Essex

Hi-de-Hi! star 'comforted' by hotel plan

Members of the cast
Image caption The series, which was set in the fictional holiday camp of Maplins, was filmed at the Warner's Holiday Centre at Dovercourt Bay

A star of 1980s sitcom Hi-de-Hi! says it is "comforting" to know a new hotel is set to be built where she and fellow cast members stayed while filming.

The Cliff Hotel in Dovercourt, Essex, was home to the likes of Su Pollard, Ruth Madoc and Paul Shane during the filming of 58 episodes from 1980-88.

It is being knocked down and rebuilt as a 61-bedroom hotel and apartments.

Pollard, who played chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw, said she was glad a hotel would remain on the old site.

Image caption Su Pollard played Peggy Ollerenshaw, a chambermaid who aspired to become a Yellowcoat at Maplins

"The original building was beautiful - a lovely piece of artwork with marvellous views," she said.

"The sad thing is that a landmark as nice as that has come to this - but I am glad a hotel will still be there, as it's a prime site. That's comforting to know."

The BBC show, set in the fictional holiday camp of Maplins, was filmed at the Warner's Holiday Centre at Dovercourt Bay.

Image copyright Bob Jones/Geograph
Image caption A planning application has been approved for an 'Art Deco' style apartment block, 20 apartments and a bar/restaurant, together with a 61-bed hotel

Hi-de-Hi!... Ho-de-Ho

  • The show was written by Dad's Army and It Ain't Half Hot Mum writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft
  • It was inspired by Perry's experience as a Butlins Redcoat following the war
  • It ran from 1 January 1980 to 30 January 1988 but was initially set in the fictional seaside town of Crimpton-on-Sea, Essex, in 1959
  • Set a fictional holiday camp Maplins, the series revolved around the lives of the camp's staff and managers

Image copyright David Webb
Image caption Brothers Tony and David Webb were Yellowcoats at Maplins

David Webb said he was sad the old building was being demolished but "not terribly surprised".

Webb, who starred alongside his identical twin Tony, said even back in the 1980s it was "obvious it was going to need a lot of money spent on it".

The twins played the roles of Stanley and Bruce Mathews.

Charles Garland, who worked as an assistant to the programme's co-creator David Croft, said the hotel used to have a parrot called Charlie who was taught to swear by Su Pollard.

"Among the phrases the parrot picked up was 'silly old bat', which it would say to women when they came in for afternoon tea", he said.

Pollard recalled how when the cast stayed there, they always used the same rooms - hers was number 11 on the second floor.

"I have great memories of it - the staff looked after us brilliantly," she said.

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