Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight
A Preview

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the John Hinde Studio, based in Dublin, produced a series of postcards to be sold at Butlin’s holiday camps throughout the British Isles. Famous for their hi-de-hi catchphrase, redcoat hosts, and bargain packages with all entertainment included, this was Butlin’s heyday. Throughout the 1970s, over a million Britons had a holiday at Butlin’s each year.

With innovative use of colour and elaborate staging (the trademarks of a John Hinde postcard), it was the challenging job of two German (Elmar Ludwig and Edmund Nägele) and one British photographer (David Noble) to execute the photographs to Hinde’s rigorous formula and standards. Each photograph is elaborately stage managed, with often large casts of real holidaymakers acting their allocated roles in these narrative tableaux of the Butlin’s quiet lounges, ballrooms and Beachcomber bars. Shot with large format cameras, and lit like a film set, the production of these photographs were an extraordinary undertaking.  The images helped John Hinde become one of the most successful postcard publishers in the world.

Most of the John Hinde Butlin’s photographs have only ever been published as postcards. The photographs in the book are reproduced from the original large format Ektachromes. They prove to be some of the strongest images of their era. 

“As with all Hinde imagery, they show an idealised view of the world and, after the passage of time, acquire the power of a lost dream. The most remarkable thing of all is that the cards were painstakingly produced not for any aspirational ideas or as great art, but as humble postcards to sell for a few pence to holidaymakers.”

- Martin Parr, from his Introduction

All photographs featured on this page are copyright John Hinde Ltd and reproduced with the kind permission of Chris Boot.


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