|Opening date||11 June 1938|
|Closing date||23 September 1983|
Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Tendring Peninsula in Essex and was founded in 1871. It is a seaside resort that attracted many tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s, but like many other British seaside resorts went into decline as a holiday destination since holidays abroad became more affordable. In 1936 Billy Butlin made moves to create a new holiday camp there, by buying and refurbishing the West Clacton Estate, an amusement park to the west of the town. After gaining the support of the local council, construction began and the camp opened on 11 June 1938. During the War years, all the Butlin's camps were requisitioned by the Government. Clacton was originally planned to be used as a POW camp, fortunately it was spared this indignity and was used as a training site for the pioneer corps. However during its occupation, the camp suffered significant damage and substantial repairs had to be carried out to put the camp back into operation. It reopened to the public in 1946. In 1972, Butlin's as an organisation was bought by the Rank Group.
The Clacton camp was open until 1983 when due to package holidays and changing tastes, the holiday camp was closed and sold to a group of former departmental managers at the camp who reopened it as a short-lived theme park called Atlas Park. Atlas Park only lasted a year and the land was then sold and redeveloped with housing.
- Colin Ward, Dennis Hardy (1986), Goodnight campers!: the history of the British holiday camp, Mansell Publishing Ltd, ISBN 0-7201-1835-2, retrieved 31 October Check date values in:
- Adams, Nicky (June 2008). "Morning campers". Essex Life. Archant. pp. 18–20. Retrieved 2009-02-05. (Registration required.)