South East Wales

Redcoats behind Barry Island Butlins blue plaque

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Media captionHeydays and end-of-days - the rise and fall of Barry Island's Butlins is captured in this archive report from 1986

Long before Gavin and Stacey brought it to the attention of the British public, Barry Island was already a byword for happy holidays.

Now a blue plaque is to commemorate the site where Butlins holiday camp once stood.

It has been paid for by former members of the camp's 'Red Coats' staff.

Organisers say the plaque will also honour holiday entrepreneur, showman and philanthropist Sir William 'Billy' Butlin.

The plaque is at the new seafront garden at Nells Point.

Former Red Coat Tony Collier said: "We couldn't want for a better position in this lovely garden for the plaque.

Image caption The Red Coats went blue after a legal dispute

"Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers and staff came from all over the country each summer and Christmas, to enjoy the facilities offered on site, and the beautiful Welsh countryside on its doorstep."

Butlins in Barry Island only ran for 20 years from 1966 and then for a further 10 years under the troubled Majestic Holidays brand.

The famous Red Coats became blue coats in its latter years after Butlins threatened the new owners with legal action.

The site was bulldozed in 2005, to make way for a housing estate as part of a £3m regeneration of the area.

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