembers Wally who helped him? What about Ferret and his family? We all learned to ballroom dance here, sent to bed at 9pm after Goodnight Campers, with a stick of liquorice! Chalet parties as I reached my teens, postmans knock in the chalet toilet! Communal showers and baths. Ladies night with Trouble, Britvic (Stu’s mum) and others.
    I could go on and on and gave so many memories and photos.
    Thank you for sharing and keep the comments coming… Cathy

  13. Catherine Davis we must have both been there at the same time this year as we have just come home from a week there too!
    I have started a Facebook group – Nalgo Croyde Bay through the years – where people can share photos and memories. It’s an open group at the moment so please anyone visit it, upload your photos (I just took pictures on my phone from my photo album!) and share you memories there too. I am so thankful to Andrew for starting this blog and so pleased that I have found it

    • Catherine Davies

      Yes, I am Stu’s sister and I think he mentioned that you were there in one of the self catering rooms of the hotel but we didn’t actually manage to meet up. My son came for a few days with his son (my grandson!) so the 4th generation of our family has been to the camp!
      I have hundreds of photos of the Nalgo camp from the 1950s and 60s but I’m not very good with anything technical (pathetic, I know!) so not sure about uploading photos.
      Would like to find friends from Croyde 1964 to 69. They include Frances from East Molesey, Celia and family from Redditch, Joycelyn from Swansea,Jennie and Kevin Abbott from Chandler’s Ford,Martin from Cardiff.Of course, they probably live elsewhere by now!!

  14. How lovely to read all these memories of shared times! I went to Cayton Bay aged 11 in 1970 where our families met two other families and we are all still in touch – sadly those of us who are still here. We all went to Croyde when very sadly for us, Cayton was closed in 1976. I remember spending our holiday that last year, raising money from all the campers to try and buy out the camp. People were pledging large sums of money and we children were doing sponsored runs etc. To no avail! So we all met up at Croyde where I went from 1985 to 2005. The happiest times of my life! I know some of the people mentioned on this blog and have made lifelong friends – how many places can boast this I wonder? We all have the same problem I think and that is to try and explain the magic that Croyde was (until recently) to ‘outsiders’ – and many a discussion has been had on this subject. Great to have somewhere to share these memories. I always went the week before the August Bank Holiday and one of the best things for me was knowing so many people. I remember that thrilling feeling ( even as a fully grown up adult!) coming round the bend and seeing the bay and then the camp and knowing that the holiday started the second you bumped into people you knew in the car park. The campers concert was my starting point for a career as a singer for 15 years and I loved to go back and join in every year. Myself, Cathy Welch ( see above ) and so many others, spent most of our holiday organising the concert but it was worth every moment.
    Ah happy times! Would love a reunion if I could make it!

  15. Catherine Davies

    I’d certainly be up for a reunion. We could all wallow in nostalgia!

    • So who is going to organise it then?

      • Catherine Davies

        How about you Cathy Welch? My brother says you are a great organiser!! Having been this year with my son and grandson (who loved it, by the way) I think we are planning to go next August and I can recommend the hotel rooms rather than the chalets if you want something a bit more upmarket.

  16. Wendy Meads ( previously Dormer nee Green)

    What a super read this has been. I was at Croyde this August with Cathy Welch. My extended family were with me, Nick his wife Vicki with their children Kayla and Aidan. Only one of my children came, Lindsey (33)!! We always miss Mark Craig and Caroline. I have been going to Croyde since I was 11 in1956. When I had my own children I couldn’t wait for them to have the Croyde experience. In later years Bob Nick And Caz joined us and now of course the grandchildren. One year when Craig was in his teens my other half was horrified when I asked him to help me climb in Craig’s window. I succeeded, went in the bathroom, climbed on the toilet, pushed up the entrance to the roof and retrieved a bottle of blue liquid, then poured most of it down the loo. To this day I dont know what the drink was!!!!!!
    So many happy memories, would be great to have a reunion weekend. Maybe we could do a camp concert, I’m not sure how Steve Willis would react tho!

  17. Andrew.. Just a quick question: in this picture (not sure if that will display the actual picture or not)
    Is the fair haired boy you? I deffo remember a kid like that while we were staying at Croyde, who had that jumper – I clearly remember it, as it was the same type a boy at my school had whom I had a bit of a crush on at the time..! Apologies if this is a bit off topic.


    • Yes that is me in my fairisle jumper knitted by my grandma. Thanks for the comment and the question!

      • Fantastic reading all this.I am here today 26 Sept 2017 for 3 days paying a very nostalgic visit for the first time in 40 years.My parents came here in the 1930’s. I jokingly say I was conceived herein 1942 and from then on we came as a family of 5 through the 40s 50s and 60s.I then came with my young family in the early 70s.My 2 brothers and I surfed from here in the 60s.No wet suits then.
        What fun it all was.Light hearted,carefree,safe and wonderful for children.l
        Certainly remember Brian Giffney and Wally.I still have 2 of Brian’s paintings on my wall which he turned out at great speed for about £6 each.He organised the weekly camper’s marathon challenge of 10 laps round the green,then to Baggy Point and back with a final lap round round the green.Of course he always won!
        I have just spent an hour looking through all the manager’s collection of old black and white photos of early years – brings it all back.
        The camp has been transformed into a modern holiday village with a 4 star hotel.Much has changed for the good – those awful water heaters in the chalets have gone as have the communal showers.
        Lovely Croyde village has hardly changed with little new development.Surfers are in their dozens.
        A great visit.

      • Thank you for your memory contribution!

  18. Anna Hazlett nee Mill

    I was a waitress there in 1966 fom May to Sept and met my husband who worked in the kitchen. I would love to hear from any body else who worked that summer season especially Blane Jenkins. Anna Mill

  19. Further to my note of 26.9.2017 do you know if Brian Giffney is still around?
    I have discovered that one of my paintings by Brian is almost identical to one he did in 1969 which is hanging in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

    • Bruce Hart,
      I have often wondered about Brian Giffney.
      He must be about 80 now?
      I posted on this site with my memories back on 9/9/2012 .
      Lucky you having his paintings—wish I had one!
      I have looked on the electoral roll and as his name is unusual there is just one and he shows as living in Grange upon sands Cumbria up until 2013 so hope he is still ok.

  20. We went every June in the 60’s to Croyde Family of 4 initially given Golf term names My dad was Eagle mum Albatross Brother Bogey and I was Birdie.Then baby came along He was One under . My Dad helped with sports and concerts and we always had fun . Took my daughter back in 1995 to Unison camp It was amazing X Honor

  21. I came across this and remember many great holidays at Croyde in the mid to late 70’s. I loved the tournaments and practising for the camp show. I learnt to play table skittles and shove ha’penny ! It’s also where I learned to dance the Gay Gordon and the foxtrot with my dad.. great skills and my confidence grew when I won camp queen !! I remember the night manoeuvres over the dunes. I was so pleased when I was allowed to go; very exciting as long as you watched out for the adders !
    My mum and dad have one of Brian Giffney’s prints. I used to love him when we went in the first years. Sadly he turned out to be someone who liked to make a pass at underage girls and scared the life out of me in his ‘studio’. I’m just glad I had the guts to leave. He has haunted me ever since in these days of sexual exploitation and DBS checks. He was a predator and I am thankful it amounted to minor sexual abuse and nothing more scary. I was 14. He may have been loved as ‘sporty’ but I always wondered why he was replaced by a lovely guy called Wally; I think, the following year. If his painting brings us some recommence on sale now… great.

  22. Aileen McCarthy

    We had many happy holidays there in the early eighties. Lovely memories. 🥰

  23. I am replying to S Elsmore’s note of 24.1 2019. Sadly, I believe that Brian Giffney is no longer with us. I found on Google a letter of condolence from his Fire Crew team in Goornong Australia dated 28.2 2013.He worked with them in the late 60’s before coming to Croyde. Although in my late 70’s and single now, I still have a week each year in the new hotel, and walk from Croyde to Bull Point on the cliff path. Next trip is in 2 months time. Can’t wait!

  24. Pingback: Cayton Bay – Concrete

  25. Jon Neal
    Back in 1978 and 1979 I spent two amazing summers here at this very special holiday camp. I went with my sister, nephew and niece. We met some lovely people here including my first girlfriend, Sandra.

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