Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Margate seaside memorabilia - Butlins badges



About ten years ago during the management of the Margate Museum under the East Kent Maritime Trust the Museum staff were given greater autonomy to develop displays. At the same time the marketing of the Museum was changed to promote the Museum as a seaside history Museum which would have a greater appeal to visitors than just the history of the town of Margate. In other words nostalgia would have a greater appeal.
Embarking on this project meant that the Museum could start to include items from the 50's, 60's & 70's into the collection something the Museum had very little of. Fortunately the Museum was blessed with the Sunbeam photography collection including the props used by Sunbeam photographs on the seafront at the time. However, there was a lack of small items for display. So the curator Bob Bradley set about to build up a seaside memorabilia collection with the help of friends of the Museum of which I was one. Unfortunately there was very little money in the budget ( a familiar story), but then that was not to be a obstacle. Simply because such items are amongst us.
As soon the word was on the streets people started to donate items, I can recall Terry Purser donating a plate and Bob even bought things for the Museum out of his own pocket. We even looked at 60's comic postcards which I bought some from my Councillor's allowance for the collection as money was tight , in fact everything that tells the story of the post war seaside history was pursued and added to the collection . It was cheap and it was easy , but there was one item that proved to be a stumbling block and that was obtaining Butlins badges. These badges originated from the Cliftonville Hotels and they were dated with different designs for each year. In some years there was even a different colour of the same design of badge if you stayed for the second week.
To our surprise, Butlins badges turned out to be a specialist collectors market and the Margate badges are right up there and highly sort after. Obviously, some years and colour are rarer than others, but by rule of thumb the 1950's versions fetch good money and the 1960's versions seem to be worth anything from £5 - £20 each .
At the very top of this posting is a 1955 badge featuring a red crab, this badge recently fetched £70 on ebay after 8 bids. The 1961 with the blue background cost me £8.00 as few years back and the same version with a red background is worth more. The 1967 badge at the bottom of this posting is very common issue and can still fetch around £5.00. The 1962 version below is one of the many varieties for that year and is currently up for auction on ebay.

No comments: