Our True Intent
Is All For Your Delight
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
|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
The images helped John Hinde become one of the most successful
postcard publishers in the world.
of the John Hinde Butlin’s photographs have only ever been published as
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.
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
photographs featured on this page are copyright John Hinde Ltd and
reproduced with the kind permission of Chris Boot.