Butlins the British Family holiday camps have been open since 1936 a place for good wholesome fun... not this weekend! Two friends and I visited the Minehead resort for a 90’s Reloaded Weekend.
Feeling slightly old that the 90’s is now a nostalgic theme, I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my girls and maybe relive some memories through the music. Little did I know I would revert to being mentally 13yrs old, screaming at “boy” bands and remembering dance moves to “Saturday Night”, “The Macarena” and “Tragedy”.
Our weekend started Friday morning with a 5 hour car journey to Somerset, to get the holiday rolling I made CD’s and called the mix tapes as homage to cassette tapes we all used to make by recording the top 40’s with Dr Fox.
We got to the resort and were sorted with our room keys, disabled parking a meal times. We’d gone for the silver package which includes bed, breakfast, dinner and entry to all big events and gigs.
Our apartment was basic two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, living room and kitchen – we didn’t expect to be there much anyway!!
We started exploring the site looking for shops and scouting out the evening venues. We started
drinking getting ready by 3pm and planned to go watch the Karaoke at the Irish Bar. I’m always happy to go wherever, tag along and give most things a go but watching people murder my favourite songs – I could feel the headache forming hours before!
As this was Mrs T’s post wedding hen do I wanted to please and she was/is it turns out - a karaoke addict and I found that although I won’t get up to sing myself watching those with the guts to do it – bore a new love between me and the Japanese “art” form!
Friday night all glammed up we headed to the Irish bar and encountered HOT! Smurfs, middle aged men in bikini’s and an abundance of other hen/stag do’s we were in good company!
After a quick make up check we headed to the venue’s main stage to watch Chesney Hawkes (90’s pop star most famous for “I am the one and only” – you tube it!)
The main stage is a huge open plan room with bar’s lining the edges, lit with pink and blue neon’s, there’s a large stage with a photocall stage to meet and greet acts after their performances.
In high spirits we were ready to relive out youth but the night was to end on a sour note.
As the three of us made our way through the crowd so that I had a chance of seeing the act through the mass of people I started what I call the “Excuse me, sorry, thank you” - tapping peoples backs and nicely asking if I could get through, usually running their feet over and me apologising – it’s ritual we encounter in every club, gig, theatre etc.
It seems I tapped the wrong shoulder when a woman spun round, grabbed my wrist, slapped my hand and told me I was a F*****g cripple! I have never in 17 years of using my wheelchair had such hostility directed towards me. I was completely taken aback by this act of rudeness and a few minutes later (somewhat helped by a few drinks) started to cry and asked if we could go back to our apartment. I wasn’t going to make a fuss, it wasn’t ours or Butlin’s fault but as we exited the venue their security staff stopped us to find out what had gone on.
The Butlins staff were brilliant I couldn’t help but laugh as they mocked the angry cripple beating woman and promised if they could find her on site they’d quickly have her removed.
The manager said to go home, put my face back on, freshen up and come back out. We had all intentions of doing so, but our momentum and mood for the night had been somewhat hindered. As we all said our goodnight’s we all vowed no more tears and a better night should be had Saturday.... boy did we make up for it.....
Tomorrow.... Part 2