Haven Holidays

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Haven
TypePrivate
IndustryLeisure
PredecessorWarner Holiday Camps, British Holidays
Founded1964; 57 years ago (1964) (Haven Holidays, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK)
Headquarters,
UK
Number of locations
40 caravan parks
Area served
UK
Key people
Paul Flaum, Chief Executive
Simon Palethorpe
ProductsCaravan holiday parks
Caravan sales
RevenueIncrease £271.1 million (2013)[1]
Increase £35.2 million (2013)
Increase £25.6 million (2013)
Number of employees
2,802 (2013)
ParentBourne Leisure Limited
Websitewww.haven.com

Haven Holidays is a chain of holiday parks in the United Kingdom. It operates self catering static caravan holiday parks with many also including touring and camping facilities. The company operates 39 sites in the UK in predominantly coastal locations.

Haven has announced that for the 2022 season they have rebranded their caravan grades and they will now be known as Saver, Bronze, Silver, Gold and superior. Some parks also offer Chalets, Beach houses and glamping in the form of super tents.

Haven is also constantly updating its parks with the most expensive updates leading to parks being known as "parks of the future" in publicity materials. Updates have included new entertainment and dinning areas as well as new outdoor "adventure villages".

The company was established in 1964 and bought by the Bourne Leisure Group in 2000. Bourne Leisure was sold to The Blackstone Group in 2020 In November 2004 Bourne Leisure merged its existing British Holidays chain into the Haven Holidays brand.[2]

History[edit]

The current Haven chain is formed from a number of acquisitions by its former brands, including Warner Holiday Camps (now trading as Warner Leisure Hotels). After deciding to focus more on its gaming operations such as Mecca Bingo, the Rank Group decided to sell its holiday arm. In October 2000, Bourne Leisure purchased the Rank Group's UK leisure arm, Rank Leisure, for £700 million, which included the Haven, Butlins and Warner Leisure Hotels chains. Haven parks used to come under four categories and were defined by four different colours, All Action Parks (Red), Lively Parks (Blue), Leisurely Parks (Yellow) and Relaxing Parks (Green). Each park category would reflect what type of Entertainment and Activities would take place at that park and also reflect the size of the park.[3]

Following this purchase, Bourne Leisure began integrating both Haven and its existing British Holidays chain in 2002, trading entertainment and facilities between the two brands, until the two companies merged in November 2004 under the name 'Haven and British Holidays'. The British Holidays identity would eventually be dropped completely by the end of the 2007 season.

Entertainment[edit]

Entertainment at haven consists of a mix of shows featuring the Seaside Squad; Rory the Tiger, Bradley Bear, Greedy the Gorilla, Anxious the Elephant, DJ Ned, Polly the lifeguard. Bingo, party games and Children's disco. Visiting acts and the entertainment team put on shows later in the evening. Entertainment takes place in the parks Showbars, Live Lounges.

Until Haven was bought by Bourne Leisure, Haven’s resident entertainers were known as Havenmates. Havenmates appeared at all Haven parks, but the number of entertainers was dictated by the park category. All Action Parks would have the largest team of Havenmates, including Male Singer, Female Singer, Dancers (usually four), a team of General Havenmates, a DJ, presenter, Entertainment Manager, Assistant Entertainment Manager and an ATR Leader and a technician. The size of the team would then decrease depending on the park size and category. Havenmates were also famous for wearing the Deck Chair stripped jackets. After the sale by the Rank Organisation to Bourne Leisure, Havenmates was eventually changed to Funstars by the mid 2000's, which was the name used for the resident entertainers on British Holidays Parks. In 2016, a Theatre Company brand was introduced, originally exclusive to the newly acquired Thornwick Bay, before being rolled out to Primrose Valley, Devon Cliffs, Hafan y Mor, Craig Tara and Rockley Park the next year, and the entertainers at these Theatre Company parks were known as Adventure Live Hosts, however the Funstar brand continued to be used at the other Haven parks, still using the Funstar name for the entertainers at these parks. More recently in 2019, the entertainent branding changed again, and the entertainers are now simply known as "Entertainment Team Members".

A.T.R (All the Rage)[edit]

The A.T.R was a teenage specific club designed for teenagers aged 12-17 years olds, with activities such as DJ’ing, Movie Making, Sports, Gaming and generally socialising with other teenagers the club also had a dedicated leader, the club was later renamed T-Co.

Tiger Club[edit]

Haven had a dedicated children’s club, for kids aged 5-11 years old. The club was run by the General Havenmates, where the kids would take part in different activities and crafting. When kids joined the club, they would be given a Tiger Club badge, they would also be given a membership card where they could collect stamps throughout the week for completing certain tasks and activities. The club also featured a signature theme tune called ‘The Tiger Club Song’ along with a dance routine the kids could learn and join in with. The kids were divided into two different teams, The Mischief Monkeys and The Cheeky Chimps this was based on odd and even birthdays. The clubs mascots were Rory the Tiger, Anxious the Elephant, Greedy the Gorilla, they were also joined by Manic the Parrot, Prudence the Giraffe and Sylvester the Snake. The club changed to Rory and Bradley’s Funtime after the merger of Haven with British Holidays then in 2013 becoming Zoo Troop and now known as the Seaside Squad.

In the Media[edit]

In 1996, Haven was featured as part of a fly on the wall documentary series called Seasiders. Broadcast on Channel 4 the six episode series followed the Havenmates from Auditions to the end of season at Primrose Valley Holiday Park. The series also featured the parks well known Entertainment Manager Ian Sandy and also head of entertainment at the time Debbie Walker.

Acquisitions[edit]

In 2007, Bourne Leisure purchased Far Grange Park & Golf Club. The park was initially a Haven park for both holidaymakers and caravan owners, as seen in the 2008 brochure, however after just one season, the park has since become an Owners Only park.

In April 2015, Bourne Leisure purchased the Thornwick & Sea Farm Holiday Centre and Greenacre West caravan parks from Flamborough Holidays Ltd;[4] Thornwick & Sea Farm holiday centre's complex was redeveloped for the 2016 season and was rebranded 'Thornwick Bay'.

In 2019, Haven ventured into a new type of resort with the purchase of Celtic Haven Spa Holiday Cottage Resort in Tenby, Pembrokeshire. The resort is a sister park to Lydstep Beach Holiday Village, situated in the village of Lydstep. The resort is well known for its spa, and will allow guests who are staying in their cottage accommodation the use of the entertainment facilities at Lydstep Beach Village. The Celtic Haven resort is the first in the Haven brand to operate 365 days a year.[5]

Sponsorships and partnerships[edit]

In March 2018, Haven partnered with the charity Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).[6] This partnership aims to fully integrate the RNLI with the Haven offering and raise vital funds for their lifesaving work.

In February 2019, Haven became an official sponsor of Team GB, supporting the team in the build up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.[7]

Mascots[edit]

The first mascot of the Haven brand was Rory the Tiger, first introduced in 1988. Bradley Bear was introduced in 1993 as the mascot of British Holidays, Haven Holidays' former sister brand. As the two brands merged when acquired by Bourne Leisure, the two mascots began to appear alongside each other, despite Bradley Bear not being a part of the 'Tiger Club' brand.

Other mascots introduced in Haven's early days were Anxious the Elephant, Greedy the Gorilla, Manic the Parrot, and Sylvester the Snake. These mascots, along with Rory the Tiger, appeared under the brand of the 'Tiger Club'.

In 2004, during the integration of Haven and British Holidays, three new mascots joined the 'Tiger Club', namely: Naughty Ned, Polly, and Merlin the Wizard, before the Tiger Club and Bradley Bear Club merged and changed its name to 'Rory and Bradley's Funtime'. The characters ultimately formed the Zoo Troop in 2008.

In 2009, Merlin the Wizard, Manic the Parrot and Sylvester the Snake were all dropped and were frequently said to have retired by the Funstars.

In 2013, the 'Zoo Troop' changed its name to the 'Seaside Squad', owing to Haven focussing more on heavier seaside theming in its parks.

Holiday parks and resorts[edit]

There are 39 Haven parks all around the United Kingdom. The number of Haven parks peaked at 56 by 1999, long before their merge with British Holidays in 2002, but many of the smaller parks were sold off throughout 2001 and again in October 2004 to improve the standards of their larger and more profitable parks. The majority of these parks were sold to Park Resorts, Parkdean (both of which now merged into Parkdean Resorts) and Park Holidays UK (at the time known as Cinque Ports Leisure).

Current holiday parks and resorts[edit]

  • Blackpool: Cala Gran, Marton Mere
  • Cornwall: Perran Sands, Riviere Sands
  • Devon: Devon Cliffs
  • Dorset: Littlesea, Rockley Park, Seaview, Weymouth Bay
  • Essex: The Orchards
  • Kent and Sussex: Allhallows, Church Farm, Combe Haven
  • Lake District: Lakeland
  • Lincolnshire: Golden Sands, Thorpe Park
  • Norfolk: Caister-on-Sea, Hopton, Seashore, Wild Duck
  • Northumberland: Berwick, Haggerston Castle
  • Scotland: Craig Tara (previously Butlins Ayr), Seton Sands
  • Somerset: Burnham-on-Sea, Doniford Bay
  • Wales: Greenacres, Cardigan View (a sister park to Greenacres), Garreg Wen (a sister park to Greenacres), Hafan y Mor (previously Butlins Pwllheli), Lydstep Beach, Celtic Haven (a sister park to Lydstep Beach), Kiln Park, Penally Court (a sister park to Kiln Park), Presthaven, Quay West
  • Yorkshire: Blue Dolphin, Primrose Valley (part of this park now occupies land that formed Butlins Filey), Reighton Sands, Thornwick Bay, Far Grange (owners only)

Former holiday parks (both Haven and British Holidays)[edit]

  • Cornwall: Duporth, St. Minver, Trelawne Manor, St Ives, Mullion
  • Devon: Bideford Bay, Challaborough Bay, Lyme Bay, South Bay, Torquay, Devon Valley
  • Dorset: Chesil Beach, Sandhills, West Bay
  • Essex: St. Osyth Beach, Steeple Bay
  • Hampshire: Mill Rythe, Solent Breezes
  • Isle of Wight: Harcourt Sands, Lower Hyde, Nodes Point, Thorness Bay, Fort Warden
  • Kent and Sussex: Alberta, Sheerness, Ashcroft, Winchelsea Sands
  • Lancashire: Beacon Fell View
  • Lincolnshire: Coastfield
  • Norfolk: California Cliffs, Heacham Beach, Cherry Tree
  • Northumberland: Riverside
  • Scotland: Wemyss Bay, Erigmore House, Sundrum Castle, Grannies Heilan Hame, Tummel Valley, Nairn Lochloy
  • Suffolk: Felixstowe Beach, Suffolk Sands, Kessingland Beach
  • Wales: Brynowen, Carmarathen Bay, Manorbier, Pendine Sands, Ty Mawr, Lido Beach
  • Yorkshire: Barmston Beach, Cayton Bay, Whitby

Parks owned by British Holidays before 2004[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haven Leisure Ltd, Report and Financial Statements, 31 December 2010
  2. ^ "HavenHolidays.com - Review - We want Rory!!!!".
  3. ^ Power, Ben (28 September 2000). "Rank says goodbye to redcoats in £700m sale". The Independent. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Holiday parks in national deal". Bridlington Froo Press. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Holiday giant buys Pembrokeshire cottage resort". www.westerntelegraph.co.uk.
  6. ^ "Haven Holidays partners with the RNLI to save lives at sea".
  7. ^ "Team GB announce partnership with Haven".

External links[edit]